- Australia 256-9 at stumps on day one of the Pune Test against India
- Matt Renshaw and Mitchell Starc the stars with half-centuries
What a weird session. There were moments early, with Renshaw on the tools, that the visitors looked likely to atone for their pre-Tea wobble. But then, predictably, the wickets came. Marsh was trapped in front courtesy of a bit of Jadeja genius. Wade likewise when Umesh came back and immediately started hooping it. That reverse swing was too much for O’Keefe too, taken magnificently by Saha with the gloves. Then Lyon, lbw first ball to the same bowler. Between times, Ashwin ragged one into Renshaw’s edge when on 68. A fine hand, but one that looked futile. The collapse totalled 4/15 and Australia had only just crept over 200.
Enter Mitch Starc. His ninth Test half-century was perhaps his best yet. Changing the trajectory of the innings and the day, he swung hard but seldom raised his head. It was proper hitting, not slogging. Supported perfectly by Hazlewood, who took 17 balls to get off the mark but it mattered little. He was dependable in defence, exactly what was needed. All told, the unbeaten stand is now 51, these two have very much earned their right to have another go tomorrow.
94th over: Australia 256-9 (Starc 57, Hazlewood 1). Starc again very happy to take the single first ball. Leaving Hazlewood with five balls to see off for to get the visitors to stumps. To be fair, he’s completely off script, thrice on the trot playing and missing with expansive attempted drives. Not sure what that’s all about? Anyway, he’s fine. Ishant, momentarily, looks like he might be the one in strike after copping a whack on the little finger when the ball is thrown back to him from the field. Requires the physio to come and take a look with one ball remaining in day. What drama. Is he putting it on? Probably not. The result is a wide delivery to end the day that Hazlewood, this time, leaves alone. So stumps it will be! I’ll gather my thoughts and wrap this up in a tic.
Day one neither as good nor as bad as it should’ve been for Aust #IndvAus
93rd over: Australia 255-9 (Starc 56, Hazlewood 1). Starc gives Hazlewood the strike after one ball with a steer behind point off Ashwin. And why wouldn’t he? His number 11 deserves all the faith in the world for the way he’s gone about his innings this afternoon. A couple spin big, but on each occasion Hazlewood is far enough forward to minimise the risk. It’s one minute before the scheduled close, so we’re going to get one more over in.
92nd over: Australia 254-9 (Starc 55, Hazlewood 1). Ishant, the ageing competitor, goes again against Starc. Defending, leaving, defending. What’s this all about? Stumps. That’s what. Inside ten minutes now. He couldn’t have executed this any better. Kohli will be filthy.
Mitchell Starc has the record for the most sixes in an innings at the MCA Pune Stadium. #IndvAus
91st over: Australia 252-9 (Starc 54, Hazlewood 1). Kohli persists with Ashwin for a second set rather than continuing to throw it around. And what do you know: Hazlewood gets off the mark! Took him 17 balls, but what vital balls they have been in partnership with the rampaging Starc. For the record, it was a tuck behind square leg to open the account. Starc is happy enough to show a bit of respect to the champion spinner at this stage, a single down the ground the other further score. There’s a big shout for LBW when Hazlewood is back at the business end, but plenty of bat in it. Probably more telling how deep the appeal was. They’ve turned a potentially dominant day into something less than that. Or, rather, Starc has done that to them. Plenty of chat on twitter that he should be elevated. To be fair, more a reflection on the modest output from Marsh and Wade earlier today.
90th over: Australia 250-9 (Starc 53, Hazlewood 0). Brilliant from Starc, and the big smile he sports when bringing up his half-century to the second last ball of Ishant’s over. Of course, we’re way ahead of time here so I was wrong about it being the last over. Let the carnage continue! It was a blistering pull shot that got him the milestone, from 47 balls if you don’t mind. Also with that shot: the Australian 250! Who saw that coming an hour ago? Not me.
89th over: Australia 242-9 (Starc 45, Hazlewood 0). Hazlewood again does the hard work here for no personal reward. He remains on zero, but the persistence he shows here to face out the bulk of Ashwin;’s final over of the day ensures that Starc will get a final go. And more importantly, that Australia will get to the final over.
88th over: Australia 241-9 (Starc 44, Hazlewood 0). What a great stand this has evolved into. Hazlewood hasn’t got any of them, reminiscent of his work with Marcus Stoinis in Auckland the other week, but it’s not the point. He’s given Starc the latitude to do his thing. This time around, it is the reintroduced Jadeja who cops it. Granted, the first was a huge inside edge that deserved Starc’s wicket. The cow corner slog followed. The bowler would hate that, four added. Then the huge whack over the rope to long-on for SIX! Two overs to go. He’ll be 50 overnight the way this is playing out. All of a sudden, they’ve put on 36. And it is 15 from the over.
87th over: Australia 226-9 (Starc 29, Hazlewood 0). BOOM! Jayant gives Starc something to hit, so he does. And it’s giant (sorry), over cow corner for a huge six. He has another pop two balls later but misses, before nurdling down to third man for a single. Hazlewood is yet to score but has faced some important dots in the context of this partnership. It’s the same again here, big strides into each of the final two deliveries, negating any spin and ensuring the innings will continue into an 88th over, with Starc on strike.
Mitch Starc finna be our leading run-scorer as well as wickettaker at the end of this series. Give him a huge pay raise and the captaincy
86th over: Australia 219-9 (Starc 22, Hazlewood 0). A rare bumper targets Starc’s head second ball of Umesh’s new over. He tries to hook/swat it, but no contact made. Thankfully, misses his helmet at well. Super impressive response from the Aussie quick too, leaning into a straight drive straight from the MCC manual. Totally risk-free, timed into the rope. Really mature batting. Sure enough, another short ball follows, but he’s again able to get out of the way. Then the final ball of the over, on his pads, is met with a push that beats midwicket and gets him three. Seven from the set and he keeps the strike. He’s into the 20s as well. Four overs to go and these two are salvaging something.
