Russell Jackson

Author's details

Name: Russell Jackson
Date registered: August 4, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/football/western-sydney-wanderers

Latest posts

  1. Richmond defeat Carlton by 43 points in AFL season opener – as it happened — March 23, 2017
  2. AFL season preview: Giants expected to walk tall with Bulldogs and Swans | Russell Jackson — March 21, 2017
  3. Australia keep Border-Gavaskar series alive in Ranchi – as it happened — March 20, 2017
  4. Pujara century keeps India in the hunt in Ranchi – as it happened — March 18, 2017
  5. India fight back on day two of the third Test against Australia – as it happened — March 17, 2017

Author's posts listings

Mar 23

Richmond defeat Carlton by 43 points in AFL season opener – as it happened

  • Richmond defeat Carlton 20.12 (132) to 14.5 (89) at the MCG
  • Dustin Martin best on ground as the Tigers finish strongly

11.09am GMT

And that’s it from me

Thanks for joining us tonight on what turned out a pretty predictable result, but a worthwhile exercise on account of Dustin Martin’s brilliance. G’night.

Nice and loud, Tiger Army #gotiges pic.twitter.com/RCxYchJ8F1

11.03am GMT

Self-own of the night

Carlton might be sacking their banner-writer at some point this week.

#AFLBluesTigers @mcg @CarltonFC #banner @heraldsunsport @superfooty ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/tqJb2VDkbC

10.59am GMT

Full-time Richmond 20.12 (132) defeat Carlton 14.5 (89)

And that is the season-opener done. Carlton’s kids were gallant for much of this match, put they lacked the class, experience and powers of execution tonight, and faced a formidable opponent in the one-man show that is Dustin Martin. The Tigers midfielder was like Teenwolf tonight. The takeaway from tonight: get on him for the Brownlow.

10.54am GMT

Tigers goal! 4th quarter (3:18 remaining) Richmond 20.12 (132) vs Carlton 14.5 (89)

Grigg goals now for Richmond, but only because Martin handballed him a gimme. He should have six goals, Martin, but he’s bringing his team-mates into the game. “As good as it gets,” says Matthew Richardson. Martin is putting on a clinic.

10.53am GMT

Tigers goal! 4th quarter (4:04 remaining) Richmond 19.12 (126) vs Carlton 14.5 (89)

Only a smart intercept and handball from Jack Grimes stopped Marc Murphy slamming through yet another consolation goal for the Blues, but Carlton are basically controlling play in junk time. Wayne Carey says Tigers fans will be please with this performance but I’m sure they’ll also be a bit miffed by the prolonged periods in which their side has gone missing. Finally they get a goal here and guess who? Martin sharks a tap out 30 metres from goal, swivels around with a player hanging off his jumper and snaps truly. He’s a man among boys tonight.

10.48am GMT

Blues goal! 4th quarter (6:58 remaining) Richmond 18.12 (120) vs Carlton 14.5 (89)

Another consolation goal for Carlton as Matthew Wright cops one high in the goal square and puts away the simple chance, though not before an all-in fracas. It’s just pushing and shoving, mainly, and Martin is in the thick of the action. Of concern to Richmond: they’ve conceded 14 goals to the Blues. That ain’t a positive.

10.44am GMT

Blues goal! 4th quarter (8:54 remaining) Richmond 18.12 (120) vs Carlton 13.5 (83)

Carlton have ground to a halt in the final term but Jack Silvagni refuses to quit, and takes a strong mark 40 metres from goal and converts his chance. A few more performers of his tenacity and Carlton could have caused an upset tonight. We have a crowd figure now: 73,137. Pretty good going for two teams who’ll struggle more often than not.

10.41am GMT

Tigers goal! 4th quarter (10:47 remaining) Richmond 18.12 (120) vs Carlton 12.5 (77)

I won’t lie, with a 38-point buffer after that last goal it’s pretty much become a case of ‘wait until Dusty does something brilliant’. You know how LeBron James shrinks a basketball court, and Chris Lynn makes cricket grounds look too small? That is Dustin Martin right now; everything else in the game is secondary to his barnstorming brilliance. If he doesn’t get three Brownlow votes for this they should hold a Royal Commission. The game has degenerated a bit here, but Toby Nankervis has just taken a big pack mark in the goal square and slotted his second goal in what has been a promising first league performance for the Tigers.

10.34am GMT

Tigers goal! 4th quarter (15:51 remaining) Richmond 17.12 (114) vs Carlton 12.4 (76)

I can’t stress enough how many levels above every other player on the ground Dustin Martin has been tonight. It’s like there is a rogue older brother playing in an Under-12s game; he’s got stubble and a visible tattoo, every parent present knows it, but nobody wants to start a fight this early in the season. Meanwhile, Jack Silvagni has almost taken a big hanger, and the game flits from end to end in not particularly pretty style. Soon after Josh Caddy kicks one off the ground and goals from 15 metres out, but the accompanying cheers were for Martin, who barrelled the ball from just outside Carlton’s offensive 50 to well inside Richmond’s. He’s a remarkable footballer.

10.29am GMT

Tigers goal! 4th quarter (18:49 remaining) Richmond 16.12 (108) vs Carlton 12.4 (76)

Richmond are parking the bus? [Tim Allen ‘Home Improvement’ grunt rings out]. This is dismal from Richmond. They’ve started the final term with seven in defence. Right as I say that, Dustin Martin shoves Sam Docherty in the chest like a school bully, gets the ball to Rioli, and Rioli slams a goal home from close to 50 metres out.

10.21am GMT

Three-quarter time: Richmond 15.11 (101) vs Carlton 12.4 (76)

And that is all she wrote for the third term. Richmond went forward two final times for the term but couldn’t capitalise, which is apt. They’ve been oddly muted in this quarter, and they’ve given Carlton a sniff. The Blues have had 1o fewer scoring shots but they’re hanging in there. Richmond couldn’t possibly lose this from here, could they?

10.18am GMT

Blues goal! 3rd quarter (1:34 remaining) Richmond 15.11 (101) vs Carlton 12.4 (76)

Carlton surge yet again! Kade Simpson switches play coming out of defence and works the ball along the southern wing and soon finds Weitering at half-forward. He sends it inside 50 where Alex Rance grabs the ball and attempts to sprint into space, but in doing so he underrates the speed of Matthew Wright and gets tackled to the ground. Holding the ball! Wright is 25 metres out on a slight angle and sneaks it home! Richmond should have buried this game. Instead it’s in the balance.

10.16am GMT

Blues goal! 3rd quarter (3:42 remaining) Richmond 15.11 (101) vs Carlton 11.4 (70)

Carlton might be missing him in defence but Jacob Weitering is also a formidable target when he’s isolated one-on-one. Here he takes a towering mark over over Alex Rance and his fifth kick of the night turns out to be his third goal. Richmond: two steps forward, one step back.

10.13am GMT

Tigers goal! 3rd quarter (4:26 remaining) Richmond 15.11 (101) vs Carlton 10.4 (64)

Richmond need a spark here and there is little surprise it comes from Dustin Martin, who shimmies, shakes and bakes, then slips around an opponent before hitting Shane Edwards on the chest 40 metres from goal. It’s money for jam, this one, but Edwards misses. Suddenly it’s the Tigers who are anaemic and unconvincing; Carlton have cut off their run and refuse to allow them to play on at will as per the first half.

10.06am GMT

Blues goal! 3rd quarter (10:16 remaining) Richmond 14.9 (93) vs Carlton 10.4 (64)

I was exaggerating slightly about Carlton’s determined effort. They’ve lacked poise and class – and that is a function of experience – but they haven’t been disgraced so far. Unlike McIntosh earlier, Bryce Gibbs now gets pinged for a deliberate out of bounds when he sinks his boot into the ball when it’s on the ground, but Carlton recover well enough and Casboult is soon leaping high in the drop zone 35 metres out from goal, and not only marks but goals with his chance. Richmond have fallen asleep at the wheel again. A theory: these prolonged momentum problems don’t bode well for their season, even if there is plenty else to like.

10.02am GMT

Blues goal! 3rd quarter (12:55 remaining) Richmond 14.8 (92) vs Carlton 9.4 (58)

Right now Richmond lead the inside-50s by ten; 35-45. That seems about right. As does the sight of Jason Castagna with the ball in his hands. He marks another nice pass from Butler here, 45 metres out almost dead in front. He takes his time on a set shot but hangs it to the right – his seventh score involvement for the night.

9.57am GMT

Blues goal! 3rd quarter (16:12 remaining) Richmond 14.5 (89) vs Carlton 8.4 (52)

Alex Rance hasn’t had many possessions tonight but clears danger here for his side, intercepting and then sending them back into attack. Riewoldt marks 70 metres from goal and sends a long pass to Lloyd, but the latter is bodied out of the contest by Sam Docherty and the ball spills out of bounds. As is his lot in life, Levi Casboult gets a horror bounce out on the wing but Carlton somehow manufacture something. Pickett gets the ball in scoring range after a pass from Weitering but he flicks a handball over the top for Dale Thomas to get a gimme in the goal square. A welcome steadier for Carlton.

9.54am GMT

Tigers goal! 3rd quarter (18:07 remaining) Richmond 14.5 (89) vs Carlton 7.4 (46)

Only a bit of overly generous handballing from Jason Castagna (impressive so far) following another pass from Daniel Butler (even more impressive so far) prevents Carlton conceding an early goal here, but trouble does not clear. Jack Riewoldt soon has a set shot and opens his 2017 account by out-swinging a tough one from 40 metres out on a tightish angle. The floodgates could open, I fear.

9.51am GMT

We’re a few minutes away from the start of the second half, and to say Carlton need a big start is an understatement. They’re 37 points down at the moment and not looking a winning side. Marc Murphy now pulls his team-mates in close for an impassioned lecture, but it’s polish they’ll need to get back into this game. They’re really lacked for disposal efficiency when it’s counted.

9.46am GMT

Reader feedback: this is done

“You can put down your glasses,” emails Ian Swan. “The question now is whether to cheer the Bunnies against the Roosters, or mark your program for the French Film Festival.” I’d go with Truffaut and Meville, personally. Carlton could do with a few Alain Delon’s out there tonight, and maybe Jean-Paul Belmondo in the middle.

9.41am GMT

It might not be much of a contest

…but it’s clearly sent the AFL website into meltdown.

And how are our very good friends at the league going? pic.twitter.com/vQWBfwdaxe

9.38am GMT

Case closed: Carlton have to play Weitering back or they’ll leak 20 goals a game. #AFLBluesTigers

9.33am GMT

Half-time: Richmond 13.5 (83) vs Carlton 7.4 (46)

Cometh the hour, cometh Levi Casboult? Not quite. The big Blue has received goal-kicking coaching from Sav Rocca over the summer but misses a 50-metre shot here seconds from the siren, and that is that for the first half of footy in the 2017 season. We’ve had plenty of scoring from both sides in this opening half, but Richmond look too strong.

9.30am GMT

Tigers goal! 2nd quarter (0:52 remaining) Richmond 13.5 (83) vs Carlton 7.3 (45)

Daniel Rioli ignites his side now, climbing the back of an opponent to take a minor screamer on the wing and then looping a long pass inside 50 to a one-on contest that Sam Lloyd wins. He’s normally dead-eyed in front of goal, Lloyd, and makes no mistake with a wobbly punt.

9.28am GMT

Blues goal! 2nd quarter (2:11 remaining) Richmond 12.5 (77) vs Carlton 7.3 (45)

Sheesh, Damien Hardwick should be furious with his men for this late-quarter fade. They were dominant until five minutes ago, but Carlton are punishing them for taking the foot off the gas. Now Silvagni goals to trim the margin a little, though Jacob Weitering is off the ground and clearly pained by that lower back or hip injury from earlier in the night. Finally Richmond drop an extra man back. They’ve been sloppy for the last little bit.

9.25am GMT

Blues goal! 2nd quarter (3:06 remaining) Richmond 12.5 (77) vs Carlton 6.3 (39)

Bruce McAvaney is doing a very good job of pretending that we’ve still got a game on our hands but it’s not looking good for Carlton, who continue to miss targets at regular intervals. Even last year’s best and fairest, Patrick Cripps, is butchering it. Perhaps it’s best that the AFL website and app is down, because I can’t seek statistical confirmation of Carlton’s shortcomings. Kamdyn McIntosh gets lucky when he thumps the ball forward and out of bounds with clear intent to force a stoppage, and the umpire let’s it pass. Otherwise the umpire’s haven’t really come into it, and in fact Carlton soon get a goal with a counter-attack when Matthew Wright sprints into space and pokes one through uncontested. That came out of the blue.

9.21am GMT

Tigers goal! 2nd quarter (5:51 remaining) Richmond 12.5 (77) vs Carlton 5.3 (33)

Hmm, bad 50-metre penalty here just as Carlton were arresting their downward momentum, and it’s the most experienced man on the ground – 265-gamer Kade Simpson – who gives it away. It’s a costly one, as soon after Jason Castagna pins one of Dale Thomas’ arms and wins himself a free kick before slotting home his second goal of the night. It’s all going right for the Tigers now.

9.17am GMT

Blues goal! 2nd quarter (8:33 remaining) Richmond 11.5 (71) vs Carlton 5.3 (33)

Finally the Blues launch a meaningful counter-attack through Matty Wright and Jack Silvagni, who waits until there is contact from his opponent and hooks a neat little pass to the top of the goal sqaure and into the arms of Weitering. The latter goes back and does the business, affording himself a smile as he’s now equalled his goal-kicking tally from last season in his first half of 2017.

9.15am GMT

Tigers goal! 2nd quarter (9:44 remaining) Richmond 11.5 (71) vs Carlton 4.3 (27)

Dustin Martin gets another centre clearance here and it’s a particularly eye-catching one; having been tackled by an opponent, he just takes off regardless, giving that man a piggyback ride to view his long kick to advantage. He should get an Uber license at that rate. Jason Castagna has a flying shot at goal after an unselfish pass from Jack Riewoldt but misses to the right. Soon after Castagna turns creator, taking advantage of a Curnow turnover and firing a sideways handball to Martin. The latter snaps his third goal. He’s been lethal tonight, the Tigers star. Carlton are swamped.

9.11am GMT

Tigers goal! 2nd quarter (12:39 remaining) Richmond 10.4 (64) vs Carlton 4.3 (27)

I don’t want to go the early crow but this is looking like a dangerous period for the Blues. Richmond go forward again and with total ease, and Daniel Butler misses a very gettable chance of kicking his third goal, and he’s only 45 minutes into his AFL career. Caleb Marchbank takes a towering mark in his defensive goal square, then clears, but soon enough the Tigers ping it back inside 50 and Butler finds Daniel Rioli 25 metres out on a slight angle. That’s a soda for him, and there is no mistake. Carlton are flagging.

9.05am GMT

Tigers goal! 2nd quarter (16:23 remaining) Richmond 9.3 (57) vs Carlton 4.3 (27)

Richmond go forward again but Lachie Plowman clears well for the Blues, carrying the ball a good 15-20 metres before measuring his kick. Richmond get numbers to a stoppage at half-back and work it forward via a series of handballs, then another series of handballs inside 50, the last of which goes to Dustin Martin in oodles of space, and I think you know what comes next. His 45 metre goal has Brendon Bolton furious in the Blues coaching box.

9.03am GMT

Tigers goal! 2nd quarter (17:31 remaining) Richmond 8.3 (51) vs Carlton 4.3 (27)

We’re away in the second term and it’s Carlton with the first clearance, but it’s sideways to the member’s wing and Sam Docherty sends a sloppy pass out on the full. The Tigers go forward to the city end of the ground by Caleb Marchbank clears by just sinking his boot into it and hoping for the best. It’s all a bit scrappy for a while, but Ben Griffiths hacks it forward for Vlastuin to mark 25 metres out, and he then centres it to Shane Edwards in a more favourable position. Edwards goes back to his mark, methodically works his way in and converts the chance. First blood to the Tigers, yet again.

You’ll have not one, not two but THREE types of salt to choose from when you buy hot chips at Etihad this season. https://t.co/ID9NBYRzio pic.twitter.com/tyZlQxIbE4

8.53am GMT

Tigers goal! 1st quarter (0:30 remaining) Richmond 7.3 (45) vs Carlton 4.3 (27)

And that is that for the first term. Fittingly, given the way this game has gone from end to end at a frenetic rate, Carlton had one last attack here as Charlie Curnow hit Bryce Gibbs on the chest with a pass, but the veteran Blue hooks his 50-metre shot to the right for a minor score. Let’s take a breath.

8.52am GMT

Tigers goal! 1st quarter (0:30 remaining) Richmond 7.3 (45) vs Carlton 4.2 (26)

It’s a goal-fest at the MCG. Now Butler gets his second, swivelling like a striker just outside the goal square and sweeping his boot through it to get a quick reply. Carlton really needed to clear that and didn’t to disastrous results. They’re scoring at 1990s rates tonight.

8.50am GMT

Blues goal! 1st quarter (0:55 remaining) Richmond 6.3 (39) vs Carlton 4.2 (26)

After a dodgy start the Blues simply will not lie down. Now Kreuzer wins the ruck duel and the ball is bombed long. Weitering is back on the ground now and although a little breathless, wriggles ludicrously free of his man and marks 15 metres out on a 45-degree angle. He slots a simple set shot home.

8.48am GMT

Tigers goal! 1st quarter (1:43 remaining) Richmond 6.3 (39) vs Carlton 3.2 (20)

Oh dear. The Blues fought tooth and nail to score that last goal and Richmond have answered it with ease, banging the ball forward to a contest in the goal square, which Prestia roves perfectly and without a single Blue on his hammer to slam through a close-range goal.

8.47am GMT

Blues goal! 1st quarter (2:12 remaining) Richmond 5.3 (33) vs Carlton 3.2 (20)

Richmond continue to run in waves and 30 seconds after the re-start Josh Caddy has a high, curling snap from close range and misses. Jack Silvagni is often in the thick of the action but the Tigers keep surging forward. It’s a numbers game. Get it down there enough and they’re going to keep scoring. Other bad news for Blues fans is that Jacob Weitering was ironed out by Alex Rance early in the game. He stayed on for a good 15 minutes or so, but now trots off the ground feeling a little sorry for himself. Silvagni hangs a 50-metre set shot to the right but Dennis Armfield has better luck crumbing a ruck contest and dribbling a left-foot snap through from 25 metres. The Blues needed a steadier and not for the first time in his career Armfield provides it.

8.42am GMT

Tigers goal! 1st quarter (5:58 remaining) Richmond 5.2 (32) vs Carlton 2.1 (13)

Richmond continue to hack it forward and hope that Carlton’s shaky defence won’t hold up, but they’re often opened up on the counter-attack. Sam Petrevski-Seton gets involved by chasing down Josh Caddy in the middle of the ground and winning the ball. Alas, Richmond ping it forward into an empty forward line and though he could have cantered in to kick a goal himself, Dustin Martin unselfishly handballs to the first-gamer Daniel Butler so he can slam through a nerve-settling goal. That is on-field leadership.

8.38am GMT

Tigers goal! 1st quarter (8:29 remaining) Richmond 4.2 (26) vs Carlton 2.1 (13)

Carlton are alive. Sam Rowe spoils at half-back and the Blues swing into a nice transition on the southern wing, with the ball eventually ending up in the hands of Jack Silvagni. His set shot is from 30 metres out on a tricky angle and he misses. We’re going to talk about this endlessly, but doesn’t he lope around exactly like his Dad? The bow-legged gait is almost identical. Anyway, Richmond counter attack well and Riewoldt marks 45 metres out, but hooks his set shot woefully for a point.

8.33am GMT

Blues goal! 1st quarter (12:36 remaining) Richmond 3.1 (19) vs Carlton 2.0 (12)

Another for the Blues! And it’s a bad turnover from the Tigers when Nick Vlastuin loses control of the ball and gets poleaxed in the process. Bryce Gibbs is the beneficiary and having assisted in a goal 23 seconds ago, he slams through his own.

Bryce Gibbs is everywhere early #AFLBluesTigers pic.twitter.com/fDPHiGc0PI

8.31am GMT

Blues goal! 1st quarter (12:59 remaining) Richmond 3.1 (19) vs Carlton 1.0 (6)

An early observation: Toby Nankervis is looking like a very handy pick-up in the ruck for the Tigers, especially with Shaun Hampson sidelined with injury. Finally Carlton get a chance to slow the game down a little in the centre after a series of tackling efforts reap dividends, then a sloppy pass is enough to get Bruce Gibbs involved; he sprints through the middle of the ground and sends a long, accurate pass inside 50 to Matty Kreuzer. The big Blue goes back on a 45-degree angle, 20 metres out, and punts it straight through the middle. Huge relief for the Blues. They’re on the board.

8.28am GMT

Richmond goal! 1st quarter (14:47 remaining) Richmond 3.1 (19) vs Carlton 0.0 (0)

This is pretty dreadful from the Blues. They simply can’t get their hands on it long enough and when they do it’s not exactly slick ball movement. By contrast, Dustin Martin gets the ball in his hands, runs off the mark and spears a low pass to his diving midfield comrade Trent Cotchin. Cotchin is 35 metres out and sneaks it home. The Tigers are running rampant here; they’re playing on at every opportunity and looking to punish a flat-footed opponent. If this trend continues it could be a very ugly start to 2017 for the Bluebaggers.

8.26am GMT

Richmond goal! 1st quarter (16:04 remaining) Richmond 2.1 (13) vs Carlton 0.0 (0)

Richmond maraud their way through the middle with Shaun Grigg ignoring a handball option and eventually tumbling an ungainly kick forward. Reece Conca soon has a snap on goal from 40 metres out but it curls to the right for a minor score. Grigg runs off the mark soon after, brushing Ed Curnow aside and hacking it forward. There’s a throw in soon after, and Toby Nankervis plucks the ball, slams it on his left boot and from 20 metres out gets the snag! It’s not exactly pretty from the Tigers, but it’s daring and mighty effective. Carlton are MIA.

8.24am GMT

Richmond goal! 1st quarter (17:21 remaining) Richmond 1.0 (6) vs Carlton 0.0 (0)

Murphy gets a nice early touch for the Blues and they go forward but can’t quite take advantage of some pretty scrappy clearance work from the Tigers. Eventually Richmond work it forward and Dion Prestia hits the leading Jack Riewoldt on the chest. Riewoldt is 35 metres out on an acute angle on the member’s side of the MCG, but hooks it across the face for no score. No matter. Jason ‘George’ Castagna tumbles forward to mark at the top of the goal square and makes no mistake with his set shot. What a start for the youngster!

8.14am GMT

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick stops by for an interview now

“It’s good to be back on the ‘G,” he says. “We just spoke about…it’s a siege mentality at the start.” He then goes left field, saying he told his players they should take a lesson from the contrasting approaches of Matt Renshaw and David Warner to opening the batting for Australia. In essence: do what works for you.

8.09am GMT

A nice little moment for the debutant Tigers

Dan Butler (on his league debut), Toby Nankervis, Josh Caddy and Dion Prestia were all presented their game jumper by Tigers legend Francis Bourke, who was a little hard to recognise not covered in blood. If they play with his spirit and verve tonight, the Tigers should be OK.

8.07am GMT

This would have to be the most anticipa…umm…anyway…

How many AFL seasons in the past 20 years have been called ‘most anticipated’, ‘most even’ in the week before round 1? Most of em?

8.04am GMT

The comforting sight and sound of Bruce McAvaney

…is now washing over football fans sitting at home. I don’t know about you, but with Dennis Cometti now retired, I kind of hope Bruce hangs on forever. There is something to be said for a bit of class. We’re now 16 minutes from the opening bounce.

7.57am GMT

Tonight’s teams

Items of interest: among plenty of debutants, a lot of us are most looking forward to Deion Prestia’s first appearance in the yellow and black. I’m also keen to see what sort of physical development Jack Silvagni has made in the off-season. He showed plenty of promise as a skinny rookie last season

7.50am GMT

Preamble

Hello all and welcome to AFL season 2017. Russell Jackson here. Tonight we’ll watching Richmond and Carlton enact their now-traditional season-opener in front of a rabid crowd at the MCG. There are plenty of people out there who think this game should be a far more blockbustery pairing of sides than these two, but just as many are happy that we have senior men’s footy of any sort to watch. I’ll be back shortly with tonight’s teams.

1.11am GMT

Russell will be here shortly. In the meantime, have a read of Craig Little’s preview of this match, and the season ahead:

Related: Starting over again: AFL season begins with round characterised by contrasts | Craig Little

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/mar/23/carlton-v-richmond-afl-2017-season-opener-live

Mar 21

AFL season preview: Giants expected to walk tall with Bulldogs and Swans | Russell Jackson

The primary threat to the Bulldogs’ premiership defence is Greater Western Sydney, despite the Giants having become victims of their almost-success

As befits the surreal nature of modern life, the AFL’s season-launching TV commercials have set a disorienting template for the 2017 football season ahead. In one, the reigning premier Western Bulldogs – a working class club who used to be content with the brand exposure gained from window displays at Footscray butchers shops – find themselves in the nouveau riche wonderland of being spruiked by their very own Hollywood superfan Chris Hemsworth.

Doggies loyalists must shake their heads at such a turn of events; 25 years ago they had Danny Del-Re selling them a membership, now they’ve got Thor crashing through the living room window as they re-watch their special edition premiership DVDs, thumb glossy commemorative books and sing along one more time to Sons of the West.

Related: Porky Pies: Collingwood ban Jordan De Goey over lies about hand injury

Related: ‘Broad acceptance’ from AFL fans over twilight grand final proposal

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/22/afl-season-preview-giants-expected-to-walk-tall-with-bulldogs-and-swans

Mar 20

Australia keep Border-Gavaskar series alive in Ranchi – as it happened

  • Australia (240-6) bat out entire final day to secure third Test draw
  • Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh keep Border-Gavaskar series alive

11.27am GMT

And one final thing: here’s the match report from Adam Collins in Ranchi.

Related: Handscomb and Marsh guide Australia to draw and keep India series alive

11.07am GMT

It all started for Australia on day one with Matthew Renshaw and David Warner. Another 50 partnership. Then Steve Smith, batting forever and ever. Then Glenn Maxwell, the good news story, grinding out an atypical ton and reaching that milestone for the first time in Tests. The second Australian to do it in all three international formats. Smith’s 19th ton, 361 balls, unbeaten.

Then India. Runs from everywhere, bar their captain. Doing it without him, unworried. Grinding Australia into the dirt. Rahul and Vijay opening with fifties, then Pujara’s long-haul double hundred, and Saha’s down-the-order century addition. O’Keefe bowled 77 goddamn overs in the one innings. Maxwell bowled four. You do the maths.

10.58am GMT

What a performance from Australia. No touring side has batted out a fifth day draw in India since 2010/11, I’m reliably informed, but this sometimes fragile batting team has done it here. At four wickets down before lunch, with Smith and Renshaw done within four balls of one another, surely that must have been game over? But no. The erratic Shaun Marsh and the new boy Peter Handscomb batted through 62.1 overs to run down the clock, soak up the balls, and push Australia into the lead. Not a big one, but enough that India wouldn’t be able to chase it down. And even when Marsh fell, and Maxwell went quickly, there was not enough time left for India to force the result.

10.57am GMT

100th over: Australia 204-6 (Handscomb 72, Wade 9)

Wide by Jadeja, and Handscomb punches another four. Takes his score into the 70s. They face out the over, then finally Kohli signals for the draw. The batsmen accept, and Australia have escaped.

10.54am GMT

99th over: Australia 200-6 (Handscomb 68, Wade 9)

Smith lurks on the balcony. I don’t know why. Kohli is concentrating on the field. Ashwin is bowling. Wade is driving him through cover for four. The 200 is up. Starting to grasp the significance of this Australian performance, from where it began before lunch on this final day.

10.51am GMT

98th over: Australia 196-6 (Handscomb 68, Wade 5)

Handscomb is remaining oh-so-sensible and mature in the circumstances. No silly shots. Just another defensive over. Another Jadeja maiden. Apparently if Australia declared now India would need 44 from 2 overs. Or something.

10.46am GMT

97th over: Australia 196-6 (Handscomb 68, Wade 5)

Kohli has given up. I speculate. Watching him out there, his shoulders have finally slumped. Ashwin bowls on the pads and Wade punches four through midwicket. The lead is 44. Meaning that even if India ran through four more wickets in an over, they’d only have a couple of overs left to chase those runs.

10.44am GMT

96th over: Australia 192-6 (Handscomb 68, Wade 1)

Jadeja working away. Two singles, no real danger. “Let’s hope some of the England players are watching Handscomb and Marsh bat, eh?” emails Kevin Wilson. That seems like a turning of the tables, looking to Australians for tips on batting out a draw.

10.41am GMT

95th over: Australia 190-6 (Handscomb 67, Wade 0)

Wade in to weigh in. Defends two. Wicket maiden for Ashwin. His first from 28 overs.

10.39am GMT

Not that comfortable, ok then. Ashwin fires one in, Maxwell si trying to defend but goes with hard hands, gets an inside edge into his pad, it skips up to Vijay in close on the off side. Australia 38 in front with seven overs to play.

10.37am GMT

94th over: Australia 190-5 (Handscomb 67, Maxwell 2)

Jadeja. Handscomb edges into his pad. Then puches a single. Maxwell works another, he’s comfortable enough so far.

10.33am GMT

93rd over: Australia 188-5 (Handscomb 66, Maxwell 1)

Another appeal as Ashwin bowls, but Maxwell has been hit outside the line. Sees out the over competently enough, using his feet. He’s in the baggy green now, classic stuff.

10.30am GMT

92nd over: Australia 188-5 (Handscomb 66, Maxwell 1)

Maxwellball. It’s that time. An appeal against Maxwell first ball as the contact may have been pad first. India’s players think about it but don’t review. Tension. He flicks a single to end the over.

10.28am GMT

Finally, India break a 124-run partnership that has saved a match for Australia. Floated down, Marsh plays yet another forward defence, edges to short leg and Vijay snaps it up. Australia 35 ahead with five in hand and 10 overs after this.

10.26am GMT

91st over: Australia 187-4 (Marsh 53, Handscomb 66)

That’s more like it! Spanked through square leg by Handscomb, as Sharma drops short and the in-touch batsman gets every bit of it, airborne but safe. Clunked.

10.21am GMT

90th over: Australia 183-4 (Marsh 53, Handscomb 62)

Another quick over from Jadeja, just the single from a Handscomb straight drive. That’s not going to get you to a hundred, feller.

10.16am GMT

89th over: Australia 182-4 (Marsh 53, Handscomb 61)

Finally, some pace. With an eight-over-old ball. Ishant Sharma hasn’t bowled for so long that he trips over his front leg and commando-rolls down the pitch in his follow-through. The Australians know this style of bowling better though. A Marsh glide to third man, a Handscomb flick to turn a dangerous full ball on the pads into a single to fine leg. With 13 overs left, should Handscomb hit out and go for a ton? Australia only 30 ahead. Risk-reward.

10.11am GMT

88th over: Australia 180-4 (Marsh 52, Handscomb 60)

Jadeja keeps wheeling away. Left-arm round the wicket to the right-handed Handscomb. Defending, then driving hard through cover. but there’s a man back there, no run. Nearly nicks the final ball as it spins away. But this isn’t India’s day. It ends up as another maiden. I’ll revise my 11 overs, this is actually the first of the last 15 overs required in the last hour. Should Australia declare and set India 60 from four overs? It would be pointless but fun. Like most limited-overs cricket.

10.07am GMT

87th over: Australia 180-4 (Marsh 52, Handscomb 60)

That warms the heart. Shaun Marsh gets a round of applause from Virat Kohli. Gets an equally unexpected round from various members of the Australian public. He’s done a job this series, first in Bengaluru and again here. Another long and determined innings. Raises the fifty with a straight drive after skipping down at Ashwin, finally choosing his preferred ball after seeing so many of them. 11 overs left at drinks, the last hour called by Gaffer Gaffaney, and Australia 28 runs to the good.

10.02am GMT

86th over: Australia 175-4 (Marsh 48, Handscomb 59)

Jadeja, another maiden. Gets one to bounce and rip and beat the outside edge of Marsh’s bat. But that’s it. For the last two sessions India’s bowlers have been all threat, no execution. Which is how you want your relationship with the Mafia to be.

9.59am GMT

85th over: Australia 174-4 (Marsh 48, Handscomb 58)

Another one-run over from Ashwin. 13 remaining. No sign of India’s quicks.

9.58am GMT

84th over: Australia 173-4 (Marsh 48, Handscomb 57)

“Gidday Geoff,” writes Roman from Thailand. “Following your posts on the Guardian website. Sounds like gripping & thrilling Test match cricket from two of cricket’s most combative & proud cricketing nations. Great to see! Should be an enthralling end to this Test.”

9.53am GMT

83rd over: Australia 172-4 (Marsh 48, Handscomb 56)

Ashwin round the wicket, bowling flat and full at the left-handed Marsh. Gets through him, strikes him on the pad. India go for another wasted review. They love this stuff. Clearly that was going down leg. Gould the umpire again. Somehow, HawkEye is claiming that was clipping leg stump, when it looked like it would go six inches wide. But clipping is not enough to overturn the umpire’s correct call. Another maiden, but that’s just fine for Australia. Their lead is only 20, but they have only 15 overs to survive.

9.50am GMT

82nd over: Australia 172-4 (Marsh 48, Handscomb 56)

Marsh drives a single first ball, Jadeja into the covers. Handscomb isn’t exactly defending the rest, he nails one on the off side and one on the leg, but straight to the field.

9.47am GMT

81st over: Australia 171-4 (Marsh 47, Handscomb 56)

Except it won’t be India’s quicks with the new ball. It will be Ashwin at first. Inside edge from Marsh immediately. A couple of defensive strokes. Drives a quick single wide of mid on. Handscomb is struck from the last ball, almost in the stomach as he lunged forward in a crouching defensive position. Umpire Gould isn’t interested. Handscomb eschews the helmet at the end of the over for the baggy cap.

9.43am GMT

80th over: Australia 170-4 (Marsh 46, Handscomb 56)

Jadeja bowls the 80th. A maiden to Handscomb. A new ball will be available now, if India’s quicks want to use it. That might just help the Australians score more quickly though. The lead is up to 18. More importantly perhaps, the 80th over sees India get their reviews back. Get ready to burn, baby, burn.

9.40am GMT

79th over: Australia 170-4 (Marsh 46, Handscomb 56)

Ashwin. Marsh. Maiden.

9.40am GMT

78th over: Australia 170-4 (Marsh 46, Handscomb 56)

Handscomb finally living up to his billing as a good player of spin. He’s looked very comfortable out here today, and never more so than against a rare short ball from Jadeja. Crash. Cut shot. Four.

9.36am GMT

77th over: Australia 166-4 (Marsh 46, Handscomb 52)

Outlive. Outlast. Outmarsh. That is the Marsh motto, and he soaks up a Ravi Ashwin over like a washcloth on a kitchen spill.

9.34am GMT

76th over: Australia 166-4 (Marsh 46, Handscomb 52)

Marsh versus Jadeja. Defends, defends, defends. Gets a run when one ball keeps low and is edged on the bounce behind point. Fielded in the deep. Handscomb comes on strike, and gets a ball a bit like the Smith one. Except that Handscomb gets enough pad in the way. Jadeja appeals madly. But he’s bowling over the wicket, so he’s appealing madly for a ball that has pitched well outside leg. As he’s been appealing madly all day. It’s… kind of embarrassing. I don’t necessarily agree with the lbw law the way it’s written, but there’s no value in ignoring it completely.

9.30am GMT

75th over: Australia 165-4 (Marsh 45, Handscomb 52)

Yadav continues. There’s that scent of desperation just starting to creep in. It’s like burning hair, distinctive and cuts through everything else. You never have to ask if it is what you think it is. He’s hammering the stumps, bowling yorkers to Handscomb, but the batsman is playing these ripping deliveries well, and when Yadav slips a bit too far towards leg stump, Handscomb works him through fine leg for four for the milestone. Handscomb has had a brief sojourn from making half-centuries, but now he’s back.

9.25am GMT

74th over: Australia 159-4 (Marsh 45, Handscomb 46)

Marsh is finding his way off strike easily enough now, working Jadeja to leg again. Handscomb immediately swaps back with a push to cover. Two runs from the over make it an expensive one by Jadeja’s standards.

9.22am GMT

73rd over: Australia 157-4 (Marsh 44, Handscomb 45)

Four! And Australia surge ahead. Yadav bowls straight, Marsh flicks behind square. That’s one of his best strokes, and he’s been very good today. Times it well enough to beat a weary Ashwin running around from a finer fine leg position. Marsh flicks a single towards Ashwin, straighter.

9.18am GMT

72nd over: Australia 151-4 (Marsh 39, Handscomb 45)

Jadeja will just attack the stumps all day. He has 3 for 34 from 29 overs. Marsh scrambles a leg bye after one hits him on the thigh, Handscomb was sharp to the chance for a run, and scores are level. Whatever Australia scores now, India has to knock off. That’s the only score, so its’ another maiden for the bowler. His 15th from what is now 30 overs. Absurd.

9.14am GMT

71st over: Australia 151-4 (Marsh 39, Handscomb 45)

Yadav to Handscomb and that is out. Except it isn’t. Isn’t given, that is. A fast fullish ball that cuts in off the pitch, beats the inside edge of the defensive stroke, and nails Handscomb on the back pad in front of middle. That is out, live, every single minute of every day. But Umpire Gould doesn’t give it. Thinks that the height may have spared Handscomb. Hit just above the knee roll, but he was way back on his stumps and it was his back leg. Kohli reviews, as you should, and misses out by about a millimetre. DRS shows it as umpire’s call, even though most of the ball is hitting most of the top of middle stump. Bad call for mine. A couple of balls later, Yadav gets one to keep low, and Handscomb jams down for a single. How close these margins. Marsh works a single from the last. The 150 is up.

9.08am GMT

70th over: Australia 149-4 (Marsh 38, Handscomb 44)

Ashwin to start things off. Nearly has Marsh stumped second ball, but the batsman just shoves the toe back behind the line before Saha gets the bails off. Just a leaning defensive stroke that dragged the batsman forward. Marsh faces out a maiden. The pitch is beginning to puff up.

9.05am GMT

Let’s have a look at the options. Australia could bat India out of the match. Australia could lose 6 for 11 again and India could knock off a few token runs. Australia could be bowled out after an hour at 60 or 70 ahead and leave India a tricky chase. Australia could be bowled out after an hour and a half at 60 ahead and leave India to make a crash-bash attempt to win. Australia could send Maxwell out to make a hundred from nine overs and then run through 10 Indian wickets in the last 20. Some of these things are more likely than others. But everything is on the table. Some things more on the table than others.

8.45am GMT

Hello friends, hello foes, hello family. Hello fingers, hello toes, hello ramblings. What a tasty scenario ahead of us. Thanks Russell, Geoff here, let’s do some cricketing. Drop me a line via the email on the left of screen, or the top if you’re on a phone, or twitter at me via @GeoffLemonSport.

8.43am GMT

69th over: Australia 149-4 (Marsh 38, Handscomb 44)

And that is tea on day five. Australia’s Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb have survived the entire second session on a day-five pitch in India, which is a feat worthy of applause. The final over featured a flick to leg by Marsh, who trotted through for one, and Handscomb handled the rest with characteristic excellence, turning two runs to deep square leg and defending stoutly otherwise.

8.39am GMT

68th over: Australia 146-4 (Marsh 37, Handscomb 42)

Some minor drama here as Handscomb skips down the track and misses an attempted flick to leg. It hit him in line but would have spun past leg stump, and the home side knew it. There is plenty of noise and puffs of dust in the Ashwin over, but no breakthrough. A positive for India: he got through it quick enough for Jadeja to bowl one more.

8.36am GMT

67th over: Australia 145-4 (Marsh 36, Handscomb 42)

If Jadeja and Ashwin play their cards right here this could be the first of three overs before tea, though it’s a moot point anyway with the Australian pair handling things so well. My worry, for Australia: a break in the momentum they’ve built in this session favours India and India alone. Another maiden for Jadeja. He’s collected those at will today.

8.33am GMT

66th over: Australia 145-4 (Marsh 36, Handscomb 42)

With no offence to his dear Mum, Robert Lewis drops by now with a craptacular Ranchi anecdote in keeping with India’s bowling efforts in this session. “Just thought I’d drop by at this tense moment to tell you – apropos of nothing at all – that my Mum was born in Ranchi in 1923,” he writes. “She’s still going strong at 93. I visited the city in 1975, on my way back from Australia. I can remember almost nothing about it. Pretty dull place, really. Good bung lassi though.”

8.29am GMT

65th over: Australia 144-4 (Marsh 36, Handscomb 41)

Vis a vis Michael Clarke’s soft ball insights of earlier, India now request a harder one. Ian Gould tells them to turn it up, and well he might. He also says no to a Ravindra Jadeja LBW appeal against Marsh, which wouldn’t have hit Wriddhiman Saha in his protective box if he was doing a star jump. India are getting a bit desperate now. Australia trail by just eight runs.

8.26am GMT

64th over: Australia 143-4 (Marsh 36, Handscomb 40)

Ashwin continues, and the Australians have 15 minutes to see off the pre-Tea threat. So often in this series a wicket has fallen with the end of a session in sight. Both batsmen will be desperate to avoid that fate. Another thing: I can’t help but feel as though denying Ashwin any wickets today could be a symbolic blow for the likes of Handscomb when he and his younger cohorts return for other Indian trips. Right now they’re blunting India’s spin spearhead on his own decks. Australia don’t have a history of doing that.

8.23am GMT

63rd over: Australia 141-4 (Marsh 35, Handscomb 39)

Scrap everything I said before: Jadeja has merely changed ends, so Ashwin might have been a fill-in. Or he’ll keep bowling and Ishant is gone from the attack. Kohli might as well throw Wriddhiman Saha the ball, to be frank. Handscomb is defending with aplomb and ever-alert to runs. Jadeja was jumping around like John Lydon earlier, and bowling with venom. Now he’s just another trundler.

8.20am GMT

62nd over: Australia 139-4 (Marsh 35, Handscomb 37)

Interesting. Ashwin didn’t set the world on fire earlier but now he replaces Jadeja – India’s biggest threat. KL Rahul is the man in Virat Kohli’s crosshairs in this over. He fields a ball at deep mid-wicket and sends in a woeful through to Wriddhiman Saha. It sails straight over the keeper’s head and runs away for four overthrows. Not great.

8.17am GMT

61st over: Australia 134-4 (Marsh 35, Handscomb 32)

Like a faithful basset hound, Ishant’s long and longing face tell the tale of a bowler not being rewarded for his wholehearted efforts. He removed Matt Renshaw earlier in the day with a low skidder, but Handscomb does his Handscomb thing here and gets a single from the second delivery of the over. That forces the bowler to adjust for the left-handed Marsh. The Australian batsmen are settled, but the bowler is not. One thing Ishant does have going for him is reverse swing, and he bowls a gem of an in-swinger to Marsh, who is nevertheless solid in defending it. With 25 minutes left in this second session, Australia trail by 18 runs and the Marsh-Handscomb partnership is worth 71 from 31.5 overs.

8.10am GMT

60th over: Australia 133-4 (Marsh 35, Handscomb 31)

There is a little bit of a pattern developing here, and it works perfectly for Australia: Handscomb gets a single early in the over and Shaun Marsh absorbs the rest. He has two slightly hairy moments in this over, moving back and across to defend Jadeja and then getting a leading edge to a forward defence. Neither goes close to doing him in though, so wotevs, as the kids probably don’t even say anymore.

8.08am GMT

59th over: Australia 132-4 (Marsh 35, Handscomb 30)

Ashwin’s nightmare over a few minutes ago comes with repercussions; he’s banished from the attack and Ishant returns with some pace. With Marsh on strike the big quick has two slips and a short mid-wicket, and soon a short leg moves in too. None troubles Marsh too much, because he’s moving through this final day in determined silence, like Alain Delon’s ice-cold hitman Jef Costello in Le Samourai.

8.01am GMT

58th over: Australia 131-4 (Marsh 35, Handscomb 29)

There is a layer of comedy underlying this Australian effort, it has to be said. Remember a week ago when the travelling press was claiming skullduggery at their first sight of this pitch? How surreal it would be if Australia confidently bats out a final day spin onslaught in India. Maiden for Jadeja, though it’s not as pregnant with possibilities as his pre-lunch efforts.

7.58am GMT

57th over: Australia 131-4 (Marsh 35, Handscomb 29)

Ashwin errs too, offering up a full toss for Handscomb as the batsman advances down the wicket and batters the ball through mid-wicket for four. A few balls later Handscomb shuffles back and cuts hard through cover to get four more, then makes it three boundaries in the over with an imperious on-drive. Ashwin is bowling like a drain. Australia trail by only 21 now; only 40 minutes from tea they’re look increasingly capable of forcing a draw to keep themselves in the series. Let’s be honest: a winner-takes-all fourth Test is a dream scenario for all concerned.

7.55am GMT

56th over: Australia 117-4 (Marsh 34, Handscomb 16)

Marsh puts his foot down now, latching onto a rare bit of flight from Jadeja and driving square on the half-volley to claim a boundary from the spinner; they’ve been as rare as hen’s teeth today. I tell you what else is rare: Australians actually making things. A friend has just sent me a rather depressing video from inside the old R.M. Crockett cricket equipment factory in Melbourne’s west. It’s been converted into “warehouse-style” apartments. Of course it has.