85th over: Australia 212-9 (Starc 15, Hazlewood 0). The new ball has been taken. Jayant gets first use, with his bouncy off-breaks, replacing Ashwin at the Grandstand End. Starc belies the short odds on him trying to take him on, content to turn a single into the on-side. One against Hazlewood does the team thing in defence. It wouldn’t be nothing if they can get through to stumps. They certainly didn’t make a habit of it four years ago on these shores.
Smith’s wicket a turning point after a promising start. Reverse swing might help Starc n Hazlewood but oz 100 short of a decent total
84th over: Australia 211-9 (Starc 14, Hazlewood 0). Hazlewood does the right thing here and defends Umesh the best he can, giving Starc another chance to swing next over. He did play and miss once, but he’s still there.
ToffeeDan on twitter getting a positive spin in for the English, who were thrashed four-zip here before Christmas. “I think we’ll now see England’s efforts in India were not as bad as people made out – we competed well but fell short.”
83rd over: Australia 211-9 (Starc 14, Hazlewood 0). Not unreasonably, the Starc takes the first opportunity he has to free the arms and swing, popping Ashwin over the rope at cow corner. Playing to his strengths. He’s good enough to keep Ashwin out for the remainder of the over. I’d imagine both of these guys are thinking about the couple of overs they will likely get with ball in hand before the close.
Umesh Yadav’s stats v Australia get better
29 wickets at 38.75 and a wicket every 51 balls
39% of all his Test wickets v Aus#INDvAUS
82nd over: Australia 205-9 (Starc 8, Hazlewood 0). An hour ago Umesh was the least likely of the five bowlers to run through Australia. Or so it seemed. This has been an inspired spell. The hat-trick ball is a bit of a non-event, pushed out into the on-side off the thigh pad. But the movement he has consistently generated since coming back into the attack has left Australia’s innings in ruins here.
We’re in funky declaration territory. #IndvAus
Two in two balls! Plenty of reverse back into Lyon, who tries to play across his pad. Fails to get his bat down in time. That’s out! Umesh on a hat-trick to the number 11 Hazlewood!
What a take! Earns the O’Keefe edge, after such a struggle, and he sticks out the one hand at full-stretch and brings it down. The crowd absolutely loving that. The Australian spinner is furious, but not much he could have done about that. The tourists floundering. Reminiscent of Sri Lanka.
80th over: Australia 198-7 (Starc 2, O’Keefe 0). Steering off an edge, Starc is off-strike from the first Umesh delivery. Plenty of reverse coming at O’Keefe when it is his turn, twice hit on the pads and looking generally uncomfortable. But he survives. And now they get a drink. Ten overs to go. No hurry at all for the hosts to get through them. They’ll grind Australia here.
79th over: Australia 198-7 (Starc 1, O’Keefe 0). Ashwin lobs in the one that goes the other way to O’Keefe as a welcome. But he’s up to it in defence. The last of the over rips past the right-hander, clipping a thigh pad on the way through by the looks for a couple of leg-byes. Rugged out there now for the Australians. A long way to stumps.
Well, we can forget about him carrying his bat. Instead, Renshaw has nicked off to Ashwin. It’s a beaut bit of bowling, more or less squaring him up from around the wicket, forcing a stroke. Vijay has to make some ground in front of him to claim the catch, and does so nicely. The end of an excellent hand. But it won’t be enough to save Australia from a poor opening day from here.
78th over: Australia 195-6 (Renshaw 68, Starc 0). It may be a bit of a mess around him, but Renshaw keeps on doing his thing. This time via a clip off Umesh. Well judged, well executed.
77th over: Australia 191-6 (Renshaw 64, Starc 0). Renshaw gives the strike to Starc from Ashwin’s first delivery. Perhaps a fraction bold, but then again, too early to be thinking like that. Right? He’s doing the right thing by getting his giant front foot out to the pitch best he can, but the master offie is still able to beat the bat.
Excellent query from Dom Milesi on the tweet:
@RicFinlay @collinsadam If Renshaw remains not out would he be considered to have carried his bat?
76th over: Australia 190-6 (Renshaw 63, Starc 0). It’s Renshaw and the Bowlers. Not the most punchy name for a band, but it’ll have to work if the tourists are to get out of jail from here. Starc successfully sees off the first couple. Remember, of course, that his last Test hit in this country was a career-high 99. We can dream.
Perfect bowling change from Kohli, going back to his quick after Jayant struggled to find his length. Renshaw got off strike to fine leg, but Wade wouldn’t survive one ball. Nigel Llong didn’t hesitate in raising the finger, around the wicket to the left-hander introducing some doubt, but he was so far across. DRS was called upon – it had to be in the circumstances – but only served to confirm that it would have clipped leg stump. That’s enough. He goes. After such a promising start, Australia may struggle to bat out the day.
WICKET! Umesh has trapped Wade. But we’re upstairs on review. Stand by!
75th over: Australia 189-5 (Renshaw 62, Wade 8). Ashwin’s turn to skip through a maiden to Wade this time. He looks more likely against the newer of the two incumbent batsmen. A man he had a lot of success against four years ago.
74th over: Australia 189-5 (Renshaw 62, Wade 8). Oh yeah this is great batting from Renshaw. Jayant overpitches as he did in the first over of this spell, and the big Queenslander gets down the track and clobbers him to long-on for four. It’s a lovely shot, moving him into the 60s. Such positive footwork, but in attack and defence. Hard to imagine there was even a debate as to whether he should have been on this tour to begin with.
73rd over: Australia 184-5 (Renshaw 58, Wade 7). Consecutive maidens from Ashwin to Renshaw. Early in the set he beats the opener’s edge when getting one to rag, but for the most part he continues to have this under control.
Nigam Nuggehalli on the email. Hi Nigam.
72nd over: Australia 184-5 (Renshaw 58, Wade 7). Jayant into the attack from what I’m going to call the Commentary End, skipping away from us in the press box towards Wade initially. So it is two off-breakers against the Aussie left-handers. Makes sense from Kohli. A sweep from the shorter of the two men puts Renshaw back on strike. And he doesn’t miss his opportunity when it comes, crashing a cover drive to the rope. That’s a good way to keep a new bowler honest. A single to fine leg, nicely worked, keeps him the strike. Such a vital partnership here.