7.52am GMT

55th over: Australia 113-4 (Marsh 30, Handscomb 16)

Marsh has an opportunity to hammer an Ashwin full toss into the heavens here but he’s set on defence, so merely pats it along the ground for a single to mid-on. A few more singles are handy runs, pushing Australia along to trail by just 39 runs. With that the partnership between Handscomb and Marsh is worth 50 from 156 deliveries.

7.48am GMT

54th over: Australia 109-4 (Marsh 28, Handscomb 14)

Jadeja welcomes Handscomb back from the drinks break with a straight and not entirely penetrating over, and the batsman punches a back-foot drive out to deep points to finish the over and retain the strike.

7.41am GMT

53rd over: Australia 108-4 (Marsh 28, Handscomb 13)

Ashwin has a slip, a leg slip and a short leg for Shaun Marsh, who continues with his reverse-Gooch pad work. I wouldn’t say he’s making batting look easy, but for Australia’s sake there is certainly a comforting level of security in his defence. Another maiden, and that is drinks.

7.40am GMT

52nd over: Australia 108-4 (Marsh 28, Handscomb 13)

It’s been an enigmatic series for Handscomb so far; he’s never looked significantly troubled by the bowling but he just keeps getting himself out once he’s in. On that note, he’s now in the danger period – 13 from 67 deliveries as Jadeja spins one past his outside edge. No nick. Maiden. Eleven maidens for Jadeja. The outfielders could have a stretch while he’s bowling.

7.38am GMT

51st over: Australia 108-4 (Marsh 28, Handscomb 13)

I spend a fair bit of time laying into Brett Lee and Matthew Hayden, so it is only fair to point out that Michael Clarke is growing into a quite shrewd analyst early in his TV career, because he offers insights beyond the bleeding obvious. In this over he’s talking about the softening of the ball, which is a step up from pizza toppings. It’s a maiden for Ashwin and continues a period of intense pressure, though Jadeja remains the real threat.

7.35am GMT

50th over: Australia 108-4 (Marsh 28, Handscomb 13)

With the pace threat gone, Peter Handscomb calls for his baggy green cap. At the risk of labouring the point, this manoeuvre hasn’t always come up trumps for his team-mates in this series. Jadeja has a slip, a silly point and a short leg, but no luck drawing a rash stroke from the Victorian. Maiden. Jadeja now has 10 of those in his 3-22 from 20 overs.

7.33am GMT

49th over: Australia 108-4 (Marsh 28, Handscomb 13)

Michael Clarke’s mooted Umesh-Ashwin switcheroo finally happens, and the batsmen have about ten minutes to get through before they stop for a drink, which is among many mini-milestones they’ll hope to tick off. Handscomb advances to the off-spinner and turns a single through mid-wicket, and there was one earlier in the over for Marsh.

7.30am GMT

48th over: Australia 106-4 (Marsh 27, Handscomb 12)

First delivery of this over from the returning Ravindra Jadeja draws an unhinged celebr-appeal from the bowler when Handscomb bends his front leg forward to pad up. It was a very hopeful shout, but Jadeja carries on as though he’s watching Shane Warne’s Gatting ball for the first time. If he actually takes a wicket he might combust. We’re half an hour and ten minutes from tea now, and Australia are set to face spin from both ends for the first time today.

7.26am GMT

47th over: Australia 106-4 (Marsh 27, Handscomb 12)

So yes, it was more Umesh in this over, and more of the same from him. The partnership is now worth 43 runs from 108 deliveries, which is putting Australia in a far better position to secure a draw than many of us expected two hours ago. In Marsh we trust? Australia trail by 46 runs, and India desperately need a wicket.

7.24am GMT

Not only was it hitting him outside the line of off stump, but it also pitched outside leg stump. Kohli chuckles and raises an apologetic hand to his bowler, who wasn’t entirely committed himself. A terrible review, really.

7.23am GMT

But he shrugs those infamous shoulders as his as he calls for it, which doesn’t fill India with hope. This is a speculative review at best. Marsh shouldered arms but it appeared to hit him outside the line of off stump.

7.21am GMT

46th over: Australia 105-4 (Marsh 27, Handscomb 11)

Ashwin continues with a maiden at the same end, so Michael Clarke will not get his wish just yet. As that is happening Ruth Purdue arrives with a question, which is so wide in its scope I have trouble offering much in the way of a coherent response. “Is Brett Lee the antithesis of Matthew Hayden?” she writes. They’re both the antithesis of informative commentators, I know that.

7.18am GMT

45th over: Australia 105-4 (Marsh 27, Handscomb 11)

The law of diminishing Yadavs continue to be proven here, with Umesh groaning his way through an unimposing over. Michael Clarke reckons Ashwin should be bowling from Umesh’s end, and Jadeja from Ashwin’s. Virat Kohli had a word to Ashwin at the end of the last over, so that may well happen. Australia trail by 47 runs now, so Kohli has some thinking to do. A 60-run chase in the third session is far from ideal for India.

7.13am GMT

44th over: Australia 101-4 (Marsh 27, Handscomb 8)

Wonderful stuff here by the newly-confident Marsh, who takes half a little shimmy-step down the track to Ashwin and then cracks a quite sublime on drive to the rope to take Australia past 100. You don’t say this often, but I reckon it’s time to give Ashwin a rest. Ravindra Jadeja is the man for the occasion here.

7.10am GMT

43rd over: Australia 97-4 (Marsh 23, Handscomb 8)

Umesh continues to Marsh, who I’ve been describing in slightly unflattering terms of late. In actual fact, he’s starting to look a bit more comfortable against the paceman now, mainly I think because Umesh is angling it too far across him towards the slips. “He’s a very, very nice fella, Shaun Marsh,” says Brett Lee with typically searing insight. Marsh gets a very, very nice single, and that’s about it for the over.

7.05am GMT

42nd over: Australia 96-4 (Marsh 22, Handscomb 8)

Holy moly. Handscomb advances down the pitch to a full toss but he almost cracks it straight into the hands of the man at short mid-wicket, and the Indians around the bat are really whooping it up at the prospect of a wicket. Still, had he timed it, Handscomb would have just as easily smoked that for a boundary.

7.02am GMT

41st over: Australia 96-4 (Marsh 22, Handscomb 8)

Much like Steve Smith earlier, Handscomb leads India to believe he’s an LBW candidate with that shuffle across in front of his stumps. He almost refuses to use his front foot to the quicks, so Umesh is looking to send a low shooter into his stumps and almost succeeds but for an inside edge. To fuller balls outside off stump, Marsh is swishing his way through that lovely Trescothickesque leave of his. It’s a stylish leave, though not as stylish as the straight drives he cannons past Umesh when the paceman over-pitches. That’s four bits. Australia now trail by 56. Maybe they can make India bat again.

6.58am GMT

40th over: Australia 91-4 (Marsh 18, Handscomb 7)

A drop! It was a tough but very gettable chance for Karun Nair at short leg. Handscomb was forward and flicking it towards the man under the lid. Nair keeps low enough, and shifts his hands to the right quickly enough, but the ball doesn’t stick in either mitt. Ashwin is a little cheesed but he knows it was no fait accompli. A single to Handscomb to finish the over relieves Marsh of his ongoing ordeal at the hands of Umesh Yadav.

6.55am GMT

39th over: Australia 90-4 (Marsh 18, Handscomb 6)

Umesh is coming around the wicket to Marsh and first up this over he tails one away from the left-hander’s outside edge. The other arresting sight early in the over is the neat queue of three helmets strategically placed behind wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. They act as a warning for what’s to come in the next over. But to matters present: Umesh is bowling a treat in this over, and Marsh is doing nothing more positive than squirming his way through a thorough examination from the paceman. You wouldn’t be surprised if Umesh walked down the pitch and asked him to cough. Marsh survives the over without having to claim his Medicare rebate.

6.51am GMT

38th over: Australia 90-4 (Marsh 18, Handscomb 6)

Ashwin appears now for his second over, which means Ravindra Jadeja is taking his first break of the day after that sublime spell in the first session. Handscomb squirts one down the leg side and Rahane almost cleans up his mess at leg gully, diving athletically to his left but narrowly missing purchase on the ball. Marsh turns three through mid-wicket to finish the over, and looks far less jittery against the spinner.

6.47am GMT

37th over: Australia 86-4 (Marsh 15, Handscomb 5)

OK, we’re off and away in the session which may or may not seal Australia’s fate in this Border-Gavaskar Trophy series. Umesh Yadav is the bowler and Peter Handscomb the Australian batsman on strike. He neatly deposits one down to third man to pick up one, and Yadav soon has Marsh hopping in the air like he’s defending a corner. Two leg byes around the corner finish an over of odds and ends.

6.38am GMT

Signs of life? “Is it cowardly to pray for a monsoon?” asks reader Gervase Greene. No Gervase, no it’s not.

Here is #WinViz at the start of the afternoon session in Ranchi. Can Australia salvage a draw? #IndvAus pic.twitter.com/aSWj840Gp7

6.24am GMT

Australia complete a third of the day having lost only a quarter of their remaining batsmen. Massively on top. #INDvAUS

6.07am GMT

What’s happening in the cricket? Haven’t had the chance to watch today #INDvAUS

6.03am GMT

36th over: Australia 83-4 (Marsh 15, Handscomb 4)

And that is lunch on day five in Ranchi, ending a session in which Australia lost Matt Renshaw and Steve Smith in quick succession after they’d looked good to bat out the day. The last over of the session was not Jadeja’s best and Handcomb sent a compact drive through cover to finish it with three runs, but the Indian spinner has bowled his side into a commanding position here. His 3-22 from 18 overs has featured nine maidens and he might well bowl India to victory after lunch.

5.59am GMT

35th over: Australia 79-4 (Marsh 14, Handscomb 1)

Ravichandran Ashwin finally gets his first bowl of the morning, which is perhaps a bit harsh on India’s most prolific bowler of the decade. He has a throaty LBW shout against Marsh, but Ian Gould deems it to be hitting the batsman’s pad slightly outside the line of off stump. Marsh knows the danger here; Ashwin has nipped him out four times in Test, but he survives. We’ll have one more over from Jadeja.

5.56am GMT

34th over: Australia 78-4 (Marsh 13, Handscomb 1)

BREAKING: RAVINDRA JADEJA BOWLS BAD BALL. Incredible, I know. It’s short, straight, and Shaun Marsh recovers well enough from his surprise to whip it through mid-wicket for a boundary. That means Jadeja has 3-18 from 17 overs by the end of this one, which features a fast arm-ball that nearly does Handscomb in. He’s been a real handful for the Australians bowling unchanged throughout this session, the left-armer.

5.53am GMT

33rd over: Australia 73-4 (Marsh 8, Handscomb 1)

Kabir Sethi has a question. “Renshaw and now Smith – how much of this was because of the fracas at the start of Ishant’s last over? Did they get unsettled with all the chatter?” I think it definitely ruffled Renshaw, but then the ball that got him did keep very low, now that I see replays. Smith’s was just a minor lapse in concentration of the type we didn’t see from Pujara yesterday. Back in the moment, Ishant is now bowling a seventh over in the spell, so the best Ashwin can hope for is one speculative over before lunch. Four byes in this over are handy for Australia, because they’re still hoping to push past India’s total today and make them bat again. Right now they’re 79 runs away from that.

5.46am GMT

32nd over: Australia 65-4 (Marsh 6, Handscomb 0)

Handscomb is mindful of what happened to his skipper moments ago, so all of his forward movements to Jadeja are exaggerated, perhaps even a little too much so. His main intention, like Marsh’s, seems to be removing his bat from the path of the ball. That carries its own dangers. This is a torrid little spell to endure before lunch. Jadeja is looking a million bucks.

5.42am GMT

31st over: Australia 64-4 (Marsh 5, Handscomb 0)

Not surprisingly given the way he bowled in his last, Ishant is granted a sixth over in this spell. In truth it can only be a let-down given the theatrics of his last, and so it proves; Marsh has one eye on the clock and only plays when he really needs to, pushing a single towards gully from the final delivery but otherwise making sure ball doesn’t meet bat. With just under 20 minutes to go until lunch, survival is the name of the game.

5.37am GMT

30th over: Australia 63-4 (Marsh 4, Handscomb 0)

What a task Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb have ahead of them here. Handscomb is encircled by close-in fieldsmen for the final five deliveries of the Jadeja over but survives some nervy times.

5.35am GMT

Jadeja clean bowls Steve Smith! Oh my word, that is a hammer blow for Australia’s chances, and their hero has departed shouldering arms, of all things. Mindful of the huge spin Jadeja was getting in the last over, Smith moves forward to one that angles in to about a leg stump line, but it spins across in front of his pad a little less than the outrageous turner of the last over and subsequently uproots Smith’s off stump. Australia are in disarray here, and Jadeja finally gets reward for a superb spell.

5.33am GMT

29th over: Australia 63-3 (Smith 21, Marsh 4)

Shaun Marsh gets an edgy boundary from the first ball he faces, but Ishant finishes a barnstorming over by angling a nasty one into the left-hander’s hip and he’s really hopping about as it thuds into him.

5.31am GMT

Ishant strikes! What a wicket this is for India as Ishant traps Matt Renshaw in front, and Ian Gould has no hesitation raising the finger. The prelude to that one was fascinating; Renshaw pulled away from the first delivery of the over, citing some kind of distraction near the sight screen. At the time, Ishant was almost into his delivery stride, so angrily piffed the ball down the pitch and Umpire Ian Gould to come in and settle a few tempers. Virat Kohli was in the thick of it, of course, and Steve Smith too when Ishant Sharma gave the Australian skipper a mouthful. Renshaw blocked the next ball and faced plenty of hostility from the big paceman in the aftermath, but Ishant then undid him with an absolute beauty.

5.23am GMT

28th over: Australia 59-2 (Renshaw 15, Smith 21)

Jadeja has 2-12 to his name as he enters his 14th over, and he rips an absolute peach of a delivery past the outside edge of Smith. To do that he came around the wicket, imparted untold revolutions on the ball to get it drifting in towards leg, and it just came screaming its way past Smith’s blade. No wicket, no run. Another maiden.

5.21am GMT

27th over: Australia 59-2 (Renshaw 15, Smith 21)

Virat Kohli stands cleaning his sunglasses now. Perhaps the sudden glare of the sun accounts for his sizeable frown, but he’s also got a worry or two as this session enters its final 40 minutes. Ravindra Jadeja has been a constant threat this morning but neither he nor the quicks have taken a wicket. The two Australian batsmen are entrenched, and very set in their disciplined approach. They’re not going to hand this to India. Time for some Ravichandran Ashwin? I think it might be.

5.14am GMT

26th over: Australia 58-2 (Renshaw 15, Smith 20)

Renshaw is really surrounded now. There is a slip, a short leg, a leg gully and a leg slip. Neither him, them, nor Wriddhiman Saha get near a vicious turner from Jadeja; the ball rears up out of the rough and flashes past the batsman’s hip for four byes. Nightmarish.

5.11am GMT

25th over: Australia 54-2 (Renshaw 15, Smith 20)

We’re back now with more Ishant and as he steams in towards Renshaw, I’ve just realised an email has arrived from the Wisden Collectors Club (yes, I am a member of the Wisden Collectors Club, and you should be too). Good news: only 18 sleeps until the new one hits the shelves. I have a custom-built shelf for all mine. It runs the length of my office, which is only slightly less sad than the collector who apparently had one built into the foot of his bed, so his precious Wisdens were never far from reach. 50 Shades of Yellow? A no-ball from Ishant takes Australia to 50, then Smith rolls his wrists over a sublime on drive to pick up four.

5.01am GMT

24th over: Australia 48-2 (Renshaw 14, Smith 16)

Kohli offers up a more regulation field with Smith on strike, which is to say there are men actually posted on the leg side, including a shortish mid-wicket and a short leg. Jadeja still aims for the rough outside Smith’s leg stump, so the Aussie skipper is content thrusting his pad at the ball in the Graham Gooch sense, as opposed to the Shane Watson sense. It works well enough in this maiden, and we’ll stop for a moment now for drinks.

4.58am GMT

23rd over: Australia 48-2 (Renshaw 14, Smith 16)

This is an absolute masterclass from Steve Smith. Any half-decent ball outside off stump he’s leaving, but when Ishant over-pitches he has no problem cracking a cover drive for two. Maybe this will go the distance after all. Smith rifles a straight drive from Ishant’s penultimate delivery, and if not for an excellent stop from the bowler it would have raced away to the rope. Renshaw defends the final delivery and avoids being on strike to Jadeja.

4.53am GMT

22nd over: Australia 45-2 (Renshaw 14, Smith 13)

One thing Matt Renshaw is doing right against Jadeja (aside from not getting out, which is obviously the optimal result) is playing with soft hands. Doing so here he’s able to angle a couple of runs to the left of Kohli at slip, but Jadeja is a nightmare to deal with on account of the footmarks outside off stump to the left-hander. Shaun Marsh will not be liking the look of this, nor Matthew Wade.

Renshaw’s faced many tests since he debuted.Doesn’t get much bigger than surviving Jadeja at that end on day 5 to try save a match. #INDvAUS

4.49am GMT

21st over: Australia 43-2 (Renshaw 12, Smith 13)

Ishant trots out to his marker now and replaces Umesh. In a lovely moment, Brett Lee reads out his Test stats under the apparent expectation that he’ll be wowed, which he is until he gets to the bowling average of 36. That’ll happen when you play more than half your Tests on the subcontinent. Smith is handling the Indian paceman first up, and continues to leave everything outside off stump, which is almost everything India bowl to him. Like Umesh before, Ishant is sending them down from wide on the crease. Unlike Umesh, he goes so wide he’s called for a no-ball. Smith finally plays at one, caressing a square drive between gully and point for two.

4.43am GMT

20th over: Australia 40-2 (Renshaw 12, Smith 11)

Renshaw continues to battle with Jadeja’s devilish wares, shuffling across to cover his off stump and then lunging forward outside the line to counter the spinner. It’s another maiden, and Renshaw continues to look like a sitting duck. Kohli has three men in close, but I’d honestly be tempted to bring in one or two more and go for the kill.

4.40am GMT

19th over: Australia 40-2 (Renshaw 12, Smith 11)

In fact Yadav gets another go, and Smith runs him down towards third man by twirling the face of his bat open and picking up two. Yadav has three slips; first, second and fourth, and keeps hanging it outside off stump, but the approach has changed a little. In a reverse tactic to that employed for Renshaw, Kohli has stacked the off side field and dared Smith to blaze away. He won’t. He’d rather bat without pads than lose out to Kohli in this game.

4.36am GMT

18th over: Australia 38-2 (Renshaw 12, Smith 9)

Wowsers. Sharp turn here for Jadeja, who rips a few out of the rough to trouble the Queenslander. “Renshaw is finding a way,” says Michael Clarke, being very kind. India are expecting a breakthrough from nearly every delivery of this threatening over, but the left-hander somehow gets through a minor ordeal. Jadeja is the danger man here, and we’ve said that a few times in this series.

4.34am GMT

17th over: Australia 38-2 (Renshaw 12, Smith 9)

In what might prove the final over of his spell, Umesh comes around the wicket to left-handed Renshaw. He’s still getting decent bounce and carry, so there are two slips and a gully in place. The bowler gives Renshaw nothing to work to leg, and he’s happy to either leave the wide ones or dab defensive strokes towards the cover when the line is tighter. So far so good for Australia.

In the eight overs last night Australia missed or edged 26% of deliveries; in the eight overs today they have missed or edged 16%. #IndvAus

4.30am GMT

16th over: Australia 37-2 (Renshaw 11, Smith 9)

Jadeja has a slip, a silly point and a short mid-off for Steve Smith. The Indian spinner offers his normal impeccable control, but not a prodigious amount of spin in this over so Smith is pressing forward to play confident forward defensive strokes and it ends up an uneventful maiden.

4.27am GMT

15th over: Australia 37-2 (Renshaw 11, Smith 9)

Ishant is enthusiastically clapping Umesh as he prepares to charge in, but you sense he wouldn’t mind a trundle himself if he was honest about it. Umesh plus away outside Steve Smith’s off stump, but the Australian skipper is setting himself for the long haul, and won’t touch it unless he has to. He picks up a late single to retain the strike.

4.24am GMT

14th over: Australia 36-2 (Renshaw 11, Smith 8)

Kohli’s left cover entirely open while Jadeja is bowling to Renshaw. The latter opens the face to run a couple of runs past gully, but he’s resisting the temptation to try and flay one through the gap. Danger lurks in the form of the footmarks out side his off stump, which are giving Jadeja the kind of sharp turn which did for Warner last night. The younger opener watchfully defends for the rest of the over. He hasn’t set records on this tour, but it’s been a mighty impressive first trip to India from the 20-year-old.

I want nothing more today than for Glenn Maxwell to break the fastest Test century record in the process of saving a Test. #Maxwellball

4.20am GMT

13th over: Australia 34-2 (Renshaw 9, Smith 8)

Umesh continues to Smith, whose run-making has now attained a Pacman-style monotony. The Indian paceman changes up his approach in this over, delivering from roughly the same position in the crease as last over but sending some through straighter outside off stump, to try and coax Smith into a loose stroke. It never comes, and he’s happy to see off a maiden.

4.17am GMT

12th over: Australia 34-2 (Renshaw 9, Smith 8)

Smith’s really picking on Ravichandran Ashwin here, again clipping a single wide of mid-wicket to get the ungainly fieldsman charging out to his right for the stop. He’s a magnificent bowler and a very sturdy Test batsman, Ashwin, but if all you had to prove it was his running style, you’d have a very tough time convincing cricket agnostics he was an elite athlete.

4.14am GMT

11th over: Australia 33-2 (Renshaw 9, Smith 7)

Renshaw’s far more comfortable against the pace of Umesh, and neatly tucks a single through square leg when the paceman strays onto his hip. Umesh zooms his next one down from wide on the crease, angling it in towards Steve Smith’s middle stump, then produces a carbon copy, then errs with a sloppy short one. Smith swivels back and pulls it around the corner for one, though slightly better placement would have had it humming to the fence. Renshaw flinches out of the way of a very well-directed bouncer to finish the over. I’ve probably said it a few times, but if India win this series, Umesh Yadav will have played a central if understated role in the result.

4.10am GMT

10th over: Australia 31-2 (Renshaw 8, Smith 6)

The temptation would have been to wheel Ishant into the fray with some pace, but Kohli sticks with Jadeja. He’s got a short leg, a leg gully and a leg slip in place for the left-handed Renshaw, who has his work cut out for him in a probing over. He gets a nervy single off the fifth delivery but he’s also a little ruffled by the spinner.