71st over: Australia 178-5 (Renshaw 53, Wade 6). Ashwin versus Renshaw. A stalemate. A maiden. Some flighted, some darts. Renshaw defending throughout. Impressive.
Scott Lowe has dropped me a line (you can too, you know). “As Bender from Futurama would say: ‘Well, we’re boned.’ Watch Australia nurdle and scrap to 250, maybe 300, and then India go at 4 an over while amassing 500-odd.”
70th over: Australia 178-5 (Renshaw 53, Wade 6). Wade off the mark with a boundary himself, Jadeja a bit wide of his mark and the punchy Australian able to flay with enough control down to third man. There’s a bit of excitement when the same batsman looks to almost give a chance to leg-slip. But he’s all good. He’s beaten in flight to end the over, a more conventional inside edge, probably fortunate not to do him in.
With Australia 176-5, #WinViz likes India’s chances with a 73% win probability for the hosts and the draw tumbling down to 4%#INDvAUS
69th over: Australia 172-5 (Renshaw 53, Wade 0). Come on, all together now! “Our Matt Renshaw, Every Aussie dips his lid to you!”. Okay, the Bradman comparison is a bit out of line, but I’m pretty excited about his half-century here, brought up with a glance down the legside that went away to the rope. It needed to hit bat, otherwise it would have collected stumps. But it’s fifty all the same to the poorly opener. In the baggy green no less. Just as impressive: the calm he shows to prevent Ashwin building up a head of steam earlier in the set. Plenty of variety, but not the penetration he gets when pinning a batsman down. Especially a left-hander. 125 balls for the milestone, in case you were wondering.
68th over: Australia 168-5 (Renshaw 49, Wade 0). Wade nearly goes first ball! It’s off the glove, or perhaps shoulder of the bat, after Jaedja generates massive turn now from over the wicket. Wade was right to get inside the line, but you don’t expect to get those first up. Lucky for him, it misses leg slip’s outstretched hand. Oh, as I say all that, it is signalled a leg-bye, so thigh pad rather than glove. Still, an eventful start to the ‘keeper/bat’s shift.
lol Mitch Marsh asking if he should review. Just get off mate.
Genius from Jadeja. Coming wide of the crease he threw a couple up to Marsh early in the over, before unleashing his quicker slider. The Australian had no chance, much like Handscomb before him, the ball crashing into his back pad. No need to bother with the DRS there. Superb bowling. India now a real sniff to run through the visitors before stumps.
67th over: Australia 166-4 (Renshaw 49, Marsh 4). Ashwin is giving it a mighty old rip out there, turning past Marsh’s pads a couple of times. Makes Smith’s win at the toss look all the more important. Marsh is up to the challenge through, and clips through midwicket for a single.
66th over: Australia 165-4 (Renshaw 49, Marsh 3). Forgot how hard it is to OBO when these two are operating. They race through their respective sets, never giving the batsmen a moment to settle. Renshaw buys himself some time the old-fashioned way through, making the Indians retrieve the red thing from the gutter after sweeping over backward square. Not the most controlled shot, but adds to his sound start after tea. A couple more to midwicket follows. Who called this bloke slow? He’s one short of a half-ton, by the way.
65th over: Australia 159-4 (Renshaw 43, Marsh 3). A single down the ground to begin Ashwin’s over gets Marsh down the non-strikers end. Where he’ll fancy spending plenty of time in the first half hour here. I’m a bit of a fan of Our Mitch’s batting in Asia, I want to say off the top, while it is unfashionable. I know it was a long time ago, but remember Abu Dhabi? And he had his moments of calm in Sri Lanka too. He’ll surely do something daft now that I’ve said this, but you’ve got to speculate to accumulate and all that. Renshaw defends the remainder of the over. And he’s tidy. Then he grabs a single himself to the last ball of the over, it’s Ashwin’s straight one by the looks. Taken through midwicket. Good batting.
64th over: Australia 157-4 (Renshaw 42, Marsh 2). Shottttttt. Renshaw in the baggy green starts the session with a delightful clip over midwicket. Always a bold stroke against Jadeja with his canny changes of direction. No concerns at any stage through the over. Hopefully by stumps the story will be what he’s done in the middle, not in the dunny.
Good afternoon from Pune.
Adam Collins with you here at the MCA Ground. I slipped in the back door here during the middle session after a rather eventful overnight journey that took me here via Ethiopia. Then seemingly just as long: every backstreet in Pune from the hotel to the ground. Anyway, we’re all set now. Just as Australia were about 20 minutes before lunch. Dear me how they will live to regret those couple of late ones on the cusp of the internal. Not least the skipper. Not one for his youtube highlights reel.
63rd over: Australia 153-4 (Renshaw 38, Marsh 2)
And that is that for the second session as both sides walk off for tea. What gripping cricket we’ve had so far. David Warner and Matt Renshaw were exemplary in the early stages of the day before Warner departed to a loose shot and Renshaw a loose stool. The latter is back at the crease now in partnership with Mitch Marsh, after both Steve Smith and Peter Handscomb got themselves out right when they were set.
62nd over: Australia 152-4 (Renshaw 37, Marsh 2)
Pointless stat time! Phil Withall has a beauty. “Your mention of impressive early averages reminded me of an interesting stat from Ric Finlay, statistical behemoth and fountain of knowledge,” Phil writes. “If Don Bradman had played every Test since he retired in 1948, and scored a duck in every innings, his average would be 5.88. Puts players early form into rather too much perspective.”
61st over: Australia 150-4 (Renshaw 36, Marsh 1)
Boy oh boy there is some spice in this game. Marsh nearly perishes immediately when he’s given out caught behind from the bowling of Ashwin, but he confidently reviews Richard Kettleborough’s decision and you can see why once the replay flashes up; it only flicked his back pad on the way through. Finally a good review. Marsh opens the face of the bat to gather a single and get off the mark, and with that Australia’s 150 is up.