4.07am GMT

9th over: Australia 30-2 (Renshaw 7, Smith 6)

Umesh Yadav has been a quite industrious manufacturer of breakthroughs this series and he’s given another run while the ball still has some shine left on it. Smith is alert to every run-making opportunity, and gets off the mark by whipping the paceman off his legs for two to deep mid-wicket. In basketball they talk of defensive player applying pressure with “active hands”. Smith does it with “active feet” – always shuffling around to open up scoring opportunities and throw the bowler off his line. A few balls later he almost beats Ashwin at mid-on, but the gangly spinner tumbles to his right; he’s about as graceful as a fridge falling down a flight of stairs, but he pulls off the save. Smith hits his mark with the final delivery, which is driven past Murali Vijay at extra cover and runs away for four.

4.02am GMT

8th over: Australia 24-2 (Renshaw 7, Smith 0)

Having removed Nathan Lyon with the second delivery of last night’s final over, Ravindra Jadeja has four more balls left to start us off today. The first is sent down to Steve Smith, who leans right forward and blocks the ball as a silly point, slip and short gully pile the pressure on him. A few balls later he tucks a leg bye around the corner, and Matt Renshaw gets an inside edge trying to drive through the covers. The ball ends up at mid-on. Not entirely convincing, that one.

3.59am GMT

We’re a few minutes from the first delivery now

“Steve Smith needs to play the innings of his life if Australia are to get out of this one,” says Ravi Shastri, which is some kind of expectation to place on one guy, even if he did last for 361 deliveries in his undefeated first innings masterclass. “We would have liked a few more runs in the first innings,” says Australian batting coach Graeme Hick, stopping by soon after. “I think the boys have got a hard day in front of them today.” He’s not pulling any punches, and says plenty of Australia’s first innings dismissals were “soft”.

3.44am GMT

The pitch: I haven’t had a close look yet, but let’s be honest, it’s all about the choice between the heavy roller and the light roller.

The light roller out before the final day at JSCA. The interrogation of Australia’s batsmen resumes in 20 minutes. #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/RaYOvlKZGq

3.36am GMT

Preamble

Hello all and welcome to day five of the third Test in Ranchi, which might well be the end of Australia’s pursuit of their first Border-Gavaskar Trophy win since 2004. It’s looking gim, I’ll be honest. They resume at 23-2 after the dismissal of David Warner and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon late last night, and they’re still 129 runs short of making India bat again. Can Steve Smith fix his gaze on Virat Kohli, channel every ounce of spite in his body and deliver yet another remarkable innings? You couldn’t bet against him. But it will be a struggle.

10.23pm GMT

Russell will be here shortly, giving you time to remind yourselves of how we got to this point:

Related: Australia under pressure after India dominate day four of third Test

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/mar/20/india-v-australia-third-test-day-five-live

Mar 18

Pujara century keeps India in the hunt in Ranchi – as it happened

  • India 360-6 at stumps on day three of the third Test against Australia
  • Che Pujara and Pat Cummins the stars on an absorbing day in Ranchi

11.48am GMT

One more thing: here is the report from that gripping day of cricket in Ranchi.

Related: Pujara century defies Cummins and Australia on third day in Ranchi

11.25am GMT

31 overs in the final session of the day, the hosts taking 57 runs and Australia claiming two wickets. On the face of it, advantage Australia. And maybe that is the case. In the first hour Hazlewood brought back a beauty into Nair’s stumps and Cummins’ short ball was too hot for Ashwin to handle.

But when the hosts needed to consolidate, they did. Pujara was a model of true and pure patience today. Six hours at the crease. His 11st Test ton came along the way. He rests having faced 328 balls. Imagine having that concentration?

11.15am GMT

130th over: India 360-6 (Pujara 130, Saha 18). Last over of the day. Hazlewood it is. Saha does well, keeping him out with the ball darting back towards his stumps. It’s a maiden, and that’s our lot. I’ll step back and wrap things up shortly.

11.13am GMT

129th over: India 360-6 (Pujara 130, Saha 18). O’Keefe’s final over of the day. First ball, a rare boundary with Saha lapping behind Wade. Bold at this time of day, but fair play to him. Another single comes from a push. Appropriately enough, Pujara faces the last couple. These two have really gone at it after tea. And appropriately as well, the batsman isn’t tempted. Big, frugal shift for O’Keefe. Time for an ice bath.

CPujara now has 11 Test centuries and 14 fifties. The only other player with that record is Australia’s Dean Jones. #IndvAus

11.10am GMT

128th over: India 355-6 (Pujara 130, Saha 13). Hazlewood has to continue with the difficult task of provoking a mistake from Pujara. Good luck with that. Defending, defending. Then ducking with calm when the inevitable short ball comes. A single tickled when the bowler is a bit too straight. Saha is forced to take his bottom hand off the bat when pushing the final delivery. But he’s in as well now. Hard to see where Australia finds something before stumps now. Two overs to come. O’Keefe to get the penultimate one. His best pen, yeah?

I can’t finish the day without at least dropping this tweet in. The original (before this) drove so much nonsense chat this afternoon. And sure enough, it is rubbish. Remember that when someone is YELLING AT THE MOON on social media about it later tonight. Painful.

11.03am GMT

127th over: India 353-6 (Pujara 129, Saha 12). A single down the ground for Saha to begin O’Keefe’s over reduces Australia’s lead to double digits now. Pujara then uses the pace of the ball to reflect him from round the wicket around the corner for another. Saha defends the rest from O’Keefe’s penetrative line.

Pujara’s innings – absolute class. Perf example of mind over matter. Can do with picking up a thing or two. #IndvAus #whitenoise

11.00am GMT

126th over: India 351-6 (Pujara 128, Saha 11). It has been a crawl in this final session for India, but they have reached 350 now, and by the end of the over reduced the deficit to an even 100. Important milestones on the way to hauling down Australia’s 451. Hazlewood less potent this time around, Saha cutting, Pujara flicking then turning, then Saha gliding. Five from it, the ‘keeper retaining the strike.

This is 5th Pujara Test innings of 300+ balls

206* (389) v Eng
135 (350) v Eng
204 (341) v Aus
125* (317) Today
159 (306) v NZ

10.57am GMT

125th over: India 346-6 (Pujara 125, Saha 9). O’Keefe to Pujara. How often has that been the case this session? He’s back over the wicket of late, abandoning the negative line approach. So that’s something. And it helps to generate the necessary angle to beat him outside the off-stump. I bolded that to note how infrequently that has occurred today. The rest are, predictably, defended.

10.53am GMT

124th over: India 346-6 (Pujara 125, Saha 9). Pujara on the cusp of batting the entire day. He’s well behind 300 balls faced. Australians won’t need reminding the 204 he made in this corresponding series four years ago at Hyderabad. By the over, his longevity from here will determine who finishes with a first innings lead. One through cover vies Saha three Hazlewood balls to view. The first strikes him on the thigh guard coming way back into him off the seam. Or maybe some reverse? Good bowling. Then he ducks out of a pacy short ball. Nothing wrong with that approach from the Aussie quick, who will be desperate to eek out another scalp before the close. Six overs left, so he’ll probably get three of them. Looks Australia’s most likely.

10.49am GMT

123rd over: India 345-6 (Pujara 124, Saha 9). Round the wicket to Saha goes O’Keefe, but he gets off strike down the ground. Pujara takes a single to end the over, keeping the strike. Good batting. Not much else to see here.

10.45am GMT

122nd over: India 343-6 (Pujara 123, Saha 8). Hazlewood replaces Cummins from the Northern End. The obvious call, but the right one. Big Josh got it very right after tea, breaking through with a serious piece of bowling to Nair just when he looked set to do some damage. He has a wonderful record of getting on and bowling a maiden, which is the case here. Pujara leaves the first four balls from a tidy enough channel then defends the final two. Eight overs to go, so we’ll be running a bit overtime in case you have plans. Because I know that the OBO is enough to prevent you tending to life outside the world wide web.

Leading Shield run-scorers this season. Next time Hilton Cartwright gets picked for Australia lets hope it’s for his batting, not bowling. pic.twitter.com/bnk9rYG7uK

10.39am GMT

121st over: India 343-6 (Pujara 123, Saha 8). O’Keefe gets smashed over mid-off early in the over by Saha for a welcome boundary. Nice use of the feet. Defending the rest, though. He’s had plenty of work today and a lot of it wouldn’t have been fun outside the leg stump trying to bore Pujara out. Might be time for Lyon to spice things up through to the close.

10.37am GMT

120th over: India 339-6 (Pujara 123, Saha 4). Oh, I was wrong. Cummins goes again. This must be the sixth of this shift for him, and the 25th of the innings. It’s all defence from Pujara. As it has been for so much of his epic stay. Oh, until Cummins drops short, when he carves past point for a boundary. Lovely shot. The Aussie quick is surely spent by now. He repeats the dose in that direction, but behind point where the sweeper Lyon tidies up, keeping it to one.

10.31am GMT

119th over: India 333-6 (Pujara 117, Saha 4). How will O’Keefe change up to Saha? Well, to begin he is around the wicket again. That’s not for nothing. But the new man sweeps well to get his account underway with a boundary. O’Keefe won’t mind that either, though. Defines defines the rest of the set.

I hope Cummins is going to be sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber overnight

10.29am GMT

118th over: India 329-6 (Pujara 117, Saha 0). Cummins again. Reckon this will be his last of the day, unless they get right into the tail. Saha isn’t that comfortable when slightly short, into his body. A bouncer follows, predictably, but he can’t get anything on it. It’s a leave/hook. A bye turns the strike over. Pujara ducks in a more convincing fashion when Cummins bounces him too.

10.25am GMT

117th over: India 328-6 (Pujara 117, Saha 0). O’Keefe holds up this end of the bargain. It’s not pretty, giving Pujara only balls to kick then push at, as he has got a solid 45 minutes now. But maybe that is the plan? Keep him down there, wear down his concentration. See what happens down the other end? Not a bad ploy while Cummins is racing in.

10.23am GMT

116th over: India 328-6 (Pujara 117, Saha 0). Pat Cummins. “Gee, it has been worth the wait,” says Pete Lalor on the radio call. Not wrong. You just cannot fault this bloke. Saha has a decent job ahead of him too now. 40 minutes (well, 14 overs) to stumps. Has to be there at the end.

And how about this? In my politics days we called that a Killer Fact.

Short balls by Cummins this innings

19 balls, 3 runs, 3 wickets #INDvAUS

10.17am GMT

He has gloved it! The slighest movement on the technology, and Ashwin will have to go. Umpire Llong confirms this after several reviews, Umpire Gaffney raising the finger. Ashwin isn’t thrilled with this, but it looks a pretty clear verdict from what the TV showed. More to the point, Cummins has done it a third time today. And has three of his four wickets from short balls that the Indians just haven’t handled. Superb bowling. India remain 123 behind Australia with four wickets in hand. It’s been real graft for the visitors today, but they have again given themselves a chance of a first innings lead.

10.15am GMT

REVIEW! Has Cummins got Ashwin’s edge from a bouncer? We will see. Umpire Gaffney doesn’t think so. Steve Smith wants to find out. Stand by.

10.13am GMT

115th over: India 326-5 (Pujara 117, Ashwin 1). Guess what? Sokka v Pujara. Outside leg, kicking away. To be fair, he beat him first up with one that really spun. But that’s the exception in this stoush. He has a couple of slips and a short leg, but the very set century maker won’t budge. When needing his bat, he defends.

Pat Cummins nearly takes a screamer off his own bowling! https://t.co/EgbDSOUWdB #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/HhMyzninr8

10.10am GMT

114th over: India 326-5 (Pujara 117, Ashwin 1). Ashwin drives the first ball after the refreshment, but Maxwell makes a good stop. Dropped catch! Didn’t necessarily look like it, but Cummins hit Ashwin’s inside edge, onto his pad it went, then balooned. The bowler put in a huge dive! But not to be. Hand doesn’t quite get to it. A quarter chance.

OBO favourite Phil Withall writes me. Thanks Phil. Shit week for the OBO family, so it’s nice to hear from you. “Looking at Cummins pitch map for the innings I suspect it is as close to perfection as a fast bowler could get. The variation in line and length must just sow the seed of caution into the batsmans minds. Adds another layer to a wonderfully absorbing series.”

10.03am GMT

113rd over: India 326-5 (Pujara 117, Ashwin 1). Struggling to work out the plan here with O’Keefe and Pujara. Test of strength? Battle of wills? Either way, it is the batsman who wins this time when the spinner overpitches with a fully, Pujara making no mistake. A should for leg before ends the over as they walk to drinks, but it is hopeful at best. Pujara has been there 278 balls. And half way through the final session, India are 125 behind.

Contrary to what I would have thought Kohli’s had four runs as bad as this one he’s in right now: pic.twitter.com/HEDFQ5g0Y9

10.00am GMT

112nd over: India 322-5 (Pujara 113, Ashwin 1). Cummins has it hooping. That’s some reverse. Ashwin shows the full face, but requires the inside edge to prevent it hitting pad or stump. But he gets more confident as the over progresses. Cummins will probably only get through three or four at this stage of the day. Ashwin will know that as well. Maiden it is.

9.56am GMT

111st over: India 322-5 (Pujara 113, Ashwin 1). Fascinating struggle between O’Keefe and Pujara. Neither giving an inch. The bowler will, without question, land every ball outside leg. The batsman will, without question, kick him away. The bat required only once. How long will this last?

Hilton Meanwhile in the Shield, Cartwright has responded as well as he could to being left out out of this tour. Good on him.

Congrats Hilton Cartwright 170no today for the waca third score in a row 90+ most in form player not in the test team @White_Adam @sb_tang

9.53am GMT

110th over: India 322-5 (Pujara 113, Ashwin 1). Hazlewood has been replaced by Cummins, his job done. He was mighty in that middle session. Ashwin, surely aware of the exposure new to the crease, is happy to run the first ball behind point for one and get out of the firing line. But a Pujara single to mid-off puts him straight back there. Ashwin has bat and pad close together though, even if the ball isn’t yet hitting the middle of the willow.

9.49am GMT

109th over: India 320-5 (Pujara 112, Ashwin 0). Right. O’Keefe immediately swung back into the action from the southern end. And is right on his spot to Pujara from the over the wicket line he has been disposed to for much of the innings. He is able to kick away four of the deliveries. Plenty of patience from the bowler to persist and the batsman not to give into temptation.

9.45am GMT

108th over: India 320-5 (Pujara 112, Ashwin 0). Hazlewood really earned his entry in the book. Couldn’t have done a lot more when called on today, as is routinely the case. In the nick of time with that partnership moving, albeit slowly, to 44. Nair was just putting the foot down a bit and could have gone most of the way to eliminating India’s deficit by the close. Now, they have to start again. Ashwin gets the no. 7 job ahead of Saha this time around. He’s forced to defend the final delivery after Hazlewood sprays the first chance he gets at the Indian master spinner.

Karun Nair has got out to three pretty decent balls in this series

9.41am GMT

Hazlewood gets one more over and delivers, slipping through Nair’s gate with a ball that really hoops off a length. Superb bowling to get by and castle the Indian no. 6. When they nearly ran him out last over Smith’s men must have wondered if he would still be there at stumps. It isn’t to be, Nair on his way. Australia have plenty yet to do, but they have more than a sniff of a first innings lead.

9.38am GMT

107th over: India 320-4 (Pujara 112, Nair 23). Lyon to Nair. This is getting a bit familiar now, reflected in the latter sweeping crisply for a couple. The first time we’ve seen him do that after tea (disregarding the reverse he whipped out). But he then nearly runs himself out! Who takes on Glenn Maxwell? He’s bursting in from midwicket, where a single is taken, but the Australian doesn’t hit at the non-strikers end. A bit man bites dog about that sentence – he never misses. Oh, and Nair was well gone too. That could be the half chance they needed. India are now 131 behind Australia’s 451.

9.35am GMT

106th over: India 317-4 (Pujara 112, Nair 20). Slow going in the middle, and not much going on in the stands. Another typically warm day out there, a strong swirly breeze making it harder again for all involved. Hazlewood lets Nair off the hook at the first time of asking this over, running him off the face of the bat to third man for a single. Pujara, who hasn’t faced for a few overs, defends the full deliveries and let’s a shorter one pass. No issues for him out there. One from it.

Ian Watkins has dropped me a line thanking Mel Farrell for the “utterly lovely video” that I posted a couple of overs back. “It shows a whole new side to the county’s road system that I had not seen.”

9.30am GMT

105th over: India 316-4 (Pujara 112, Nair 19). Nair is well forward to Lyon, negating the added spin the Aussie offie seems to be getting after tea. But he slips with the last ball, cut for one. Nair again retains the strike.

All the deliveries that the Australian spinners have bowled in this innings have been there stock balls. #INDvAUS

9.28am GMT

104th over: India 315-4 (Pujara 112, Nair 18). Hazlewood gets a crack at Nair this time. He looks solid in defence and competent when leaving. Easily forgotten that he really looked the goods on the opening day in Bangalore before getting out. And made a triple ton a couple of months ago. A single dabbed down behind point keeps him the strike and ruins the bowler’s maiden.

Email in from Bryant Howie. He says nice things about Geoff and my podcast. I won’t repeat them here, but thank you. “Wondering what the general feeling is there at the moment being a journalist. Aussie media being compared to pack of dogs yet no one is really coming out to strongly suggest this is false. It is not like you guys to be passive when your integrity is questioned. From where I sit, the level of contradiction on these matters must be mind boggling.”

9.22am GMT

103rd over: India 314-4 (Pujara 112, Nair 17). Lyon races through an over at Steve O’Keefe pace. Nair used the crease to shuffle the first ball around the corner for a single. Pujara was on the look-out to score, but couldn’t through the middle portion of the set. He then throws out the front pad without a shot, exciting the Australians. But, nah. Oh, an overthrow to end it. One to mid-on becomes two when the throw is awry and Wade doesn’t collect. I assume the bounce throw was to rough the ball up for the reverse swing they relish. The price you pay.

9.17am GMT

102nd over: India 311-4 (Pujara 110, Nair 16). Big Josh Hazlewood goes again from the northern end. No wickets for him through 22 overs this innings. But he hasn’t done a lot wrong. Pujara again happy to play him with a dead bat into the ring throughout, letting a couple go as well. Only one slip in place now with the second new ball now into its own 22nd over. Softly, softly start to this session from both sides. A maiden, I should add.

Quick shout out. Those who followed the OBO on the final session of day one would remember the shocking time I was having with the wifi in the press box. Made for a more belt-and-braces commentary than I prefer. I relayed this to a good man named Subrato Karmakar, who worked his arse off to get me a decent connection. And here we are. Thank him for the embedded tweets and timeliness of updates.

This is the approach to the JSCA stadium with our awesome driver, Moin. #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/kdvLRv6JwW

9.11am GMT

101st over: India 311-4 (Pujara 110, Nair 16). Lyon gets one to turn back through the gate! Misses everything; Nair’s bat, pads, Wade’s gloves. Four byes gets India away for the session. Oh, and the Indian no. 6 follows it with a reverse sweep! The pluck! The over settles into a more familiar Lyon-shaped groove thereafter before Nair takes one out to the sweeper at midwicket to finish the set and keep the strike. On the last over’s appeal, technology confirms the decision on the field was right to both turn it down and not to review.

9.08am GMT

100th over: India 303-4 (Pujara 109, Nair 13). You will notice a subtle shift between Geoff and myself. He chooses to drop a line down between score and commentary. Let’s call that the Australian method. I was told by UK OBO doyen James Dart to do it this way. In case you were wondering. I know you probably weren’t. Cricket? It’s on now. Hazlewood vs Pujara is the match up in the first instance. The Aussie quick does what he does, immediately in his special area just short of a length. Che has been out there so long now that he doesn’t find it hard. But a shout last ball? Down the legside. An edge? Hazlewood likes it. Umpire Gaffney says no. ABC’s Dirk Nannes on the radio reckons the bat was a long way from the pad when the ball went past. Anyway, no review. It’s futile. It’s the over. It’s a maiden. Welcome back.

Meanwhile in the Sheffield Shield. This is really nice. Played, Adam. One of the legit good guys.

Guard of honour from the blue baggers as Voges walking out for bat…. #ThanksVogesy

8.57am GMT

Thank you, Geoffrey. Excellent as always. I don’t quite share your pessimism from an Australian perspective. From where I’m sitting at the southern end of the ground at Ranchi, I reckon the tourists would be quite content with how that played out. Only the two wickets in the session, but both the captain Kohli and his deputy Rahane now back in the sheds. India remain 148 behind Australia’s first innings 451. Let’s just shake the cliché jar and say it is delicately poised.

Of course, Pat Cummins was integral to all that. He encouraged a drive from Kohli that wasn’t there moments after taking the second new ball. When swung around to the other end he immediately prompted Rahane attempt a high-risk parry a bouncer over the ‘keeper. Neither ended well for hosts. The Aussie quick looks every bit the Test attack leader in his first start for nearly six years. Great story.

8.45am GMT

The home team’s efforts to hunt down the Australian total continue apace. Australia’s bowlers are tiring, and it could be in India’s power to really apply the grind here. Or, it’s going to take a couple of bits of bowling brilliance to bring the visitors back into the match. Your narrator for that next chapter will be Adam Collins, love him as I have loved you.

8.42am GMT

99th over: India 303-4 (Pujara 109, Nair 13)

Last over before tea, and there’s very little chance that Pujara will do a Vijay and get stumped just before a break. Both batsmen work Lyon around for a couple of singles, it’s all pretty comfortable stuff. The 300 comes up.

8.38am GMT

98th over: India 299-4 (Pujara 107, Nair 11)

Maxwell burns through another over of spin, another couple of singles from the first two balls. He’s bowling around the wicket though, and Pujara is content to kick the rest away. Maxwell varying his pace a lot this over, using his limited-overs tricks in Test cricket. It’s worked for Patrick Cummins.

8.35am GMT

97th over: India 297-4 (Pujara 106, Nair 10)

Junk time, leading up to tea. O’Keefe keeps Karun Nair quiet for five balls, but the one that drops short is crashed through point for four.

8.33am GMT

96th over: India 293-4 (Pujara 106, Nair 6)

The clamour of the people has been heard. At last, at long last, the people’s man will rise. Off breaks, around the wicket. It’s not a bad over, lands a couple, just a couple of singles.

8.30am GMT

95th over: India 291-4 (Pujara 105, Nair 5)

Nearly caught! Karun Nair is averaging 10.75 in innings where he doesn’t made a triple-hundred, and that nearly comes down as he plays a lazy drive through cover. It splits the shot catcher and the wide mid off. Gets a single, then Pujara drives a full ball straight down the ground for another four. O’Keefe of late taking a battering.