Chaos now as Smith goes as well! He shuffles across to Ashwin, who has been unusually subdued today, and flicks the ball straight into the hands of Kohli at wide mid-on. My oh my that is a terrible way to go so close to tea. He’s absolutely filthy with himself, the Aussie skipper. Australia were set fair two overs ago. Now they’re in a hole.
60th over: Australia 149-3 (Smith 27, Renshaw 36)
Matt Renshaw returns! The weary wanderer is back after his stomach complaint of earlier. He retired ill 15 minutes before lunch and returns about the same period of time until tea.
I’ve mozzed Handscomb! Oh dear, terrible OBOing that. And terrible work by him calling for the baggy green cap, which was also the undoing of David Warner. Jadeja is the bowler, and Handscomb wanders aimlessly in front of his stumps and misses with n attempted prod to leg. It pitches and hits in line with the stumps, rapping his back leg and giving Nigel Llong no other choice. It’s so plumb that Smith advises against a review.
59th over: Australia 149-2 (Smith 27, Handscomb 22)
You know, Smith and Handscomb are such an oasis of calm at the moment that I’d been lulled into a false sense of security, broken a moment ago when I looked at the scorecard and saw “M.S. Wade”. Actual heart palpitation. I wonder how many Wade-related ailments were treated by Australian doctors in the last four months.
58th over: Australia 146-2 (Smith 26, Handscomb 20)
Some Ravi Jadeja brilliance here. The spinner makes a hash of his second delivery to Handscomb and it bounces twice on its way past the batsman. Handscomb takes a decent old swipe at it but misses, then has a laugh. He wouldn’t have been smiling if he’d nicked it. Jadeja then produces one of his more typical no-balls, somehow over-stepping again from that five-pace approach of his. He and Wahab Riaz should form a support group, really. Or a boy band. I’d buy that single.
57th over: Australia 144-2 (Smith 26, Handscomb 19)
“You are mentally one of the toughest players I’ve seen,” says Sanjay Manjrekar to Sunil Gavaskar up in the commentary box. And you thought Channel Nine were a bunch of homers… He’s possibly not referring to his 36 from 174 deliveries to open the 1975 World Cup, although I guess that required application of sorts. Feel free to write in with your favourite pointless innings of all time. That is probably mine.
56th over: Australia 142-2 (Smith 25, Handscomb 18)
He’s been itching to unleash and now Handscomb does, getting forward to a full one from Ashwin and composing a very effective cover drive to pick up four. There is also a an uppish flick wide of mid-wicket for another boundary. Smith is less obtrusive, working singles with the stealth of a Ninja.
55th over: Australia 133-2 (Smith 24, Handscomb 10)
For those impressed by things such as 100-run Test averages early in the careers of quite-good batsmen, Peter Handscomb is now in Adam Voges territory. Voges was in early-Jimmy Adams territory. Now he’s in the Sheffield Shield. A lesson for us all there. A single to Smith is the only damage in this Ishant over, and Handscomb finishes it almost chopping one onto his stumps.
54th over: Australia 132-2 (Smith 23, Handscomb 10)
Ravi Ashwin is back into the attack now, and his stacked leg side field to Handscomb perhaps telegraphs the kind of line he’ll be pursuing. If the Victorian is perturbed he’s not showing it, but he is forced onto the front foot for much of the over, which he generally prefers not to do.
The major key to Batting on turning pitches is. Or to fight the spin. Instead, use it to create angles to score.. just adjust
53rd over: Australia 132-2 (Smith 23, Handscomb 10)
One thing I do wonder about Handscomb is whether his stance to the quicks – so far back in the crease so as to suggest he might hit his stumps – doesn’t play into the hands of bowlers like Ishant. Sure enough, the Indian paceman zeroes in on middle and leg with a fast yorker but Handscomb keeps it out. Ishant is keeping things neat and tidy and tailing it in to the right-handers, but he’s hardly sending shivers down the spines of Australia’s batsmen.
52nd over: Australia 131-2 (Smith 23, Handscomb 9)
Having done a lengthy apprenticeship in the Sheffield Shield and various A teams, Peter Handscomb is ready for this No5 role, and it shows in the way he’s comfortably batting away Ravi Jadeja’s wares early in this innings. He surveys the field like a hawk, and eventually swoops on a single to retain the strike.
51st over: Australia 130-2 (Smith 23, Handscomb 8)
Weirdly, it’s the Indian members of the international commentary feed – Sunny Gavaskar at the moment – who are complaining most about the crumbling surface on day one. In truth, it could get ugly in the second innings based on what we’ve seen, but Australia being 129-2 on it indicates it’s not exactly a minefield. I guess uneven bounce is going to be the issue. Speaking of uneven, Ishant is back into the attack now. Like Samson before him, I think there is something of his magic which is lost when his long locks aren’t flapping in the breeze behind him. Two off the over.
50th over: Australia 128-2 (Smith 22, Handscomb 7)
Another single to Smith is the only damage in Jadeja’s last over before drinks, so we’re halfway through the second session and Australia are only two wickets down. If you’d offered that analysis to the skipper at the toss, I think he would have taken it.
49th over: Australia 127-2 (Smith 21, Handscomb 7)
As Handscomb flicks his first boundary past the man at leg slip, I will be honest with you: live-blogging two bowlers whipping through overs as quickly as Jayant and Jadeja do isn’t great for my creative process. They’re going by quicker than Ramones songs. I feel also for reader Phil Withall, who was apparently crafting a sublime email, which has been made redundant by the Shaun Marsh wicket. I’m sorry Phil. The Marsh family will always let you down in the end.
48th over: Australia 121-2 (Smith 20, Handscomb 2)
Howzat! India start the over with a huge LBW shout against Smith but it’s turned down, and the home side have no reviews left. Smith was forward and defending, and had his bat tucked behind his pad a little, but umpire Nigel Llong fancied that it was either hitting outside the line of off or else spinning past off stump. It’s a super over from Jadeja. He might be chipping away at Wriddhiman Saha for those wasted reviews in the next few minutes.
47th over: Australia 121-2 (Smith 20, Handscomb 2)
Handscomb is straight off the mark from Jayant, tucking one around the corner for two to gather his first Test runs on Indian soil. His arrival, of course, signals that Matt Renshaw is clearly too ill to return to the crease just yet.
Marsh goes! Wow, thank came from nowhere. Kohli positions himself at leg slip just in the nick of time, moving into position a few balls before Marsh plays a slightly misjudged sweep off Jayant. In the follow-through to the shot, Marsh’s bat sweeps around the corner and the ball rolls off its back, straight into the hands of the Indian skipper. Marsh is gone. Peter Handscomb will be the new man for Australia.
46th over: Australia 119-1 (Smith 20, Marsh 16)
Hmm, slightly dicey single here from Marsh, who puts his skipper in a bit of bother when he belts one to mid on and sets off. Smith dives at the keeper’s end and does very well to move into the path of the throw and block the ball coming in, all without being too obvious about it. Virat Kohli is not amused.
45th over: Australia 118-1 (Smith 20, Marsh 15)
I think I said it earlier, but this has been a slightly Australian-style bowling effort from India in the first two sessions. Every other over there has been a full toss, half-volley or short one to dispatch to the fence. Couple that with a lot of singles, and the home side are just not exerting enough pressure for sustained periods. This Jayant over is a bit better, and a maiden.
44th over: Australia 118-1 (Smith 20, Marsh 15)
Jadeja continues to fly through his overs. We’ll be through 90 by tea if he stays on. He’s been expensive though; 0-36 from 12 overs is very loose stuff by his standards. He normally goes at under two an over against Australia.
43rd over: Australia 117-1 (Smith 19, Marsh 15)
Jayant returns now, and both batsmen find plenty of easy runs on offer before Shaun Marsh gets back and across to whip a neat late cut through gully for four. More cricket analysis from Ed Cowan, re bathroom visits on Indian tours:
@ajarrodkimber they tend to be high velocity, but short in time in my experience
42nd over: Australia 110-1 (Smith 16, Marsh 11)
I’m not sure who the commentator is, but somebody has just suggested that Steve Smith doesn’t get out LBW as often as Shane Watson because he’s “mentally tougher”. Hmm. I’ll tell you one thing, you wouldn’t want to bowl him many long hops, as Ravi Jadeja does here. Smith unfurls a lavish pull shot and smokes it to the fence at deep mid-wicket. There is a nice little partnership developing between he and Marsh.
41st over: Australia 105-1 (Smith 11, Marsh 11)
Yadav continues for his sixth over now, and it’s much ado about very little as Marsh has a good look. With nothing much doing there, I’ve had time to study the brilliant photo below, which aptly summarises the sheer terror Matt Renshaw must have been experiencing in the moments before he sprinted off the ground before lunch. Poor bloke.
40th over: Australia 105-1 (Smith 11, Marsh 11)
Hmm, it appears as though Wriddhiman Saha was the culprit again with that review. Yadav would go for it either way, because he’s a bowler, but as per the earlier one the keeper had the casting vote and gave it the nod. Now his side will go 40 overs without access to a review.
39th over: Australia 104-1 (Smith 11, Marsh 10)
That shout aside, I don’t want to be pumping up Smith’s tyres too early, but he is batting beautifully so far. His glance for four off Yadav earlier in the over was effortless.
Worth a shout, but it was angling well down the leg side – a good four or five inches past leg stump. Easy to say from the sofa, but India have really burnt their reviews today. Both are done and dusted inside 40 overs.
I don’t think they’re even sure, but it’s Smith, so they have a bash anyway.
38th over: Australia 100-1 (Smith 7, Marsh 10)
Reader Raf K is equally puzzled about this pant-soiling bravado from former players. “All these claims that X would have batted on with a lost limb, X would have batted on while fountaining blood,” Raf writes. “I don’t remember any of these hard men ever actually having to do any of these things. Really brave to claim after the fact that they totally would have done it, though.”
37th over: Australia 99-1 (Smith 6, Marsh 10)
Yadav is hardly setting the world alight here and strays onto Marsh’s pads, which is never advisable. Australia’s No4 eats that up, turning a crisp drive through mid-wicket for four and building some early momentum. The eternal risk with Marsh is an early dismissal, but I’m tempted to say he’s off and away here.
36th over: Australia 93-1 (Smith 5, Marsh 5)
Not mentioned yet: Jadeja is up to his old tricks with the front-foot no balls. He sends down his third here, and there’s two through cover for Smith. It’s been a fairly docile 10 minutes or so after lunch.
35th over: Australia 90-1 (Smith 3, Marsh 5)
Umesh Yadav gets another go after lunch, which he probably deserves for nipping out David Warner and turning Matt Renshaw’s stomach to jelly. But he won’t be bowling for long if he keeps giving half-volleys to Shaun Marsh. The Western Australian gets one here and plays a typically gorgeous cover drive to the fence. I’ll be honest, I’m not happy about missing out on watching Usman Khawaja, but when Marsh plays shots like that he’s very easy on the eye as well.
34th over: Australia 85-1 (Smith 2, Marsh 1)
“These are live pictures comin’ out of Poo-nay,” says Brendan Julian, and with that we’re back for the second session. Ravi Jadeja bowls, and Steve Smith works him for a quick single first up. Shaun Marsh deals with the rest of the over, and as he does, debate continues to rage about Renshaw’s upset stomach. A worrying amount of former players are seeming to suggest they’d happily soil themselves on live TV.
I’m still getting my head around this… JL would of lost a limb and still batted on #oldschool #cricket #AUSvIND https://t.co/1IVu2aUC9N
Ed Cowan weighs in on belly-gate now
Background info: Cowan is on KP’s Twitter block list, one of social media’s great honours.