8.26am GMT

94th over: India 281-4 (Pujara 100, Nair 0)

Cummins first ball is a misshapen wide cutter, but his second is gorgeously driven through the covers by Pujara for four. That’s the first century for an Indian batsman this series, and his 11th in 47 Tests. It’s been an admirable knock, plenty of resilience, was so patient yesterday then gradually expanded his range today, and has now batted for more than a full day of play. Salutes, then blocks out the rest of the over in true Pooj style.

8.21am GMT

93rd over: India 277-4 (Pujara 96, Nair 0)

O’Keefe just has Pujara in the gun, firing them down. Takes him five balls to get off strike, then a final dot to Nair.

8.19am GMT

92nd over: India 276-4 (Pujara 95, Nair 0)

A wicket maiden, as Karun Nair comes to the crease. The future of Indian cricket, said the British press after his triple hundred. Currently has five Test innings, 346 runs, with 303 of those in that unbeaten knock against the Three Lions.

8.17am GMT

Cummins to get ya! The comeback boy gets his third, and it is a bizarre dismissal. Cummins bangs in a wild bouncer, way over Rahane’s head. Rahane reaches up, trying to get an uppercut on the ball. He loses control of the shot completely, ending up with one leg up in the air behind his back, as though his springtime love has just embraced him in a meadow. I call that pose the Hello Sailor. Done to perfection. Gets a feather on the ball, no more, and Wade takes the most important interception of the last few overs. 3 for 45 for Cummins from 18 overs.

8.12am GMT

91st over: India 276-3 (Pujara 95, Rahane 14)

I’m sad to announce the demise of Australian cricket. Things are falling apart out here. First, a full toss from O’Keefe that Pujara walks at with great deliberation, a la the original Terminator lurching out of that truck fire, and clubs down the ground. Then, a dart fired way down leg and Wade misses it again, four more byes.

8.07am GMT

90th over: India 268-3 (Pujara 91, Rahane 14)

Here’s my theory then. It’s keeping low with pace. Cummins has produced a few shooters, and here’s another, keeps low, but the line is well down leg. Wade jumps but can’t clean it up, gloves it away for four byes through fine leg. Cummins is still trying the short stuff. The batsmen are able to work it for singles. Pull, glide. A defensive shot and a leave to finish the over.

8.04am GMT

89th over: India 262-3 (Pujara 90, Rahane 13)

A quiet Lyon over for a couple of singles. Pujara hits the 90s.

8.01am GMT

88th over: India 260-3 (Pujara 89, Rahane 12)

Now Cummins is back? You might be able to make these bowling changes rhyme, but it’s hard to find any reason. He sends down one that keeps low, still the odd variable in this pitch. It will presumably become more pronounced as we go along. The batsmen work a couple of runs, then Rahane is nearly bowled off the bottom edge, trying to force Cummins square with a flinching defensive shot. Pace doing him that time. But the ball bounces over the stumps, as Cummins half raises an arm in celebration, then has to retract the statement.

7.54am GMT

87th over: India 256-3 (Pujara 86, Rahane 11)

A couple of runs from the Lyon over, as he works away relentlessly on the pads. Patience is the only way through on this wicket.

7.52am GMT

86th over: India 254-3 (Pujara 85, Rahane 10)

As soon as I say it, Josh Hazlewood sends down a bit of a loose over. An easy ball for Pujara to knock away for a couple through midwicket, then a few singles. Then Rahane gets a short one and hooks. It’s off the top edge, but he knows he has a lot of room out behind square leg. There’s no one there for the shot. So it sails safely away for another four runs. India starting to cash in.

7.44am GMT

85th over: India 245-3 (Pujara 81, Rahane 5)

The new Pujara continues. Newjara? The new Australian spearhead does not. Cummins off after two overs with the new ball, including a wicket, after having bowled three overs in the first session. Weeeeeiiird. But Lyon’s back, and Che slashes off the thick edge for four to third man. Then Rahane comes down the wicket and creams the wider ball through cover. India rolling along, nearly past the follow-on, Pooj eyeing a hundred, and that is the state at drinks.

7.38am GMT

84th over: India 237-3 (Pujara 75, Rahane 1)

A quieter over from Hazlewood, just the single from it as he works around the off stump. Reliability, thy name is…

7.36am GMT

83rd over: India 236-3 (Pujara 76, Rahane 1)

The Pujara transformation continues. First, Cummins fires one down leg side, and the batsman gets a fine touch on it. Matthew Wade flies, but can’t get glove to it. Would have been a blinder. Did you know he has more stumpings in India than any Australian wicketkeeper? Interesting. Can’t stop the boundary though, not with normal human arms. Then Pujara cracks another through point, and no one is stopping that.

7.30am GMT

82nd over: India 226-3 (Pujara 66, Rahane 1)

Hazlewood follows up with a beauty. Beats the edge, takes the edge, takes the pad, sends a snorting bouncer down. Rahane survives it all, but this is top-class new-ball bowling.

7.27am GMT

81st over: India 226-3 (C Pujara 66, Rahane 1)

Physical comedy time. What an eventful over. New ball. First Cummins serves up a rank full bunger on the pads, and Pujara creams four through midwicket. Then, Pujara hits a smooth three behind square. But it’s only three runs as Maxwell puts in an incredible dive, saves a single, scoops the ball back just inside the rope, and flies over it to land int a forward roll. he comes up holding his shoulder, wincing, before breaking into laughter. Mimicking Virat Kohli. It seems just for fun, not in bad sportsmanship, but perhaps it distracts Kohli nonetheless, and more importantly it gets him on strike. Cummins gets him next ball, then Rahane ticks a single square.

7.20am GMT

Huge moment! The new ball, and Cummins strikes. Kohli’s horror run against the Australians continues. Pure pace, it was really a half volley outside the off stump, but the speed did for Kohli. Couldn’t resist the length, had a big drive, and that ball very nearly drilled through Steve Smith and hit the fence with his sternum still wrapped around it. Smith was knocked over backwards with the force of the ball, but managed to cling on in the fall. Exhilarating stuff, and there in a moment is the rationale for the Cummins selection.

7.16am GMT

80th over: India 218-2 (Pujara 59, Kohli 6)

The Lyon over the last before the new ball, and it’s another boundary for Pujara. Down the wicket again, and again classily along the ground straight. His eighth.

7.12am GMT

79th over: India 211-2 (Pujara 54, Kohli 5)

Some negative stuff now from the Australians, field spread, O’Keefe landing outside leg stump and Pujara kicking away. Comes back around the wicket partway through the over. keep them guessing? It’s working for me. Who has a good read on these tactics. It’s a maiden, O’Keefe’s sixth.

7.09am GMT

78th over: India 211-2 (Pujara 54, Kohli 5)

Double spin attack, another couple of singles as Kohli continues to accumulate without trouble.

7.08am GMT

77th over: India 210-2 (Pujara 53, Kohli 4)

O’Keefe breaks the speed of sound getting through an over for a Kohli single through square.

7.07am GMT

76th over: India 209-2 (Pujara 53, Kohli 3)

Kohli playing the classic wristy slap-drive against Lyon for a single. If he’s doing that comfortably, then he’ll be ok for the innings. He doubles down on that shot after Pujara hands him back the strike.

7.03am GMT

75th over: India 206-2 (Pujara 52, Kohli 1)

Four! Pujara sees an O’Keefe delivery he likes the look of, whips across his pads and hits it cleanly through a vacant square leg. Then again! Who is this masked man, and what has he done with Cheteshwar Pujara? This time the monk charges the bowler, drives through cover. Are there any monks out ther renowned for drinking, brawling, sacking cities, doing amazing martial arts? Must be. Let me know. Exquisite shot, and the 200 is up, along with Pujara’s minor milestone.

6.59am GMT

74th over: India 198-2 (C Pujara 44, Kohli 1)

Kohli is moving pretty freely against Hazlewood. Faces out a maiden, but he’s positive in defence, moving well to the ball, driving it without issue.

6.51am GMT

73rd over: India 198-2 (C Pujara 44, Kohli 1)

Kohli looks comfortable enough as he works a single. Pujara blots out the rest of the O’Keefe over.

6.50am GMT

72nd over: India 197-2 (C Pujara 44, Kohli 0)

Hazlewood to Pujara, who clips the first ball beautifully for four. He’s looking good. Reverts to his monkish defence mode for the next five balls, broken only by a decidedly unmonkish break when he loses a contact lens.

6.43am GMT

71st over: India 193-2 (C Pujara 40, Kohli 0)

It is Kohli. O’Keefe finishes the over from before lunch, with a couple of defensive strokes the result.

6.35am GMT

The big question is whether Kohli will bat as listed at No4. Rahane was padded up last night to come in if required, but Kohli has had an extra night to recover now, and has apparently been comfortable enough in the nets.

6.13am GMT

Thank you again Russell, as ever rolling out the red carpet to yours truly to enter the fabled land of the OBO. How huge that last wicket is. Every time you think you know how a Test is going, something can turn in just a second. Please do drop me a line as the next session goes on, via the email on the left or via the idiot machine using @GeoffLemonSport.

6.05am GMT

What a mad ending to the session. That’ll be it for me today, but Geoff Lemon will be stopping by shortly to take you through the post-lunch arrival of Virat Kohli. The situation: Australia have no reviews left and will have to wait nine overs to have them restored, so the stage is perfectly set for some kind of controversy. Kohli has already been involved today – sarcastically clapping Australia’s burnt review. What would you rather be doing with your Saturday than absorbing this brilliant cricket? India bossed that session, but Murali Vijay threw it all away on the stroke of lunch. I for one can’t wait to see what happens next.

6.02am GMT

A miracle! Steve O’Keefe gets Vijay! Well I must say, that is one nobody saw coming. Vijay skips down the track to the spinner – who’d been labouring a little late in the session – but misses the ball by a country mile in his attempt to blaze one over cow corner. He’s stranded miles out of his crease and Wade makes no mistake with the stumping. Holy moly. What was Vijay thinking?

5.59am GMT

70th over: India 192-1 (M Vijay 82, C Pujara 39)

Hazlewood has two shortish mid-wickets in place for Pujara but with a lack of movement in with a full one, he’s pasted for another straight boundary as the batsman cashes in. Much drama follows: Hazlewood digs in a short one and the Aussies think Pujara has gloved it to short mid-wicket, but it’s clearly come off his arm guard. There is also half a run-out chance, and a spirited LBW shout against Pujara, but amid much commotion India carry on their merry way and the 100-run partnership comes up. The tourists wouldn’t beat Pujara in a game of Connect 4 right now. Hazlewood has thrown the kitchen sink at him in this over and got nothing to show for it.

5.54am GMT

69th over: India 185-1 (M Vijay 82, C Pujara 33)

Is Matthew Hayden calling Sunil Gavaskar “Sunny Boy” in an attempt to incite him to violence? As you ponder that, ponder the reasons why Steve O’Keefe has just been brought back into the attack for more of the same treatment from Murali Vijay. Again the latter gets down on one knee and belts a slog sweep over the top for four. I could have told you that would happen, Smudge.

5.49am GMT

68th over: India 180-1 (M Vijay 78, C Pujara 33)

Tighter stuff here from Josh Hazlewood, but there is something inevitable about Murali Vijay’s impending century. I don’t say this a lot, but I think I’m with Michael Clarke in this instance:

2x overs from @Gmaxi_32 before lunch? He is a wicket taker!

5.45am GMT

67th over: India 178-1 (M Vijay 77, C Pujara 32)

Party time now for Vijay. He dances down the wicket to Lyon and slams the spinner over the head of the man at mid-off to pick up four more. Even his edges are bringing him runs. Lyon doesn’t drop his bundle, and keeps plugging away, but all the momentum is with the batsmen at present.

5.41am GMT

66th over: India 173-1 (M Vijay 72, C Pujara 32)

Not surprisingly, Steve Smith now tells O’Keefe to cool his jets for a while and brings Josh Hazlewood back into the attack for one more spell before the break. Pujara cuts him late with expert placement to pick up two, and he does even better a few balls later when he batters a superb on-drive to the fence. That fizzed off the bat. Lunch can’t come quick enough now for the tourists. Hazlewood mightn’t want to come back out if there is more treatment like that on the way.

5.36am GMT

65th over: India 167-1 (M Vijay 72, C Pujara 26)

Lyon is swept in a more conventional sense now by Vijay, who moves into the 70s at the same time as his partnership with Pujara does. The batsman is expertly ratcheting up the tempo as this first session wears on and clubs two more out to deep square leg with another sweep. Steve Smith has some thinking to do here.

5.33am GMT

64th over: India 161-1 (M Vijay 66, C Pujara 26)

We’ll have half an hour more before lunch on day three, but the Indian batsmen are starting to assert themselves on this after that period of inactivity. Now Vijay gets down on one knee and thumps an authoritative slog-sweep over the top for a boundary. Time for a bit more Josh Hazlewood? Or more importantly, some Glenn Maxwell off-spin? You know it makes sense.

5.29am GMT

63rd over: India 154-1 (M Vijay 60, C Pujara 25)

“I wonder how Virat Kohli is feeling up in the dressing room,” asks Brett Lee, though his employers refuse to replay the Indian captain’s outburst of a few overs ago, when he sarcastically clapped Australia’s failed review after bursting through the dressing room door to stand the balcony. “He’s such a class player,” purrs Lee. He’s right, but he’s also a master provocateur. I almost wish Australia and India would play a Test series every year the way this one is panning out. Maiden for Lyon, and finally a replay of Kohli’s clap. He’s cricket’s greatest villain at the moment. Brilliant stuff.

5.26am GMT

62nd over: India 154-1 (M Vijay 60, C Pujara 25)

You can say what you like about Steve O’Keefe’s bowling, but what is indisputable is that he’s able to tie up an end at the very minimum, and it’s making me wonder whether Nathan Lyon wouldn’t actually mind taking these pitches and his bowling partner all around the world with him. It’s very good “partnership bowling” from the Australian spinners, and today they’ve been backed up by the miserly pacemen.

5.24am GMT

61st over: India 153-1 (M Vijay 60, C Pujara 24)

Another big appeal by Lyon to start this over, when Pujara skips forward and pads one to short leg. His bat was nowhere near it though and Ian Gould knew it. Still, there is action aplenty as Handscomb and leg slip David Warner firmly believe they’re only moments away from snaring a catch. Nathan Lyon’s angular spin is certainly posing problems for both batsmen but at the same time they’re finding runs a bit easier to come by. Apparently Australian Twitter is going mad about that Pujara LBW review, suggesting it was out. If so, I need my glasses checked.

5.21am GMT

60th over: India 151-1 (M Vijay 59, C Pujara 23)

I dunno about you, but I think it’s a little bit brilliant that Australia will now go 20 overs without a review in their pocket, because Virat Kohli might stride to the crease in that time. Scenes. Back in the middle, O’Keefe sends one through a little quicker to Vijay and he turns it dangerously off his pad to pick up one around the corner. If he’d missed that one he would have been salmon trout.

5.18am GMT

59th over: India 149-1 (M Vijay 58, C Pujara 22)

Well, well, this game is really heating up now. In the wake of Virat Kohli’s bizarre appearance from the change rooms, Australia have a big appeal against Vijay for a bat-pad catch but when it’s turned down they can’t refer it. They’re out of reviews! This match is well and truly awake now.

5.15am GMT

58th over: India 149-1 (M Vijay 58, C Pujara 22)

O’Keefe also has slip, short leg and leg slip encircling Pujara, with Matthew Wade behind the stumps. Three men and a b… Anyway. This is much better from India. They milk singles off each of the first three deliveries, and Pujara shuts up shop. There is drama from the final delivery when AUSTRALIA CALL FOR A REVIEW, but it was so obviously an inside-edge into the pad from Pujara I’m surprised they bothered. Not out. Australia have burned a review and VIRAT KOHLI APPEARS ON THE BALCONY TO LOUDLY CLAP! Holy moly, the Indian captain is a bit rich here; he hasn’t been out there since mid-way through day one, now he’s trying to get involved from the stands.

5.09am GMT

57th over: India 146-1 (M Vijay 56, C Pujara 21)

Pujara almost cracks one past the man at wide mid-on to start the second half of the first session, but a fine stop by the fieldman there keeps it to one. With Pujara back on strike Lyon has a slip, a short leg and a leg slip, so the batsman basically knows what to be alert for and defends stoutly. Pujara just strengthens and strengthens with every delivery he faces.

5.02am GMT

56th over: India 144-1 (M Vijay 55, C Pujara 20)

O’Keefe has a slip and a very short mid-off for Vijay, but promptly angles a dart down the leg side to be turned for one and then bowls too far towards leg so that Pujara gets another single to mid-on. Otherwise the left-armer is asking questions, but Pujara blocks it out until drinks.

4.59am GMT

55th over: India 142-1 (M Vijay 54, C Pujara 19)

It’s a tad surprising that Pat Cummins’ spell has ended at three maiden overs, but Steve Smith tosses Nathan Lyon the ball now so we’ll have spin from both ends for the first time today. Lyon is really turning it and getting some bounce in his first over, too. The other highlight: Michael Clarke’s pronunciation of Murali. I don’t think I can do it justice with a phonetic translation. Mew-rah-leee? He gets a single but nothing else.

4.55am GMT

54th over: India 141-1 (M Vijay 53, C Pujara 19)

Vijay finally gets going again, working O’Keefe off his legs for a couple of runs, then getting off strike with a quite loose drive. O’Keefe is liking what he sees here; after a period of becoming bogged down, Vijay is now a contender to do something silly.

4.53am GMT

53rd over: India 138-1 (M Vijay 50, C Pujara 19)

Mindful of his partner’s stodgy approach, Pujara is attempting to disrupt Cummins’ line a little by getting forward a bit further to drive, but Cummins has more dots than a Dalmatian today. He’s not swinging it, and he’s rarely looked like producing an out-and-out wicket ball, but he’s produced three maidens on the trot. Pressure continues to accrue.

4.47am GMT

52nd over: India 138-1 (M Vijay 50, C Pujara 19)

“India are getting themselves bogged down here,” says Michael Clarke, and his exasperation works a treat; Pujara immediately sends a lovely, wristy flick through mid-wicket for a boundary. The only person who didn’t enjoy it was Peter Handscomb, who almost copped it on the chin at short leg. Pujara runs through for a bye too. He’s going mad. It’s T20 stuff now.

4.45am GMT

51st over: India 133-1 (M Vijay 50, C Pujara 15)

“This is like watching mud dry,” says reader Ken Robson, and I can sort of grant him that point. These sorts of dour periods are part and parcel of Test cricket in India, of course, but it’s certainly not inspiring stuff. Nathan Lyon is so bored he’s started bantering away with umpire Ian Gould. Maiden for Cummins, and I think I’ve got the song for the moment.

4.41am GMT

50th over: India 133-1 (M Vijay 50, C Pujara 15)

Finally Vijay gets his milestone out of the way, working a single to bring up his half-century from 121 deliveries. Pujara continues to pay respect to O’Keefe’s wares, but by the end of the over India have scored only 13 runs from the first 10 overs of the day; six of them came off one lofted drive from Vijay. They’re in this for the long haul, but they really need to start working more ones and twos.

4.38am GMT

49th over: India 132-1 (M Vijay 49, C Pujara 15)

Hazlewood does indeed take a rest now, and taps Pat Cummins into the fray as he does. Like his team-mate, Cummins is looking to tail them in late to the right-handers or keep one low. Or both. Vijay has a look at him first up but there are not many scoring opportunities on offer, so it’s another maiden. Australia continue to tighten the screws and Vijay has been stuck on 49 for a while now. He really needs to start turning the strike.

4.32am GMT

48th over: India 132-1 (M Vijay 49, C Pujara 15)

The most compelling sight early in this O’Keefe over is that of Peter Handscomb diving forward from short leg almost before the ball has left Che Pujara’s bat. The fourth delivery is a beauty, and spins prodigiously past the batsman’s outside edge, beating him all end’s up. Pujara glances to fine leg to keep the strike. O’Keefe is in a nice little rhythm here.

4.30am GMT

47th over: India 131-1 (M Vijay 49, C Pujara 14)

Hazlewood gets one more over, or at least I assume it will be his last. He’s covering the whole ball on his approach to disguise the reverse swing, but Pujara stands there like the cat in a second-hand book store, staring down everything that approaches him and expending minimal energy until he turns one to fine leg for a single. Hazlewood uses the final delivery to thump one into Murali Vijay’s back as the batsman takes evasive action. That might bruise.

4.25am GMT

46th over: India 130-1 (M Vijay 49, C Pujara 13)

At the start of this over Steve O’Keefe is scuffing his foot on his landing spot with a vigour that suggests he’s drilling down for oil, but there is no gold for him at the other end of the pitch. Vijay isn’t exactly relaxing – and he’s caught by surprise by one off-break that lifts and hits the splice of his bat – but he plays out a maiden without too many troubles. At least Australia are drying up the runs here. That is pressure of sorts.

4.22am GMT

45th over: India 130-1 (M Vijay 49, C Pujara 13)

Hazlewood continues and manages to tail one in a little to Vijay, who flicks towards mid-wicket but not without risk. He’s off strike with a dab towards gully and the Haze tries a bumper to Pujara, but the ball only rises like Muggsy Bogues attempting a slam dunk. Pujara’s hip is in more danger than his head.

4.18am GMT

44th over: India 129-1 (M Vijay 48, C Pujara 13)

That bloke in the full body paint waving the Indian flag is the most active individual in the arena in this Steve O’Keefe over, in which Pujara deferentially defends and never looks likely to come out of his shell. His powers of concentration and patience are his great asset.

4.14am GMT

43rd over: India 129-1 (M Vijay 48, C Pujara 13)

The start of the Hazlewood over is delayed by our 8,000th sight screen disturbance of the series, and I’m with Sanjay Manjrekar on this; batsmen need to toughen up a bit in instances where the movement is coming from beside the screen. They’re bloomin’ huge. Get over it, guys. Sunil Gavaskar sides with the batsmen, of course. Hazlewood is neat and tidy to Pujara, who is ever-alert to that low shooter. Four balls in we have another sight screen disturbance. This is utterly absurd, and Hazlewood is within his rights to give the batsman a bit of stick when he gets off strike by fending a bouncer to leg. I’m sure some cricket will break out soon.

4.09am GMT

42nd over: India 128-1 (M Vijay 48, C Pujara 12)

In fact we get spin straight away, as Steve O’Keefe steps up to the plate and gets turned down to fine leg for a Pujara single. Of note: Hazlewood kept one a lot lower than I’d realised with the last ball of the previous over, which is in stark contrast to the huge, lofted drive Vijay spanks over the fence at long-on now. It looks as though he’s going to try and hit O’Keefe out of the attack. I’m surprised India hasn’t done a bit more of that in this series.