Still don’t know why he didn’t leave his bat and gloves there and just go to the toilet a la KP did at the SCG?? Game stops for 3 mins… https://t.co/x5DZhl4TFP
Allan Border now weighs in on Matt Renshaw retiring ill
“I hope he’s lying on the table in there half dead” says the famously hard taskmaster of Australia’s rookie opener in a segment on Fox Sports. “Otherwise, as a captain I would not be happy.” Border also praised the Queenslander’s batting, to be fair. But I think I know which bit will make the news headlines.
Perhaps it wasn’t so clear why Matt Renshaw went off
Michael Clarke, for one, seemed confused. Clearly he’s avoided the local street food.
Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.. I had no idea what I was watching! https://t.co/9huPGzK6Oa
Further confirmation of Matt Renshaw’s, erm, illness. For 90 minutes he was squirting the Indian spinners down leg in the way every batsman wants to. Now he’s in a bit more strife.
Word from the dressing room is that Renshaw “has an upset stomach”. #euphemism #INDvAUS
33rd over: Australia 84-1 (Smith 1, Marsh 1)
And that is lunch on day one, a session in which David Warner departed having done all the hard work, and Matt Renshaw had to retire ill with a stomach complaint, launching a thousand bad tweets about being in the runs. Steve Smith was the puzzled onlooker as his opening batsman sprinted off, and even more baffled was Shaun Marsh, who arrived at the crease in bizarre scenes. Both current batsmen got off the mark in this final over from Ravi Ashwin, and survive it without the loss of a wicket. A weird, brilliant, absorbing session of cricket. Advantage Australia.
32nd over: Australia 82-1 (Smith 0, Marsh 0)
Jadeja has two slips and a silly point in place for Steve Smith, who likes to come down the wicket to the spinners. Never mind that, Jadeja has turned one a good 12 inches to beat the bat and Smith almost falls on his face in the aftermath. Hmm, maybe we’ll get yet another over. Jadeja sprinted through that one like Carl Lewis.
Matt Renshaw in the change rooms right now #IndvAus #INDvAUS #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/Kp2jPwK7CI
31st over: Australia 82-1 (Smith 0, Marsh 0)
To his credit, Shaun Marsh has been rock solid so far, even if he’s probably feeling the pressure of not getting off the mark from his first dozen deliveries faced. He shouldn’t worry. It’s better than being in the change rooms damaging the Doulton. We’ll have one more over before lunch.
30th over: Australia 82-1 (Smith 0, Marsh 0)
Talk has inevitably turned to what AB would have made of Renshaw’s departure, with particular reference to his efforts in keeping Dean Jones at the crease in Madras, back in 1986. The difference there: Deano was merely chundering, and it wasn’t televised around the world. Imagine soiling your dacks on live TV, in front of millions, and becoming an internet meme for the rest of your life. No thanks. Well played, Mr Renshaw.
What would Allan Border say about this? #IndvAus
29th over: Australia 82-1 (Smith 0, Marsh 0)
This is a bit of a nightmare scenario for Shaun Marsh, who faces up to Ravi Ashwin now and hopes he can survive the ten minutes until lunch. The only incident of this over is when Marsh half-considers a suicidal single and gets sent back by his skipper. Lads, calm down. Please.
28th over: Australia 82-1 (Smith 0, Marsh 0)
The rest of the over pass without further incident as Smith finds his way, but what a bizarre turn of events that was following the introduction of Umesh Yadav. He got Warner with his second ball, and Renshaw ran off with an upset stomach not long after. Only Australia could conjure such a crisis out of a period of normality.
Oh my word. Australia were rock solid a moment ago. Now they’re in a state of chaos. Renshaw is retiring ill! There was an exchange with Steve Smith and umpire Nigel Llong in which the youngster appeared to ask for a toilet break, but in cricket there is no such thing of course, so he has to retire and we’ll have two new batsmen at the crease. Weird. I’m tipping Shaun Marsh didn’t have that in his plans five minutes ago, but he trots out to the middle now as Renshaw sprints into the sheds.
Can we get a hotspot on Renshaw pls ump?
Warner goes just before lunch! Oh dear. Having landed the symbolic blow of seeing the spinners off, Warner perishes just as the fun is about to begin. The paceman Umesh Yadav arrives with some pretty uninspiring stuff, but Warner throws his bat at a length ball well outside off stump and sends an inside edge crashing into his timber. He’ll be livid with that. With just 15 minutes to go before lunch and plenty of hard work done, he errs badly.
27th over: Australia 81-0 (Warner 38, Renshaw 36)
Ashwin has a very healthy LBW shout against Warner early in this over but when it’s turned down, perhaps spooked by a howler earlier, India forego the opportunity of a review. That looked very good to me. Might have been umpire’s call, replays reveal. Lucky I’m not an umpire I guess.
26th over: Australia 80-0 (Warner 37, Renshaw 36)
Am I the only one a little stunned by this start? Perhaps I underestimated Renshaw, but his ability to play late and with an open face to blunt the spinners has been a revelation so far. It’s a subtle but important difference to batting Australia, where the spin is less drastic and the ball comes through from even bounce. Renshaw’s 90 minutes into his first Test tour of India and he’s batting like Alastair Cook.
25th over: Australia 78-0 (Warner 36, Renshaw 35)
This is almost Australian-style bowling here from India. Ashwin has plenty of decent moments in the first five balls of the over, but again finishes with a loose one. This time it’s a full toss, and it gets belted through mid-wicket for another boundary.
24th over: Australia 74-0 (Warner 32, Renshaw 35)
Perhaps Jadeja should be focusing less on the patch of rough outside the off stump of the left handers and simply focus on building pressure. He’s got a slip, a leg slip and a fine leg for Warner, but the Australian has no worries transferring his weight back and, without moving his feet much, pulling the ball with exquisite timing to pick up four through deep mid-wicket. What a shot that was. A few balls later Renshaw gets in on the act, skipping down the track and clobbering Jadeja over cow for a big six. Australia are taking the fight to India here. Superb batting, and utterly fascinating cricket.