4.06am GMT

41st over: India 121-1 (M Vijay 42, C Pujara 11)

OK, we’re off and away on day three. Hazlewood chugs in to Pujara and draws the Indian No3 forward with a typically nagging line and length. He’s got two slips but no gully in place, which seems about right. We’ll probably see a few overs of the pacemen and then a quick introduction of spinners Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe. Pujara gets moving with a single, and second slip moves to about 3.5 for Murali Vijay.

3.58am GMT

We’re a few minutes from play now. “60-40 to Australia,” says Ravi Shastri of the match status, though his segment was recorded for the purposes of Australian TV viewers and might not have mirrored exactly what he said on the Indian feed. He reckons Australia need quick wickets today. I reckon most of us would love to have his job.

3.52am GMT

Meanwhile, at Allan Border Field…

Queensland recovered from here, relatively speaking. They’re just been bowled out for 61, falling to an innings loss in Chris Hartley’s final game for the Bulls. Somewhat fittingly, the champion keeper (unluckiest man not to play for Australia in the last 15 years? Probably) top-scored with 18. Tailender Cameron Gannon was the only other Queenslander to reach double figures and James Pattinson ended up with 5-7 from six overs. Remarkable. Victoria will now host the Sheffield Shield final. Sort of. Alice Springs it is.

To recap so far today….#QLDvVIC pic.twitter.com/ILJfKzCqAm

3.48am GMT

The pitch

“That is where you will find a little bit of a problem for the batsman,” says Sunny Gavaskar, pointing at the rough outside the leg stump of the right-handers. Still, he’s not too perturbed by what he’s seeing, and seems as though he might quite like throwing the pads on himself today. “It’s still a pretty good pitch to bat on,” he says, “other than the odd ball that will keep low.” The strip is certainly still in decent nick. I think there will be a few journalists holding off on pitch appraisals in the lead-up to the fourth Test.

Day three #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/Ohha0cujo4

3.43am GMT

The man with the golden arm?

Maybe not, but I still want to see it.

Steve Smith rolling the arm over this morning. A few leggies could be handy with the foot marks outside the right hander’s leg stump. pic.twitter.com/XWoYthXr7G

3.43am GMT

Preamble

Hello all and welcome to day three of the third Test at Ranchi, which has so far confounded pessimistic expectations of the pitch. In actual fact, batsmen have had the best of it, and India will resume today at 120-1 in reply to Australia’s first innings of 451. The stories of the day yesterday were Glenn Maxwell’s maiden Test century, the continuation of Steve Smith’s otherworldly form, and the return to Test bowling ranks of Pat Cummins – now almost six years on from his last appearance in the baggy green.

12.40am GMT

Russell will be here shortly. In the meantime, check out Barney Ronay’s ode to Shakin’ Steve Smith.

Related: Numbers still stack up for fidgety Australia captain Shakin’ Steven | Barney Ronay

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/mar/18/india-v-australia-third-test-day-three-live

Mar 17

India fight back on day two of the third Test against Australia – as it happened

  • India 120-1 at stumps on day two in Ranchi
  • Australia post 451 in their first innings
  • Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell make centuries for Australia

11.41am GMT

Here’s your match report:

Related: Third Test evenly balanced as India build following Steve Smith masterclass

11.16am GMT

After Australia prospered this morning, India fought back in the afternoon and evening to leave the third Test beautifully poised.

451 is an imposing total but Australia’s attack looks a tad popgun without Mitchell Starc on a placid surface that’s offering very little to either Nathan Lyon or Steve O’Keefe. KL Rahul batted well for his 67 until he was undone by Pat Cummins’ persistence. Murali Vijay and Che Pujara will resume at the crease tomorrow.

11.06am GMT

40th over: India 120-1 (Vijay 42, Pujara 10)

Final over of the day to be bowled by O’Keefe. A few teasers are thrown up, but Vijay, sans helmet, or cap, knocks them away.

11.04am GMT

39th over: India 120-1 (Vijay 42, Pujara 10)

Vijay’s waited until the opening delivery of the penultimate over of the day to reveal one of the shots of the innings, driving Lyon off the front foot for a glorious four through mid-off.

10.59am GMT

38th over: India 115-1 (Vijay 37, Pujara 10)

As the shadows stretch the width of the romantically named JSA International Stadium Complex, Josh Hazlewood puts his shoulder to the wheel once more. Two slips and a short leg wait for Pujara but the batsmen ignores them all, drilling an on-driven full toss for four.

10.56am GMT

37th over: India 111-1 (Vijay 37, Pujara 6)

Vijay brings up his Cowan ton of 100 balls faced with a single as Lyon continues his angle from around the wicket to the right-handers. The bowler’s line and length are spot on, but there’s just not much happening off the surface to make the batsmen jump like they did in Bengaluru.

Stumps not far away on day two with the Aussies searching for the second wicket… #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/wGD0rrG30w

10.51am GMT

36th over: India 109-1 (Vijay 36, Pujara 5)

Hazlewood replaces Cummins as Smith maintains pace at one end but this pair now seem happy to see off the day. An up and down maiden leaves little to describe.

10.47am GMT

35th over: India 109-1 (Vijay 36, Pujara 5)

Better from Lyon, troubling Vijay from around the wicket. First almost jagging an LBW review, ended by Gunner Gould telling the bowler the batsman hit the ball, and the second an uppish push that could have gone to short leg.

10.43am GMT

34th over: India 107-1 (Vijay 35, Pujara 4)

Cummins extends his spell to six overs. Sports scientists throughout Australia hold their breath. He can’t repeat his trick of his previous over though, but nor does he breakdown. Presumably that’s his lot for today though, and an excellent shift it’s been. 10/22/1

10.37am GMT

33rd over: India 105-1 (Vijay 35, Pujara 2)

Lyon brought back for another dart but he begins expensively. Vijay sweeps three fours in the over, the third a precise lap, the second a beautiful flat drive beyond square leg, but the first was a streaky top-edge that could have gone anywhere.

It’s been a long, long time between Test wickets for Pat Cummins and didn’t he enjoy this one! #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/yicpXB0OtE

10.32am GMT

32nd over: India 93-1 (Vijay 23, Pujara 2)

Cummins backs up his wicket ball with a testing opener to Pujara, full and straight. On the money for the rest of the over too. Hard not to smile at the celebration of a man so cruelled by injury for so long. Well done young man. Spell of five overs one for six. Just what his country required with little happening for the spinners.

He’s back!
Cummins breaks Thru with a Bouncer
Mixing up length and pace here
India 1/91#IndvAus

@JPHowcroft Botham’s Shakespearean alter ego wd be either Sir Toby Belch or maybe Stephano. I’m sure the latter’s subservience rules it out

10.30am GMT

Breakthrough for Australia! Cummins’ hard work has paid off. A slower shorter delivery climbs on Rahul and he can’t drop his gloves in time as it chases him inside the line, feathering a simple catch behind. Terrific reward to the young fast bowler for a wholehearted spell.

10.28am GMT

31st over: India 91-0 (Rahul 67, Vijay 23)

Rapid straightforward maiden from O’Keefe.

10.25am GMT

30th over: India 91-0 (Rahul 67, Vijay 23)

Bravo Pat Cummins. On a lifeless surface he’s bending his back and searching for every available advantage, banging the ball in and forcing the batsmen to rear uncertainly, throwing in some cross-seamers, slower balls, and finally a yorker that provokes a strangled cry for LBW.

10.20am GMT

29th over: India 89-0 (Rahul 66, Vijay 23)

“Niiiiice Socky!” has replaced “Niiiice Garry!” as Matthew Wade’s cry of choice. Although it does make me think he’s cheering on a sock-puppet, not an international cricketer.

@JPHowcroft David Boon as Bill Sykes in Oliver. Slightly more intimidating than Oliver Reed

10.18am GMT

28th over: India 84-0 (Rahul 61, Vijay 23)

Cummins bowling a white-ball over, mixing his line, length and pace to keep the batsmen honest. It’s a smart tactic, denying the set batsmen any surety in their strokes. There’s little threat though, especially short of a length, although the final delivery, a slower one, does catch Vijay on his glove after spitting off the pitch.

10.12am GMT

27th over: India 83-0 (Rahul 60, Vijay 23)

O’Keefe’s turn again, but turn is not apparent for the left-armer as straight bats push away an over containing little threat and two singles.

Really pleased to announce a great new signing for @guardian_sport: @marthakelner is to join us as chief sports reporter.

10.09am GMT

26th over: India 81-0 (Rahul 59, Vijay 22)

Cummins begins the final hour of play in just his second first-class game since 2011. Not much doing out there though with dry lines outside off stump making for soporific cricket.

10.06am GMT

Gwynfor Jones wades into the Test thesps chat while players take drinks.

Farokh Engineer- Falstaff, Ashton Agar- Romeo, Kevin Pieterson- Mercutio, Rob Key- Bottom, Geoffrey Boycott- Titus Andronicus.

10.04am GMT

10.03am GMT

25th over: India 80-0 (Rahul 59, Vijay 21)

India have retreated for a few overs with the pacemen in tandem, sensing Cummins and Hazlewood are the dangermen for Australia. Or maybe not. Rahul enjoys a briskly run two from a push to wide third-man to break the shackles and he then steps neatly inside an in-swinger angled down the leg-side to glance four more. This partnership becoming very problematic for Smith.

@JPHowcroft Nathan Lyon looks a bit like Yorick.

9.57am GMT

24th over: India 74-0 (Rahul 53, Vijay 21)

Cummins returns for his second spell of the match with four deliveries on the money before his fifth, a slower ball, comes out a drifty full toss that earns Rahul a single. Not the same swing on offer as with Hazlewood.

Love to see Pat Cummins bowl a @Liam628 spell and bowl around the wicket armpit length!#IndvAus #aggressive

@JPHowcroft After an all-time great innings, Smith is captaining like a schoolboy. Too defensive, missing opportunities, failing his bowlers

9.52am GMT

23rd over: India 73-0 (Rahul 52, Vijay 21)

Hazlewood continuing with the early-over inswingers and Vijay decides to honour them this time, playing away a maiden.

9.47am GMT

22nd over: India 73-0 (Rahul 52, Vijay 21)

Lyon from around the wicket and Vijay peels off a paddle sweep over his left shoulder with all the insouciance of a falconer inviting a Golden Eagle to perch on his forearm. Rahul ups the ante with a sweep so whippy his wrists were at risk of overtaking his hands. That boundary brings up another excellent 50 for KL Rahul, his fourth in five digs this series.

9.44am GMT

21st over: India 68-0 (Rahul 48, Vijay 20)

Hazlewood getting some dangerous reverse swing both ways. Three full in-duckers have both right-handers jamming down on their toes at the crease and then an away swinger finds Vijay’s edge but it dies as it skcuttles through the cordon for a fortunate four.

9.40am GMT

9.39am GMT

20th over: India 61-0 (Rahul 42, Vijay 19)

Lyon to persist with his new line of attack around the wicket but with only two close catchers and some nimble shot-placement and running, both Rahul and Vijay continue to prosper. The latter picks up four with a thick edge beyond the solitary slip but the shot was on.

9.36am GMT

19th over: India 55-0 (Rahul 41, Vijay 14)

Important moment half an hour into this session with Hazlewood recalled to the attack. Straight away he’s on the money, probing Vijay’s pads with a hint of reverse in-swing. David Warner is working hard on the ball to make sure any possible movement is maximised, but it’s Vijay making the ball move in the middle of the over, dispatching an overpitched delivery to the cover boundary.

9.31am GMT

18th over: India 51-0 (Rahul 41, Vijay 10)

Lyon switching around the wicket to the right-handers now and with that change comes some extra bounce and turn. Finally a little bit of encouragement for Lyon. Nothing much comes of it this over, but something to build from.

9.27am GMT

17th over: India 49-0 (Rahul 40, Vijay 9)

Reinforcing my earlier point, the host broadcaster reminding viewers that when England were here recently they scored 400 in their first innings twice and contrived to lose. Another routine over of innocuous O’Keefe deliveries and calmly placed singles.

9.24am GMT

16th over: India 46-0 (Rahul 38, Vijay 8)

Vijay much more circumspect that his partner, keeping Lyon at arm’s length for most of the over, but even he unfurls a rapidly swishing sweep to advance his score. India picking off Australia’s length here, knowing they’re unlikely to be beaten by turn or bounce. Back to the seamer’s soon you’d expect.

9.21am GMT

15th over: India 44-0 (Rahul 37, Vijay 7)

As O’Keefe continues his toil the old adage about judging a surface only after both sides have used it comes to mind. 451 is clearly a decent total for Australia but this pitch contains few demons. As if to prove it Rahul scores on both sides of the wicket off front foot and back.

9.18am GMT

14th over: India 36-0 (Rahul 30, Vijay 6)

Another over with little to report for either side. Rahul’s premeditated sweep further illustrates his security at the crease, but also the limiting effects of his shoulder injury.

9.16am GMT

13th over: India 35-0 (Rahul 29, Vijay 6)

Tidy maiden over from O’Keefe, probing a fullish length outside the right-hander’s off stump. Not much has misbehaved so far though making life sedate for India’s openers.

9.13am GMT

12th over: India 35-0 (Rahul 29, Vijay 6)

India happy to sweep Lyon away for the time being, milking singles at will while Australia wait for the ball to deteriorate sufficiently to become helpful to Hazlewood and Cummins.

9.10am GMT

11th over: India 32-0 (Rahul 28, Vijay 4)

First false stroke since Tea with O’Keefe prompting Rahul to edge just wide of the solitary slip. This fast outfield sees the insult of four runs added to the bowler’s injury. Otherwise it’s slow turn and not much bounce for O’Keefe, meaning the batsmen can play comfortably from the crease.

9.06am GMT

10th over: India 26-0 (Rahul 23, Vijay 3)

Spin from both ends as Nathan Lyon has a dart. Not a lot on offer from either Australian slow bowler so far. India’s openers work a couple of singles to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

9.03am GMT

9th over: India 24-0 (Rahul 22, Vijay 2)

Back underway in Ranchi with Steve O’Keefe charged with the first over after Tea. He’s coming around the wicket to the right-handed Rahul and after nudging a few deliveries back down the pitch the batsman rocks back in his crease and controls a square drive for four. Excellent resumption from India.

9.00am GMT

During the tea interval the Australian TV feed is recalling the tied Test of 1986 with Allan Border.

Not many people know that Dean Jones vomited during his innings of 210.

8.54am GMT

Thank you very much Mr Lemon.

A fascinating final session in prospect with Australia pushing for an early breakthrough and India desperate for the top-order partnership they need to creep their way back into the Test match.

8.44am GMT

That’s the break, India starting solidly enough in reply to Australia’s impressive total. In honesty, this pitch looks like it still has plenty of runs in it. Geoff Lemon out, and I don’t know if tones can be dulcet in the written form, but if they can then JP Howcroft will be the man to deliver them. I’ll leave you in his voicebox.

8.41am GMT

8th over: India 20-0 (Rahul 18, Vijay 2)

Cummins arriving at the end of his usual T20 spell. Not bad for a fourth T20 over, it only costs him 9 runs. The first a cover drive, the second a classic T20 edge through third man, and Rahul the batsman profiting from both. Then a single through cover, a final leave from Vijay, and that is tea.

8.36am GMT

7th over: India 11-0 (Rahul 9, Vijay 2)

Do you know what I love? Fast overs of left-arm spin. Steve O’O’O’Keefe is going to bowl one, at least, before tea. Around the wicket, wheeling in, those grenade lobs that he employs to begin a spell. A couple of singles driven, that’s all.

8.34am GMT

6th over: India 9-0 (Rahul 8, Vijay 1)

Finally a shot with some fluency. In the air, but Rahul uses Cummins’ pace as he flicks off his pads. Between Marsh at short leg and Lyon at midwicket, and four. More quick stuff from Cummins follows, up past the 90 mile mark at points. Can’t deny it’s exciting. The question is can it last?

8.29am GMT

5th over: India 5-0 (Rahul 4, Vijay 1)

The struggle is real. Another Hazlewood over for just a run, this coming again from the short ball, pulled by Rahul. Tight stuff.

8.25am GMT

4th over: India 4-0 (Rahul 3, Vijay 1)

Cummins is giving this his all. Might as well, with the new ball and not much time to use it. Puts some real venom into the bouncers, and even his shortest ball is up at 87 miles per hour. The only runs come from Rahul’s gloves, as he flinches away from a short ball and could have been caught anywhere.

8.21am GMT

3rd over: India 3-0 (Rahul 2, Vijay 1)

Hazlewood doing that thing that he does. Beating the bat on the inside edge, hitting Vijay too high to be leg-before. Then beating him on the outside edge, through into Wade’s gloves. Eventually Vijay escapes the examination by pulling a short ball. Rahul adds a run of his own on the other side of the wicket.

8.18am GMT

2nd over: India 1-0 (Rahul 1, Vijay 0)

Yes indeed. Pat Cummins last bowled in Barack Obama’s first term in office. Or Nick Fredriksson’s more charming comparison below. His first over back (Pat’s, not Nick’s) is a good one. Mid 140 km/h range, useful line, a couple of shorter ones. It’s a maiden, as Rahul plays with caution.

@WhiteLineWire Pat Cummins’ previous Test match was closer to the redefining of Pluto as a dwarf planet than to today.

8.12am GMT

1st over: India 1-0 (Rahul 1, Vijay 0)

Hazlewood to start with the new ball. Nearly a run out first ball, as KL Rahul goes on a mad dash after driving to mid-on. O’Keefe misses. Vijay leaves, defends.

8.01am GMT

137.3 overs: Australia 451-10 (Smith 178)

Steven Smith, not out at the end, what an innings from the captain. He’s equalled his longest ever knock, at 361 balls faced, and his fourth-highest in terms of runs. Third-highest score in Asia by an Australian captain, as well, after Greg Chappell’s 235 and Mark Taylor’s 334. He’s remained calm, batted deep, and made India work for a day and a half in the field. That’s an imposing first-innings score to try to get past, and it’s going to be a question of whether India’s batsmen can reciprocate in terms of patience and pressure. No one is going to smash their way to supremacy on this surface, but it will reward those with a longer view.

7.57am GMT

He is the specialist at being run out at the non-striker’s end for nought, and Hazlewood does it again. It was Smith’s call, he flicked a single away behind square from Jadeja’s third ball, wanted to get back for the second, but the throw was good enough. Jadeja gathers it in front of the stumps and underhand flicks it back into the timber just ahead of Hazlewood’s bat reaching its ground.

7.49am GMT

137th over: Australia 450-9 (Smith 177, Hazlewood 0)

One wicket to fall. Hazlewood in, and Smith is clearly not too confident. He tries to murder the first ball from Yadav through cover, misses. Then drives the next into the deep but doesn’t take the single. The field well back. Same goes for the third ball. Takes the single from the fourth, after driving it into his pad from the inside edge. There is no one within cooee, and the bowler cleans up his own work. Comes round the wicket to the left-handed Hazlewood, but he survives the last two full-pitched balls.

7.44am GMT

136th over: Australia 449-9 (Smith 176)

Jaddu gets five-for. So dangerous in these conditions, so good against Australia. Lyon scores his sole run from the outside edge, but a couple of balls later the next edge goes to the man in close on the off side to end the over.

7.41am GMT

135th over: Australia 446-8 (Smith 174, Lyon 0)

Yadav celebrates the wicket by falling over as he tries to bowl his second ball at Lyon. Does an accidental leprechaun heel-click and goes rump over breast. Comes up smiling at the end of a dramatic forward roll. Lyon survives the next couple of balls.

7.36am GMT

Geological eruption! Yadav bangs in the short ball, there’s good pace on it. He’s conjured that from somewhere deep in his molten core. O’Keefe can’t resist the hook shot, and it carries down to long leg for a routine take. That’s O’Keefe’s Test highs core, and he’s lasted 70 balls. Useful stuff.

7.33am GMT

134th over: Australia 445-7 (Smith 173, O’Keefe 25)

Ashwin wheels on. This is screaming in the face of eternity. He is tiring, bowling some wide stuff, and the batsmen work three runs. This slow accumulation. Does a rock feel pain as centuries of water erode it?

7.30am GMT

133rd over: Australia 442-7 (Smith 171, O’Keefe 24)

Yadav carries on. Too wide, Smith is able to drive a single. Yadav is getting some reverse though now. Gee, he’s good. O’Keefe is watchful, waits out the rest of the over.

7.24am GMT

132nd over: Australia 441-7 (Smith 170, O’Keefe 24)

Ashwin still operating over the wicket, spinning the ball as much as he can in towards the right-hander’s pads and gloves. Smith waits back on a couple,t he comes forward to drive a single. He’s worked these spin bowlers supremely through this innings. It has been an absolute study in concentration. He’s just equalled his second-longest innings at 346 balls.

7.20am GMT

131st over: Australia 440-7 (Smith 169, O’Keefe 24)

Another misfield. India beginning to tire. It’s been a long slog. Karun Nair lets the ball through at cover for a single. O’Keefe has a couple of short midwickets, and slams the ball off his pads straight at one of them. Yadav sticking to the classic stump-to-stump theory. Then O’Keefe gets a short one to close the over, it sits up nicely and he clouts it away on the pull shot for four.

7.16am GMT

130th over: Australia 435-7 (Smith 168, O’Keefe 20)

Another Jadeja maiden, he’s going at 2.5 an over, which is expensive for him and cheap for everyone else.

7.15am GMT

129th over: Australia 435-7 (Smith 168, O’Keefe 20)

Pace. Sigh of relief for the fingers of the world’s live bloggers. Umesh Yadav is back. Smith drives a run into the covers. O’Keefe plays the classic tailender’s ‘glide’ to third man. Smith gets one that barely gets off the pitch, that’s interesting, this pitch has the possibility to become very difficult alter with some variable bounce. He gets a run after squirting the rushed defensive shot away. O’Keefe gets one too far to leg side and is able to dink it away. Four singles from the over.

7.08am GMT

128th over: Australia 431-7 (Smith 166, O’Keefe 18)

Nailed it! O’Keefe gets some width from Jadeja and pounds the cut shot for four.

7.05am GMT

127th over: Australia 426-7 (Smith 165, O’Keefe 14)

So nearly gone! The Smith single to start the over was regulation, but then Ashwin turns one into O’Keefe. The batsman stabs at it, it takes the inside edge, into the thigh pad, over the middle bail, and eludes the wicketkeeper’s gloves. Four runs.

7.03am GMT

126th over: Australia 421-7 (Smith 164, O’Keefe 10)

Jadeja stays left-arm over the wicket. It takes Smith four balls to get off strike this time. A big shout against SOK next ball, but it’s hitting bat first as it strikes him in line.