23rd over: Australia 63-0 (Warner 27, Renshaw 29)
The key to Renshaw’s success so far is that he’s playing the ball very late, allowing himself to alter his stroke late in the piece. It genuinely is wonderful to see an Australian batsman so prepared for his task. It’s a bit weird, actually. Are we sure he’s actually an Aussie?
22nd over: Australia 62-0 (Warner 26, Renshaw 29)
With his undercut and his wraparound shades, Jadeja looks like he could slot into a backing dancer role for the Kriss Kross reunion tour. But he’s not yet hitting his straps with his bowling, and Renshaw simply waits for the bad ball and gets down the track to belt four over mid-wicket when the bowler over-pitches.
21st over: Australia 57-0 (Warner 25, Renshaw 25)
Warnie is really laying it on thick now. “It looks like the surface of Mars,” he says of the pitch. It’s not that bad, honestly. Renshaw even hits Ashwin for a boundary in this over, sweating on a loose one and getting it from the final delivery, which shoots down leg and allows him to glance to the rope at fine leg.
20th over: Australia 53-0 (Warner 25, Renshaw 21)
Wily Jadeja is bowling into a bit of rough here and almost snakes one through Warner’s slightly sketchy back-foot defence. Shane Warne goes a bit further, calling it a “crater” on a good length. Some advice for me: perhaps have alternative entertainment plans lined up for days four and five of this match.
19th over: Australia 50-0 (Warner 25, Renshaw 20)
A note of caution as Warner and Renshaw reach their 50-run partnership: Warner and Ed Cowan did this in the third Test of Australia’s last tour of India. Even better: they put on 180. And Australia still got flogged like the cheapest rental car in the lot. All I’m saying is we shouldn’t get too carried away. As they always say: you can’t judge a pitch until Nathan Lyon’s bowled on it. Ashwin finishes the over with a huge off-break past Warner, as huge chunks of the surface come free. We might be here for a good time, not a long time.
18th over: Australia 49-0 (Warner 25, Renshaw 19)
Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste. I’ve been around for a long, long year, stole many an Australian’s outside edge. Yes, It’s Ravindra Jadeja appearing for his first spell of the game, and his flamboyant arrival has Warner playing a slightly impetuous paddle sweep for one. That doesn’t seem smart.
17th over: Australia 44-0 (Warner 24, Renshaw 15)
Ooft! We’re back after drinks and David Warner has almost been done in by a Jayant Yadav off break, which he fences at ineptly and almost edges behind to Saha. The left-hander has a better moment a few balls later, crouching slightly as he rocks onto the back foot and sends a short one crashing into the boundary at deep mid-wicket. Warner absolutely creamed that one.
16th over: Australia 40-0 (Warner 20, Renshaw 15)
Ashwin fancies a decent run at Renshaw here, and calls Kohli in as a second slip, and there is a leg slip as well. The young Aussie half-plays/half-leaves at one point, hitting the ball with the back of the bat when he meant to let it pass by. With that, both sides take a well-earned drink, after a first hour in witch the tourists have performed admirably to retain all ten wickets. I’ll admit it: I expected at least one to fall by now.
15th over: Australia 40-0 (Warner 20, Renshaw 15)
Reader Ned Hurley is throwing his weight behind the Marsh brothers, because somebody bar their Dad has to. “People forget that the Marsh brothers are like paper fans: bloody useless in Australia with our abundance of air con, but invaluable on the subcontinent.” Right as he says so, Warner seizes upon a half-tracker from Jayant and him Jayant through mid-wicket for a stress-relieving boundary.
14th over: Australia 30-0 (Warner 16, Renshaw 14)
Renshaw turns a single to start the over and gets down to the non-striker’s end, which is the best place to be when Ravi Ashwin is bowling. Warner has a slightly easier time of it, almost turning a single of his own towards mid-wicket and driving back at the bowler. Ashwin was a bit too full there. Six inches back of a length from what he was bowling there and he’s a shoo-in for a wicket.
13th over: Australia 29-0 (Warner 16, Renshaw 13)
Jayant continues to Renshaw, drawing the youngster forward into Matthew Haydenesque lunges. “I’m really proud of this start by Australia,” says Michael Clarke, abandoning journalistic objectivity at the outset. Look out if either of these two posts a hundred, he might do a lap of honour with them.
12th over: Australia 28-0 (Warner 16, Renshaw 12)
Ashwin is really doing his thing now, and jags a trio of monstrous off-breaks past the outside edge of David Warner. The Australian is made to look an absolute rube here. The cordon are doing that muffled cackling thing you hear when a wicket is surely about to fall. Warner survives the over but only just. It took him until his fifth and sixth overs, but Ashwin is letting it rip.
11th over: Australia 28-0 (Warner 16, Renshaw 12)
I’d be tempted to bring Jadeja on here, to be honest, though I’m not Virat Kohli. Jayant is a bit better in this over and it costs just a single to Warner. Reader Dhiraj Kukreja arrives with a good point: “I really wish England had got such a pitch for their series. Beefy’s moaning alone would have made the series worth watching.” Again: if it annoys Ian Botham, it’s probably good.
10th over: Australia 27-0 (Warner 15, Renshaw 12)
As Michael Clarke points out in the commentary box, this is when the ball really starts to turn. Renshaw has far more to worry about in this over, but negotiates the carrom ball and a few other varieties to see it out. Ravi Ashwin is back in the game.
He was dicing with danger by playing with a diagonal bat at Ashwin, but there is daylight between ball and outside edge, so he survives a big shout. India have wasted a review.
10th over: Australia 27-0 (Warner 15, Renshaw 12)
9th over: Australia 27-0 (Warner 15, Renshaw 12)
Jayant Yadav appears with his right-arm off-spin, which has yielded nine wickets in four Tests so far. He might have had a few more if Ashwin left any for the rest. The new bowler sends an absolute gem of an off-break past Warner’s outside edge with his first delivery. Hooley dooley that spun. Still, a few balls later he errs, over-pitching and being belted through mid-wicket for a Warner boundary, then another through cover when he drops short outside off. Warner is batting his his baggy green cap now and warming to his task.
8th over: Australia 19-0 (Warner 7, Renshaw 12)
Warner allows an element of risk now, getting down the track and sweeping Ashwin hard past the man at short leg for a single. Renshaw, on the other hand, is combining that length front-foot stride with an open face of the bat when he defends. Now there is no man in short on the off side, so he’s looking calm and assured in his technique. Ashwin is still racing through his overs, but for now he’s no significant threat.
7th over: Australia 18-0 (Warner 6, Renshaw 12)
Ishant appears for another over, which is thirsty work in this kind of heat – humid and likely to climb past 36 degrees celsius throughout the afternoon session. At the other end David Warner is a study in self-control. So far he’s resisted the urge to heave at anything outside off stump, and he’s working his way into the game with singles and leaves. Such discipline has forced Ishant to change his approach from over to around the wicket at various points, and without success. Australia have been disorientingly solid in the early stages of this innings.
6th over: Australia 17-0 (Warner 5, Renshaw 12)
Ashwin is giving the ball plenty of that beautiful loop he gets outside off stump to the left-handers. He’d probably pay to bowl all day at lefties, he has so much fun doing it. Right now both batsmen are keeping busy, getting in giant strides to defend and tucking every single they can manage before the spinner settles into a rhythm. So far so good for Australia.
5th over: Australia 14-0 (Warner 3, Renshaw 11)
Ishant keeps trucking for what might be the last over of his spell, straying a little straight again to hand Warner a single down to fine leg. As that is happening, Warnie is again taking the opportunity to pay out on Steve O’Keefe, and says rookie Mitchell Swepson should have been picked instead. Renshaw tucks a couple of runs between fine leg and deep square leg, and seems perfectly comfortable for now.
4th over: Australia 11-0 (Warner 2, Renshaw 9)
As much as possible, Renshaw seeks to play at his own pace here, making Ashwin wait a few seconds longer before taking his guard. But already the ball is taking sharp turn and bounce for the spinner. He sends a huge off break arcing past the outside edge, making Renshaw’s huge stride forward moot, and even clumsy. Otherwise the rookie does well, defending calmly.
3rd over: Australia 11-0 (Warner 2, Renshaw 9)
Warner is back where he is most comfortable at the start of the over, facing up to the pace of Ishant. The first one he gets from the paceman is back of a length and straight, so he turns it off his hip for a single to mid-wicket. Ishant, as ever, is sporting a man-bun that would have gone down well if he was a barista in Melbourne’s inner-north in about 2013. He’s also running down the middle of the pitch in his follow-through, scuffing up the surface. The umpires should be keeping an eye on that.
2nd over: Australia 9-0 (Warner 1, Renshaw 8)
OK, AB was almost right. Ashwin takes the second over, and has a slip, a short leg and a man in close on the off-side too. A couple of nervy deliveries and a Warner single later, Renshaw is made to wait as Kohli moves his cover around slightly. The only man put off is Ashwin, who fires one down the leg side and gets turned for a neat boundary by Renshaw.
1st over: Australia 4-0 (Warner 0, Renshaw 4)
Some bombshells to start with: Ishant Sharma gets the first over, not Ashwin, and Shane Warne is commentating on the international feed. Buckle in for some baked beans on toast banter, folks. Renshaw faces up to Ishant’s first and it keeps very low outside off stump. The Queenslander isn’t exactly committed in his footwork but, with an angled bat, he has it skidding away through gully for an early boundary.
The things I’m most looking forward to in this first session
If I’m being pessimistic: complete chaos. Glass half-full: seeing how Matt Renshaw deals with the spin onslaught he will face in his first Test on Indian soil. He said in the lead-up to this Test that he’d watched a bit of the England series prior, so perhaps he will take some confidence from the obdurate efforts of their teenage opener Haseeb Hameed. Just on that: Allan Border reckons Ravi Ashwin will bowl the first over of the game. Does he have inside mail? We will soon see.
This is a battle of spin bowling, make no mistake. Australia must have been tempted to take an extra spinner into this contest, but stick with their two stud quicks on the basis that it’s best to stick with your absolute best bowlers, regardless of their style.
So there is no spot for Mitchell Swepson or Ashton Agar, and plenty of pressure will be heaped upon Steve O’Keefe as the match progresses. He and Nathan Lyon took wickets in the tour match in Mumbai, but really copped some rough treatment too. For more on that conundrum, have a read of Sam Perry’s chat with a number of spin-literate heavy hitters of Australian cricket:
Related: India looms as a severe examination of Australia’s relationship to spin | Sam Perry
Our teams for this first Test – and apologies that it took so long, but neither of the two teams, nor the local broadcasters, was in too much of a hurry to let anyone know. I never thought I’d say this, but the BCCI have come up with the goods. Here is how they look, according to them:
India: M Vijay, L Rahul, C Pujara, V Kohli, A Rahane, W Saha, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, J Yadav, I Sharma, U Yadav.
“It’s very dry. I don’t think it’ll bounce a great deal,” says Steve Smith. “Hopefully we can post a good first-up total. The boys are excited about this challenge.”
“We would have looked to bat first as well,” says Virat Kohli, before pointing to the fact the same thing happened against England, who his team trounced.
Hello OBOers and welcome to ground zero: session one, day one, Test one. Australia. India. And the prospect of annihilation, let’s be honest. Will Australia’s makeshift batting line-up – likely to include both Marsh brothers again, after none in their last Test against Pakistan – stand up to the spin mastery of the Ravis Ashwin and Jadeja on a raging turner in Pune? This is among the many puzzlers facing the tourists, who have won just a single one of their last 18 Tests in Asia. What….where are you going?
Russell will be here shortly. In the meantime, take a look at his preview of the series:
Related: Australia must follow Steve Smith’s example to stand a chance in India | Russell Jackson
Related: India looms as a severe examination of Australia’s relationship to spin | Sam Perry