7.01am GMT

125th over: Australia 420-7 (Smith 163, O’Keefe 10)

Ashwin bowling, and Smith ticks a single through square, before O’Keefe advances and slots one straight down the ground for a much more convincing boundary then his last. I bet he congratulated himself in the third-person tense after that.

6.58am GMT

124th over: Australia 415-7 (Smith 162, O’Keefe 6)

Shot! Steve Smith on-drives Jadeja from a leg-stump line. Four runs to start the over. Tickles a single. O’Keefe is getting a lot of balls pitching outside leg stump, and kicks them away.

6.57am GMT

123rd over: Australia 410-7 (Smith 157, O’Keefe 6)

Missed! O’Keefe slashes at Ashwin outside off, thick edge, and it goes just over the cap of a crouching Rahane at slip. The stand-in captain had no chance to even see that before it was past him, I’d suggest. But I’d bet Kohli is still spitting chips.

6.53am GMT

122nd over: Australia 406-7 (Smith 157, O’Keefe 2)

Variations on a theme. Now the Smith single comes through a misfield in close on the leg side. Then O’Keefe gets a run! Irish parties around the world light up. More so because it came off an edge, through a vacant gully, where a catcher had been stationed just a ball or two earlier.

6.50am GMT

121st over: Australia 404-7 (Smith 156, O’Keefe 1)

And again, except this time the single is from the third ball. Smith’s live average is now 61.20. What even.

6.48am GMT

120th over: Australia 403-7 (Smith 155, O’Keefe 1)

Identical over bar the arm of the bowler. Jadeja delivering it. Smith drives the second ball down the gorund for one, O’Keefe is the blotter for the rest.

6.45am GMT

119th over: Australia 402-7 (Smith 154, O’Keefe 1)

Single to Smith to long on. Steven O’Keefe, the most appropriate Australian player to be commenting about on St Patrick’s Day, will really kick things off after lunch with the bat, and Ashwin with the ball. We know O’Keefe can play long, he was part of the incredible 8-161 partnership with Peter Nevill in Pallekele last year. Blocks out four balls with studious intent.

6.39am GMT

As ever, you can drop me a line – and please do take up that option, even if I’m lost in a whir of Jadeja overs and furious keystrokes. The email is over in the sidebar, and the Twitter whatsit is @GeoffLemonSport.

6.25am GMT

Hello friends and sports fans, thanks Russell for the last session. What a treat we have ahead of us. This is the series that just keeps giving. Steven Smith is a cyborg, that’s the only explanation for it. Glenn Maxwell is pure excitement, even in defence.

6.23am GMT

Meanwhile, in New Zealand…

What is this? pic.twitter.com/MfDQ4vCCtM

6.07am GMT

One final observation before Geoff Lemon steps in to the OBO chair…

India have been conservative with Virat Kohli’s injury and given the below details, that’s smart.

India have confirmed with the match officials that Kohli’s injury is external so he doesn’t have field before batting anywhere. #INDvAUS

6.02am GMT

118th over: Australia 401-7 (Smith 153, O’Keefe 1)

And that is that for the opening session of day two, which featured Glenn Maxwell’s maiden Test century, the inevitable continuation of Steve Smith’s 19th, and a stellar bowling rearguard by Ravindra Jadeja. He’s got four wickets to this point. Sloppy outfielding helped bring up Australia’s 400 in this over, which was fitting enough. Honours slightly in Australia’s favour, in the end? I think so. They managed 102-3 in that session. That’s a win.

5.58am GMT

117th over: Australia 398-7 (Smith 150, O’Keefe 1)

Ten minutes ago Steve O’Keefe probably wasn’t expecting to be out in the middle before lunch, but that he is thanks to Ravindra Jadeja. O’Keefe pushes forward to Ravichandran Ashwin and gets a safe outside edge down to third man to get off the mark. Steve Smith then gets a single too – it keeps him on strike and helps him to his 150-run milestone. Bit of a fizzer, the celebration, but what a knock it has been. It’s taken 315 deliveries and required significant powers of concentration. His genius is almost monotonous at this point.

5.55am GMT

Jadeja gets Cummins for a duck! That’s an absolute jaffa from the spinner. He came around the wicket to right-handed Cummins, angled one towards leg and the Australian groped at but couldn’t make contact with the ball and loses the top of his off stump. A classic spinner’s wicket, that. Jadeja is now on the brink of another five-wicket bag and India are right back in the frame.

5.52am GMT

Wade departs! And rather tellingly, he does so with a forward defensive stroke. All-out attack netted him 37 from 50 deliveries – very valuable runs for Australia – but in respecting the bowling a little more he’s been nipped out by India’s best bowler so far. It was a smart take by Saha after a thin outside edge.

5.49am GMT

115th over: Australia 393-5 (Smith 147, Wade 36)

Ashwin is perhaps pushing it through a little too quick here I reckon, though he does have a couple of hundred more Test wickets than me. Michael Clarke is laying into India, saying they’re trying to save runs instead of search for wickets. He’s not too far wrong.

5.46am GMT

114th over: Australia 392-5 (Smith 147, Wade 35)

Jadeja is over the wicket to Wade and bowling from as wide on the bowling crease as the lines allow. It matters not; Wade engages in that unorthodox trot down the pitch before swiping another sweep through mid-wicket for four. He’s becoming an absolute pest for India, and now it is they who wish the lunch break would hurry up.

Genuinely thinking about bumping Glenn up a spot on my list of forty funniest cricketers after today’s first ball. #Maxwellball pic.twitter.com/iOIcZAxc8C

5.43am GMT

113th over: Australia 386-5 (Smith 146, Wade 30)

We’re just under 20 minutes from lunch on day two and the session is really starting to slip away from India. Now Wade biffs Ashwin through square leg for four, and actually just seems to be having fun with his batting. It’s most irritating for Virat Kohli as he sits up in the changing rooms, I’m sure.

5.39am GMT

112th over: Australia 381-5 (Smith 145, Wade 26)

Every time Matthew Wade walks down the pitch and tries to sweep Ravindra Jadeja, a dog-eared copy of Don Bradman’s ‘The Art of Cricket’ spontaneously combusts. It’s a sight and a half, is what I’m saying. Still, Jadeja even rips one past the outside edge of Steve Smith in this over, and that’s not something we’ve seen very often so far. Steve O’Keefe will be liking the look of that. Smith will like the look of his partnership stats; a single here means he and Wade have shared in a 50-run stand from just 10.4 overs. Jadeja looked like running through the tail half an hour ago. Now India are labouring.

5.36am GMT

111th over: Australia 379-5 (Smith 144, Wade 25)

Ashwin finally appears! But it’s not all good for India; Wade treats him like a rental car, skipping down the track and flogging one out to cow corner for a boundary. There follow some reactionary field changes. It’s not exactly inspiring stuff from the home side. They miss Kohli like Van Halen miss David Lee Roth.

5.33am GMT

110th over: Australia 372-5 (Smith 144, Wade 18)

In lieu of any Ashwin action, Jadeja is the threat here, but even he is troubling Wade a little less than in previous overs. Wade hasn’t played himself in, has he? As you ponder that, also ponder Nicholas Jewlachow’s great shadow golf suggestion: Craig Bellamy’s goal celebration against Barcelona in 2007.

5.30am GMT

109th over: Australia 370-5 (Smith 143, Wade 17)

Still no Ravichandran Ashwin. So Umesh gets another over, and Matthew Wade gets himself another boundary by opening up the face of the bat and running one to the vacant third man region. This is real dross from Rahane and Umesh; the paceman is not looking like taking a wicket and he’s not keeping things tight either.

5.25am GMT

108th over: Australia 364-5 (Smith 142, Wade 12)

Wade is just winding the Indians up now; he and Smith get through for a three that really should have been just the two. Then the Victorian keeper plays all around a big off break, which races away for four byes. Jadeja is really bringing them in out of the rough. The expiry date on Wade’s innings appears quite close.

Virat would be going nuts over these fielding errors. There’d be rockets. #INDvAUS

5.21am GMT

107th over: Australia 356-5 (Smith 139, Wade 11)

What’s wrong with Ravichandran Ashwin? Ishant gets a rest now but it’s Umesh Yadav replacing him. Matthew Wade rejoices in his reduced risk of dismissal by hammering the paceman through cover for a crisp boundary. He’ll be loving this. Indian Twitter, on the other hand, would like a very loud word with Ajinkya Rahane about his bowler rotation strategy.

5.16am GMT

106th over: Australia 349-5 (Smith 137, Wade 6)

In fairness to Matthew Hayden, sequential replays of each of the half-dozen deliveries bowled to Glenn Maxwell before his demise provided gripping viewing a moment ago. Jadeja was forcing him back and forcing him back, and the wicket ball was just a little bit shorter and bounced a little bit more. Seeing them all on end highlighted his canny variations. He’s also conceded only seven runs in six overs today, and continues to tighten the screws on Wade. Slowly but surely, he might be turning the game.

5.13am GMT

105th over: Australia 346-5 (Smith 135, Wade 5)

Breaking: Brett Lee was wrong. The ball definitely bounced before slapping into Wriddhiman Saha’s gloves in Ishant’s last over. Why were the broadcasters so excited about it? It almost took a divot out of the ground in the end. As Ishant labours away, Matthew Hayden is talking about all of Ravindra Jadeja’s “blue balls”. I think he’s referring to pitch-map technology this time.

5.08am GMT

104th over: Australia 345-5 (Smith 134, Wade 5)

Matthew Wade is in a spot of bother here in his attempts to handle Jadeja. He’s getting a long way outside off stump to try and negate the spin coming in to him from the footmarks, but he looks like a sitting duck as he shuffles around. His brightest spot so far is the final delivery of this over, which he whips through mid-wicket for a stress-relieving boundary.

Steve Smith (134no) now has the highest score by an Australia captain in India, beating Michael Clarke’s 130 in Chennai, 2013 #INDvAUS

5.02am GMT

103rd over: Australia 341-5 (Smith 134, Wade 1)

Ishant is steaming in with plenty of energy to Wade, who gets off the mark with a drive to long on. Drama ensues when Smith sends a bottom-edge behind the wicket and it doesn’t carry to keeper Wriddhiman Saha. Or does it? Replays soon show that the Indian keeper was overly cautious to wave off celebrations. It might have carried after all! Unlucky is Ishant’s middle name at the moment. Soon after Smith flays him through mid-wicket with that signature closed-face flick. Worse: Umesh and Pujara make a hash of a regulation stop at cover and it runs away for four more. Ishant is cursed.

4.56am GMT

102nd over: Australia 332-5 (Smith 126, Wade 0)

Hmm, Matthew Wade is the new man at the crease here and he’s immediately playing an impetuous sweep and copping one to his helmet. He gets a bye for his troubles but Ravindra Jadeja has done the trick again for India, ending a 191-run stand between Smith and Maxwell.

Glenn Maxwell is 13th person to score 100 in all 3 forms of international #cricket
2nd for AUS after Shane Watson#INDvAUS

4.54am GMT

Jadeja gets the breakthrough! And with that, Glenn Maxwell’s superb stand comes to an end. The ball was short and spinning away from him, and after transferring his weight onto the back foot he was trying to punch it through cover with a straight bat, but instead feathers an edge behind to Saha. The umpire’s finger is straight up and Maxwell elects not to review. That 104 came from 185 deliveries and proved every single doubter wrong. He’s a Test-quality batsman and now the entire cricket world has to admit it.

4.52am GMT

101st over: Australia 331-4 (Smith 126, Maxwell 104)

Ishant is back into the attack now, and here’s a little more on Glenn Maxwell’s hundred: it featured nine boundaries, two sixes, and is his sixth century in first-class cricket. More pressing: India have just missed an opportunity to run out Steve Smith

Maxwell looked to be in tears as he leant over. He knows it is a moment that could very well change the rest of his life. #INDvAUS

4.47am GMT

100th over: Australia 328-4 (Smith 124, Maxwell 103)

This Jadeja over couldn’t hope to compete with Maxwell’s milestone, and so it proves, though it is a maiden. Instead let’s turn to this lovely email from Daniel McDonald.

4.43am GMT

99th over: Australia 328-4 (Smith 124, Maxwell 103)

He’s done it! Glenn Maxwell is a Test centurion! It comes from the final delivery of the Umesh over, which is short and slashed through the cordon region to pick up four runs. How else would he do it? It’s taken him 180 deliveries and gotten his side out of a spot of bother, this knock. Superb stuff. Nothing less than a very dedicated cricketer deserves.

4.38am GMT

98th over: Australia 323-4 (Smith 123, Maxwell 99)

Glenn Maxwell has…played out a maiden, though not without incident. Ravindra Jadeja reckoned his penultimate delivery had claimed an edge but he’s wrong. This is very tense.

4.34am GMT

97th over: Australia 323-4 (Smith 123, Maxwell 99)

In fact Umesh gets another over, and Glenn Maxwell is watching him like a hawk. Umesh digs one in and Maxwell thinks it’s about to whistle past his ears, but it keeps low and cracks him on the shoulder. Grimaces all round. Maxwell gets a thick edge next up and it runs down to third man for one. Oof. He’s on 99. Squeaky bum time.

4.31am GMT

96th over: Australia 322-4 (Smith 123, Maxwell 98)

Time for some spin now as Ravi Jadeja rolls his arm over for the first time on day two. For Smith he’s got a silly point, a slip, and a short mid-on. “That’s a good move by Ajinkya Rahane,” says Sunny Gavaskar – words that didn’t often pass anyone’s lips yesterday. “It’s a truly benign wicket,” adds Matthew Hayden, perhaps wanting to pile further indignity on all the journalists who claimed it would be a minefield. A maiden for Jadeja. With Maxwell on strike next over and possibly nervous about his impending milestone, you’d think Ravichandran Ashwin will be asked to have a bowl.

4.28am GMT

95th over: Australia 322-4 (Smith 123, Maxwell 98)

As Umesh continues with his third over of the day, Craig Little arrives with a truly excellent shadow-sport anecdote. “Brisbane Bears forward Martin Heffernan got caught air-golfing during a game by Robert Walls,” he says. “After the game Walls asked Heffernan if he wanted to be a footballer or a golfer and he said “golfer”, thereby ending his five-game AFL career.” Brutal.

4.22am GMT

94th over: Australia 316-4 (Smith 123, Maxwell 92)

Glenn Maxwell rubbishes the 87 hoodoo by moving to 91 with an expertly-angled dab through gully, which hits he rope and leaves man-bunned Ishant shaking his head in disgust. He didn’t delete your Soundcloud account, Ishant. Nervous 90s for Maxwell. He then plays his most Maxwellian stroke so far; a duck-hook is the only way to describe it, as he was taking evasive action as he paddled it down to fine leg. He and Ishant really should collaborate on a remix.

4.17am GMT

93rd over: Australia 310-4 (Smith 123, Maxwell 87)

If you’re worried about Virat Kohli, he’s still off the ground. If you’re worried about Paul Connolly’s state of mind, and his shadow-batting form slump, fear not. “It’s the melancholy swimming in my Irish blood what does it,” he says. “Then again, my shadow penalty shots are routinely slotted into the top right corner. Unsaveable.” Related to all this: shadow golf is just not on, I reckon. Maybe I’m revealing some prejudices here but when have you ever liked someone who shadow golfs? Back in Ranchi, Glenn Maxwell has reached 87, the so-called unlucky number of Australian cricket. So unlucky, in fact, it was the year they won a world cup.

4.12am GMT

92nd over: Australia 308-4 (Smith 122, Maxwell 86)

As expected, Ishant Sharma pairs with Yadav to begin the day and he gets the same treatment from Smith as Umesh got from Maxwell; the Aussie skipper glides him down to the vacant third man boundary when his line strays a little wide outside off stump. Ishant approaches Maxwell from wide on the crease, firing it in on a middle stump line, but Maxwell is forward and defending with Dravidesque impenetrability, then sways out the way of a bouncer. Dad joke time:

@rustyjacko Maxwell batting on a “masala” pitch: does he have the tikka?

4.06am GMT

91st over: Australia 303-4 (Smith 117, Maxwell 86)

Umesh Yadav is granted the task of bowling the first delivery of day two and it SNAPS GLENN MAXWELL’S BAT IN HALF! OK, perhaps I should temper my enthusiasm here; it was only 137 kmph and Maxwell was playing a confident forward defence when it happened. Bizarre. It was a bit like the Ryan Harris-Michael Carberry one during the 2013-14 Ashes, though perhaps far less metaphoric in its ominous qualities.

4.00am GMT

We’re a few minutes away from the opening delivery

…and The Guardian’s own Paul Connolly writes in. “I need to spend more time in the shadow nets when it comes to my shadow batting,” he says. “Keep getting inside edges onto the stumps. I blame the warped floorboards.”

3.52am GMT

The pitch

“All in all, it looks like a good wicket to me,” says Brett Lee. “This is a masala pitch,” adds Sunil Gavaskar, at which point his audio cuts out. I assume he means that in a positive sense? Who knows? What is certain is that batting first is a decent advantage in this game, and Australia are surely setting their sights on 450+. Another few hours of Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell batting and that should be a cinch.

3.50am GMT

Shadow-batting time

And there is surely no more fun thing to do in your office/living room/train carriage, is there? I’m a big fan of shadow-bowling, as well. In the two years I’ve lived in my current house, I reckon I’ve taken at least 275 imaginary wickets down the long, narrow hallway. A word of warning: always make sure the coast is clear. There is nothing worse for guests than copping the full force of your delivery stride when you’re trying to dismiss imaginary Graeme Smith. It also stops you from dismissing imaginary Graeme Smith, of course.

Maxwell shadow batting in the middle while the teams warm up around him. Play resumes here at JSCA Stadium in about half an hour. #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/96S8FzSzkk

3.45am GMT

Other things to look forward to

Virat Kohli’s return? He’s warming up on the ground at the moment, but he’s also wearing Wayfarer-style sunglasses, rather than yer wraparound type favoured by most players. Casual sunglasses! Is this a sign? Maybe.

3.39am GMT

Preamble

Hello all and welcome to day two of this Ranchi Test between Australia and India – the match that might decide this series. Russell Jackson here to take you through the first session, before Geoff Lemon and JP Howcroft swing by to mop up the tail.

12.38am GMT

Russell will be here shortly. In the meantime, catch up on all the details from day one:

Related: Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell dominate India on day one in Ranchi

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/mar/17/india-v-australia-third-test-day-two-live

Mar 16

Australia’s Smith and Maxwell pile on runs in Ranchi – as it happened

  • Australia 299-4 at stumps on day one of the Ranchi Test against India
  • Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell’s 159-run stand edges tourists ahead

11.26am GMT

And one final thing: here is the report from day one in Ranchi.

Related: Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell dominate India on day one in Ranchi

11.14am GMT

A wonderful day for the visitors that looked in some doubt when Maxwell joined Smith. It was the second time a partnership had ended just after passing 50, and India would have felt some confidence about running through Australia’s lower-middle order if they could just do it one more time. But they wouldn’t, for the rest of the day.

Smith and Maxwell’s 194 minutes together has netted 159 runs, and will continue again in the morning. Smith’s fate, a 19th Test ton, was never in doubt at any stage today. Total control.

11.07am GMT

90th over: Australia 299-4 (Smith 117, Maxwell 82). Maxwell tries to cut the first. Rather unnecessary, but no edge. An inside-edgey sort of clip gets him off strike. That should be his lot for the day provided Smith is happy to see it out. Last ball of the day coming. Bit of extra noise, but nothing like Bangalore. Smith defends into the off side. And that’s stumps, my friends. I’ll gather my thoughts and wrap up the final session in a tic.

11.03am GMT

89th over: Australia 298-4 (Smith 117, Maxwell 81). Penultimate over of the day, and the final set from the northern end. Umesh has it, and he’s still bending his back. Hard not to like. He bounces Maxwell who tries to swat it away rather than getting out the way of it. For his sake, he’s lucky no contact was made. Carry on. And another! But not quite on target, so he doesn’t need to duck. His last ball of the day is carved by Maxwell down to fine leg for one, meaning he’ll keep the strike for the last of the day, presumably coming from Ishant.

Today, DiS is dedicating an entire day’s worth of content to the legend that was Dan Lucas. Sit back and enjoy…https://t.co/mWSwMDwBVu

10.58am GMT

88th over: Australia 297-4 (Smith 117, Maxwell 80). Ishant running away from us here from the southern end for what will be a 12-ball spell before stumps. He was ordinary this morning in his first spell, but bounced back well after lunch. Still, nothing in that wickets column. Bowling to Maxwell, his third delivery encourages a drive but Maxwell makes contact with the outside of the bat rather than the middle. But this outfield is quick enough for it not to matter, the ball beating squarish third man to the rope for his fifth boundary (to go with a couple of sixes). A quick single, that they are still keen to take even at this stage, gives Smith the strike back. He drives the last ball to mid-on and it beats the diving fielder, able to grab a couple to end the over. He’ll sleep well tonight, the captain. So much hustle.

How Australia saw the Ranchi groundsman vs the reality #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/T4OUkTZzBm

10.52am GMT

87th over: Australia 290-4 (Smith 115, Maxwell 75). Apologies for the lack of twitter action in the OBO this session. The press box wifi really has done a number on me, so I’m just going the belt and braces approach. Hope you’ll forgive me. Will invest in a back-up option for the rest of the Test. Back to the middle, it is Umesh with the new ball this time around. Smith flicks the first for one. Maxwell gets enough on a fuller ball later in the over to take one himself down the ground. That’s the 150 partnership between the two. We all talked about Maxwell being able to play this kind of innings-changing role at number six, and he’s certainly done that today. The job isn’t done, though. Has to be there at the end, and has to progress to three figures. All the hard work is done. Smith leaves the penultimate delivery as it just holds its line outside the off-stump. And defends the last.

10.48am GMT

86th over: Australia 288-4 (Smith 114, Maxwell 74). Ashwin is livid here. Ties up Smith who manages to get a glove on it and win a boundary. Then, persisting around the wicket to Maxwell later in the over, he misfires down the legside and Saha is beaten behind the stumps. Four byes. Another expensive over with none from it all told. Oh, and the second new ball will be taken after all, Rahane signalling to the umpires that he time has come with four overs to go on the opening day.

10.46am GMT

85th over: Australia 279-4 (Smith 109, Maxwell 74). Umesh given another go from the North End. We’re at the South End. They really need new names. Let’s save that for later in the Test. It’s a good, consistent maiden over to Maxwell, who is forced to play each delivery, coming back at him with ample reverse. They didn’t bother with the new ball when the chance was there. Probably a good call with these two set. Will only race away faster.

10.42am GMT

84th over: Australia 279-4 (Smith 109, Maxwell 74). Ashwin is back. He beats Maxwell immediately with one that doesn’t go. A good bowling change, as the Victorian looked well on top the last 20 minutes or so. Oh a reverse sweep comes next! That’s our guy! He doesn’t connect, a leg-bye is taken. Smith’s turn, and now with the ton out of the way he’s on the front foot and slaying through cover on the up. Gorgeous. Less pretty an outside edge to end the over, but it goes to ground and gets him a couple more. Australia piling on the runs in this final hour.

10.38am GMT

There it is! Smashing Vijay down the ground, Smith has broken free after a long time in the 90s to reach three figures. His second of the series, and he’s really enjoyed it too. Purposeful bat-waves to the rooms, and maybe even the Indian rooms? He looked a lock for this from the moment he walked out this morning. If they can retain the trophy here in a few days time, so much will be owing to the captain’s contrinution here today.

83rd over: Australia 272-4 (Smith 103, Maxwell 74).

10.35am GMT

82nd over: Australia 266-4 (Smith 98, Maxwell 73). Jadeja into his 30th today. What a contrast to the first dig in Bangalore when he only really got a jam roll in order to take a wicket and then was off again. Rahane must like his flowing hair better than the usual skipper, who is still off with the shoulder issue. Maxwell is defending the first half of the over before shouldering arms and trying to kick away one well outside leg stump. They reckon it got glove and appeal accordingly. It didn’t. Maxwell responds by popping him back over his head for six! Oh he enjoyed that! He’s into the 70s with a bullet. Smith walks down to chat to him with one ball to go in the over. Actually, it is the other way around: Maxwell has cramp? I think that’s the go. You get cramp from whacking a bloke over the rope? Not a bad way to acquire it, I guess. A longer breather ensues, everyone having a drink. Back in the saddle, Maxwell kicks away the last one. An eventful over.

10.24am GMT

81st over: Australia 260-4 (Smith 98, Maxwell 67). Maxwell does the mind thing and gives Smith the strike after taking one to square leg off part-timer Vijay’s first ball. He has five balls to find three runs for his hundred. But not yet, a single to cover he takes himself. Maxwell really wants to get Smith back up there and takes a quick single in the same direction. But Smith is happy enough to defend the final delivery.

That moment you wake up in a strange bed with someone you barely know… #indvaus pic.twitter.com/zTGLg5kim4

10.21am GMT

80th over: Australia 257-4 (Smith 97, Maxwell 65). I don’t really know how to describe the tangle Smith got himself into with Saha. After having a ball catch in his pads from Jadeja, the Indian keeper tried to pull the ball out of the flap to – presumably – claim a catch? Loose as. Anyway, to avoid that happening, Smith hit the deck and brought the stumper down with him. Some back and forth with the umpires, but the game goes on. I don’t reckon Smith liked the proposition too much to begin with though. Imagine he had of been successful. Would there’ve been an appeal? Ian Gould is laughing though. He’s one of those umpires who is more often than not. Part of his charm. Maiden it is. New ball due. Reviews reset. All that and more.

10.17am GMT

79th over: Australia 257-4 (Smith 97, Maxwell 65). Murali Vijay is the fifth bowler today. Glenn Maxwell likes that. A lot. He welcomes him to the crease by clobbering behind square for another boundary. He’s found another gear in the last half-hour. Don’t doubt he’ll be three figures by stumps if still there as well. He’s faced 100 balls in the innings as well, another small milestone, and in the context of this series, certainly not for nothing. Driving down the ground, a couple comes after he races between the wickets with his captain. Such good batting. Then he adds a couple more to end the over behind square.

10.15am GMT

78th over: Australia 249-4 (Smith 97, Maxwell 57). One of those 60-second maidens from Jadeja to Smith. I watched it while the wheels spun on my wifi connection with the previous post. But I assure you, it was uneventful. Let’s leave it there.

10.14am GMT

77th over: Australia 249-4 (Smith 97, Maxwell 57). A crowd-catch (or should I say, a Press Box catch, as a local journo starts clapping) where Smith digs a Umesh full ball back to the bowler in his follow through. Later in the over it is only Australian fans in the outer clapping, when Maxwell swivels and pulls with complete control, bisecting the two men out deep for a boundary. What a fantastic partnership this has been.

10.08am GMT

76th over: Australia 244-4 (Smith 96, Maxwell 53). Jadeja keeps going. Smith is very happy to get to this ton in singles, defending off the front foot until he’s too straight and can clip behind square. It’s the only run of the over, but I doubt they’ll mind. Jadeja’s not going to get any more potent as the day draws to a close. For the first time this series it might be the case that India actually need a third spinner.

@WhiteLineWire pic.twitter.com/OdtgzamNNI

10.04am GMT

75th over: Australia 243-4 (Smith 95, Maxwell 53). Always good to change the ball and get it hooooping first up. Smith takes it down to fine leg for a single. Maxwell is defending and leaving, but it is a probing over from the Indian quick. He’s had an impressive series.

Phil Withall on the email. Hi Phil. “At the time of Virat’s injury Russell implied it had been an attempt to motivate his side with a display of energy and enthusiasm. It could prove to be one of the worst motivational tools in history.” He’s still odd, the Indian captain. I’m sure he’ll bat, even if he’s in a sling. Even so. A big talking point, as they say.

He just looks like a proper cricketer. pic.twitter.com/fM1Hv4lp2g

9.58am GMT

Drinks, prematurely. Because the ball is out of shape. Umesh is back for the single delivery before they call out the water bottles. Probably the Maxwell six causing the damage. He’ll enjoy that post-script, no doubt.

9.55am GMT

74th over: Australia 234-4 (Smith 94, Maxwell 45). Well how about that! Glenn Maxwell has a Test half-century! With talent like his, it shouldn’t be in doubt whether he can deploy it at this level, but many have. But he’s played a clutch role with his captain today. With a nod to his other Big Show persona, the milestone is reached with a smash over cow corner beyond the boundary. The first six of the innings, and also the 100 partnership between this pair. A couple more to fine leg makes it eight from the over. Really needs a break now, Jadeja.

9.53am GMT

73rd over: Australia 234-4 (Smith 94, Maxwell 45). Now both players on milestone watch as Maxwell takes two this time down the ground to Ashwin early in the over. Very good running. When the off-spinner threw it up to entice the drive he got what he wanted, but the Victorian absolutely smashed it through the covers. Four runs for that in this game. A single out to cover keeps him the strike.

9.51am GMT

72nd over: Australia 227-4 (Smith 94, Maxwell 38). Maxwell’s highest Test score comes with a single to square leg to the penultimate ball of the over. He’s lucky to still be there after the first ball of the Jadeja set nearly glances his outside edge when playing off the back foot. Not insignificant: how good does he look batting in that baggy green?

9.45am GMT

71st over: Australia 226-4 (Smith 94, Maxwell 37). Milking them, they are now. Ashwin has a couple spit in his last two overs, but not so much here. It’s Smith turning around the corner when he’s too straight, then Maxwell taking one down the ground when too full. Smith does likewise before Maxwell ends the over with a cover driven single to the sweeper. Four singles, all along the carpet. India need something. Smith nearly has another ton.

9.43am GMT

70th over: Australia 222-4 (Smith 92, Maxwell 35). Jadeja v Maxwell, and you don’t get a chance to breathe. He’s right on these two. They take a single each to begin – Maxwell to the wide expanse at cover, Smith around the corner – before the tweaker lands four consecutive balls on a 20c piece to the former. But he’s in good nick knocking them around. Doesn’t even look tempted to do anything other than this.

9.41am GMT

69th over: Australia 220-4 (Smith 91, Maxwell 34). A bit of a half-chance, Smith getting an inside edge early in the Ashwin over. That’s the spin we were expecting from the get go. Anyway, doesn’t go to hand or anywhere near, so he can carry on. And carry on he does, into the 90s with another single to mid-on. A lot of runs for these two in the ODI-mould, down the ground then walked through. Maxwell does likewise, as if to want to prove my point. Before Smith ends the over coming down the wicket and cover driving. It’s not the most fluent of shots, but beats the field for a couple. The partnership is now 80. What they would give for it to be unbeaten when stumps are drawn in about 80 minutes from now.

Winviz still likes the home side, despite the visitors having a pretty good day so far: 31% Australia ,10% Draw, 59% India. As my colleague Jarrod Kimber says from the back of the box, that doesn’t factor in the Maxwell Aura. Obviously.

9.36am GMT

68th over: Australia 216-4 (Smith 88, Maxwell 29). Jadeja might need a breather here. He just hasn’t looked like it today, for mine, other than holding up an end. And even that doesn’t work out this time around, Maxwell handling matters with relative ease early in the over before getting deep in the crease to cut behind point. He gets three for that. It may not be the safest strategy when the left-armer has that one that comes back into the pads, but Maxwell has his eye on now. And we know when that is the case that he is incredibly hard to bowl to. Smith keeps the strike this time, with one behind square. Easy peasy, dare I say.

9.31am GMT

67th over: Australia 212-4 (Smith 87, Maxwell 30). Ashwin’s back. It was a matter of time. Smith drives him to long-off to begin before Maxwell defends and defends and defends again. Must be taking all the patience in the world from the Big Show to be anything but this afternoon. But a great shift he is putting in with his captain. A single tucked behind square keeps him the strike, as well.

9.30am GMT

66th over: Australia 210-4 (Smith 86, Maxwell 29). Maxwell gets off strike early in the over again to Jadeja. Has made a habit of that today. The contest this bowler had with at Pune with Smith was fascinating, but he’s struggled to pin him back today as he did there. A single to long-off denies any real pressure from building.

9.28am GMT

65th over: Australia 208-4 (Smith 85, Maxwell 28). Excuse the technical difficulties, a wifi problem that I won’t be leaving to press box chance tomorrow. I’m back. In this over, which admittedly I half saw, Ishant pushed through a maiden to Smith. The quick earned a half-shout for LBW, but it was denied. The skipper was happy enough in defence. As he should be this close to a ton.

9.26am GMT

64th over: Australia 208-4 (Smith 85, Maxwell 28). Oh, there he is! Surely this is the first time GJ Maxwell has faced 56 balls in an innings of any kind without a boundary? Well, it won’t be 57. He took on Jadeja’s first delivery here and blasted it within a couple of inches of the long-on rope. With the sweeper no longer in that position, it’s safe and four. A sign of things to come? Encouragingly, in a way, maybe not. The incumbent Aussies exchange risk-free singles before Maxwell plays the over out with a straight bat. Excellent work from the returning Australian number six.

9.17am GMT

63rd over: Australia 202-4 (Smith 84, Maxwell 20). A nice steer from Maxwell brings a couple and Australia’s 200. A clip gets him down the non-strikers end before Smith defends the remainder of the set.

Here’s a song Dan shared with me and I bloody loved from the moment I heard it. I think I popped it into the OBO another time actually. Anyway, give it a blast today. It’s so beautiful.

9.11am GMT

62nd over: Australia 199-4 (Smith 84, Maxwell 20). Jadeja is back, and after Maxwell bunts a single off the back foot to the sweeper at cover it is Smith. Oh and the captain has nearly thrown it away! From nowhere, he dances and swings, but the spinner probably saw him coming and rushed it through. The mishit nearly ends up in mid-on’s hands. Phew.

In case you are joining the coverage, by the way, Virat remains off the field. He did a shoulder when diving early in the second session. Hasn’t been seen since. Suggests something more serious than a glancing blow.

9.06am GMT

61st over: Australia 198-4 (Smith 84, Maxwell 19). Most productive start for Australia. Sure, the session started with Smith getting beaten by one that ultimately went under his bat. That’s the bounce he expected. Later in the over, with a bit of width from Ishant, he slaps to the boundary. Nicely waited on.

9.01am GMT

To the cricket. Australia have done superbly in the second half of that session to make the most of what the locals are saying are the best batting conditions of the day. Smith has looked on-point from the moment he walked out there. His 76th run marked 5000 in Tests, the equal 7th to reach the mark in 97 Tests. But when you consider how slow he started, it gets even better. As of this interval, he has 4380 runs in 75 hits since before his breakout century in August 2013 at 71. Cop that.

Meanwhile, Maxwell is slowly building in what is his most important Test innings to date as well after a good couple of years in baggy green exile. He resumes on 19 from 44 balls with no boundaries, let alone reverse sweeps.

8.56am GMT

Afternoon from Ranchi.

There’s a lot to talk about. But before I do that, I want to mark a place for Dan Lucas. Russ did a beautiful job earlier in his own preamble, which I nodded along to throughout. The first OBO I did in at Guardian HQ in London was with Dan. We had such a bloody good time that day as the rain fell and we talked trash about cricket and politics and music. I’ll miss his reliable company over the next two hours. I’ll also miss how caring he was when we weren’t on the clock either, which I explained over here when the awful news emerged. The OBO family won’t quite be the same.

8.46am GMT

That is it from me …but as Australia continue to make a decent fist of this series, stick with us as Adam Collins grabs the old ball and goes to work in the final session. Honours might have tipped ever-so-slightly in favour of Australia in session two, but they’ll want far bigger runs than this by the end of the day.

8.43am GMT

60th over: Australia 194-4 (Smith 80, Maxwell 19)

And that is tea on day one. The final over was a more testing one for Maxwell as Jadeja wheeled away and attacked his stumps with a typically flat trajectory. Matthew Hayden was all the while saying something about mountains and resilience, and finishes his stream of consciousness with this: “your performances need to be solid for your family coming in behind you.” Luckily Maxwell couldn’t hear him, and sees things through to the break. He’s 19 from 50 deliveries and his skipper 80 from 161. Big ticks for that session for the tourists.

8.39am GMT

59th over: Australia 194-4 (Smith 80, Maxwell 19)

Some of the local commentators are calling for a bouncer barrage to Glenn Maxwell, and I’m sure if Ishant could hear them he’d like to get them out there with a bat in their hands. Hard work on this deck, guys. Maxwell also needs to be on strike. With tea only minutes away, Smith is watchful as he sees off this over and caresses a superb cover drive to the rope from the final delivery.

8.34am GMT

58th over: Australia 190-4 (Smith 76, Maxwell 19)

Another early single to Maxwell, another late one to Smith, and with that the 50 partnership is up from 94 deliveries and Steve Smith passes 5,000 Test runs. Bradman is only 1,996 away. He might do that by this time next year, to be honest.

8.29am GMT

57th over: Australia 188-4 (Smith 75, Maxwell 18)

As Maxwell glides Ishant down to third man, replays show the ball would have been clipping leg stump, though not enough to have overturned Chris Gaffaney’s not out verdict. It’s also a good time to point out that tea is not far away and that this partnership is nudging close to 50 in no time. Maxwell has been industrious but careful so far; exactly what the situation demanded.

8.25am GMT

So whether of not it hits the stumps is a moot point.

8.24am GMT

It’s given not out, but they’re convinced.

8.23am GMT

56th over: Australia 184-4 (Smith 74, Maxwell 16)

Right as I’m talking him up, Maxwell almost runs himself out heading to the non-striker’s end, but the 3rd umpire quickly rules in his favour and he goes on his merry way gathering more singles. That’s all prelude to quite emphatic square drive from Smith, who spears Ashwin to the boundary at deep point to finish the over. That was a glorious shot.

8.20am GMT

55th over: Australia 176-4 (Smith 69, Maxwell 13)

Glenn Maxwell is playing like a proper Test batsman, he really is. I told people this was possible, and they didn’t believe me. One to keep in mind: he made arguably the best Sheffield Shield century of the decade on a green-top against New South Wales. Victoria had been 9-6, then 32-7, before he went on his one-man rescue mission. The man can really bat.

8.17am GMT

54th over: Australia 172-4 (Smith 67, Maxwell 11)

Again Maxwell works the single early in the Ashwin over, this time driving to long on with composure. At the risk of mozzing both of them, Smith is also looking very calm and methodical as he gathers his runs. Says Dave Kallucy: “In the last innings of the last Test, there was a lot of banter about what each person could personally do, and “wouldn’t it be amazing if…” which was later followed by another wicket and eventually the fall of the Test match. So hows about a little more respect for the jinx? Find yourself some wood, get superstitious and maybe we might make 250, he says knocking on the desk.”

8.14am GMT

53rd over: Australia 171-4 (Smith 67, Maxwell 10)

Ravindra Jadeja gets shot down after an LBW appeal here, and to add insult to injury the umpire is telling him to get off the pitch as he turns it down. It was missing leg, and might have sailed path a fourth stump too.

8.10am GMT

52nd over: Australia 167-4 (Smith 64, Maxwell 10)

This is basically Ravichandran Ashwin vs Glenn Maxwell at the moment, and the Australian is so far surviving the examination. Wisely, his captain is taking as much of the strike as he can as the junior partner finds his feet. Maxwell’s 10 off 30 has been very measured so far.

8.07am GMT

51st over: Australia 163-4 (Smith 62, Maxwell 8)

In fact Umesh doesn’t have another over in him, so Jadeja returns with his spin. It didn’t work for his team-mates earlier, but Maxwell calls for his cap and ditches the helmet. Michael Clarke is loudly worrying that Maxwell won’t have the patience for this situation, but he’s been deferential and calm outside of the Ashwin scares. Not a reverse sweep in sight.

8.05am GMT

50th over: Australia 160-4 (Smith 61, Maxwell 6)

It sort of surprises me that Ravi Ashwin didn’t pursue a flatter trajectory earlier, given Maxwell’s comfort getting to the pitch of the ball when it’s tossed up. I guess he’ll keep it as his wicket ball. The first three here are tossed up and dealt with well, the fourth is quicker and flatter and brings an inside edge to fine leg. Maxwell was in all sorts there. Ashwin is doing that Warnie thing where he just seems 100% confident he’ll get him out sometime in the next two overs.

8.01am GMT

49th over: Australia 159-4 (Smith 61, Maxwell 5)

Learning from Peter Handscomb’s mistake, Steve Smith jams his bat down to an Umesh Yadav yorker and succeeds in that mission where his team-mate failed. Umesh continues to tail it in late but Smith is wise to his ways and sees off the over. He might not have many more left in this spell, so the threat has nearly passed.

7.57am GMT

48th over: Australia 158-4 (Smith 61, Maxwell 5)

Ashwin is a lot flatter to Maxwell early in this over, and that is a very sound approach because it almost pins the Australian to the crease when he tries to turn a straight one to leg. There is a spirited appeal for LBW but Gunner Gould won’t give it, and it proven correct by the ball-tracker reading. No review from India. They knew.

7.55am GMT

47th over: Australia 157-4 (Smith 61, Maxwell 5)

Hmm, actually I was wrong about Kohli. He’s still off the ground. That or he’s got a doppelgänger in the Indian changing rooms. Umesh Yadav continues to Maxwell, who turns a straight one to leg and gets off strike with a single. Umesh is the threat here, you feel. He has half an LBW shout against Maxwell late in the over but it’s going down leg.

Glenn Maxwell has batted in 6 diff positions in his 1st 7 Test inns
Eq most of any player after 7 inns (along with 11 others)#INDvAUS

7.50am GMT

46th over: Australia 154-4 (Smith 60, Maxwell 4)

Let’s not go the crow too early, but Glenn Maxwell is comfortingly casual in the way he glides down the pitch to get to the pitch of the ball and gently strokes Ashwin to long-on for a single. Attuned to his public image as he is, I’m sure he knows that right now he’s not only batting to establish an innings, but basically enduring a public trial back home in Australia. It’s 6:50pm in his home town right now – prime armchair critic territory. Let’s hope be passes this test, because he’s a sight to behold when he’s flaying bowling attacks.

7.44am GMT

45th over: Australia 151-4 (Smith 58, Maxwell 3)

Those expecting Glenn Maxwell to launch a reverse slog-sweep for six in his first few balls will be disappointed to know he’s so far playing straight and giving it the full face of the bat. “He is an incredible player when his confidence level is high,” says Matthew Hayden. “He could dominate the landscape.” Maxwell duly runs one down to third man for a single, and looks to have his wits about him so far. Smith finishes the over by glancing Umesh to the fine leg fence and with that, Australia reach 150 at the drinks break.

7.40am GMT

44th over: Australia 143-4 (Smith 52, Maxwell 1)

Ravichandran Ashwin is back into the attack now and has a slip and a short leg in place for Glenn Maxwell. Maxwell has been waiting impatiently for this moment for three years now, and will be desperate to impress. He’s off the mark with a nerve-settling single to long-on. Smith nudges one to leg to keep the strike.

7.37am GMT

43rd over: Australia 140-4 (Smith 50, Maxwell 0)

There is a lot going on here; with Handscomb gone his Victorian team-mate Glenn Maxwell is at the crease, and an entire nation inhales as one. Moments before the wicket, Steve Smith had brought up his half-century and if you looked closely at the celebration, you’d probably assume it meant a little more to him than many others. He was verging on smug as he pointed his bat towards the sheds. Now he might be a little worried. Maxwell survives four deliveries from Umesh and trots down the middle for a conference with his skipper.

7.34am GMT

Umesh does the trick again! And yet again Peter Handscomb perishes just as he looked perfectly comfortable. This time he’s done in by an absolute snorter of a yorker from the Indian paceman; it swings in late and appreciably to jam Handscomb on the toe and the minute that happens he knows he’s gone. The look to Smith for a referral is forlorn. Done.

7.31am GMT

42nd over: Australia 139-3 (Smith 49, Handscomb 19)

Ravindra Jadeja continues and Steve Smith moves closer to his half-century when he skips down the deck and hammers one to mid-on. A metre either way and it was four, but it does bring up the 50 partnership from 16.4 overs, which is pretty decent consolidation from this pair. And now a sight that will warm the hearts of club cricketers everywhere:

which shoulder is it, champ? #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/cp6hTM1eBX

7.27am GMT

41st over: Australia 137-3 (Smith 48, Handscomb 18)

Peter Handscomb has been slightly constipated in his efforts in recent overs but he’s batting Imodium here, cutting late and magnificently off the returning Yadav to pick up four runs and get himself going again. Matthew Hayden, meanwhile, has been recreating the facial expressions of the average fan listening to his commentary:

Matthew Hayden, ladies and gentlemen. (@rustyjacko) pic.twitter.com/YYFSAzqbKW

7.23am GMT

40th over: Australia 132-3 (Smith 48, Handscomb 13)

A delay now as Virat Kohli leaves the field after doing himself a mischief in the act of diving to save a boundary. You could see his idea; make a statement to his men by hurling himself at the rope and showing his commitment, but it was also foolhardy. India’s best batsman appears to crunch both his shoulder and head into the hard outfield, and physio Pat Farhart takes him from the field for treatment. Fear not: by over’s end he’s back out there.

7.18am GMT

39th over: Australia 129-3 (Smith 48, Handscomb 10)

Ishant looked to have shot his bolt last over, but Kohli gives him another one regardless. It’s all a bit grim, and Ishant is pinching the bridge of his nose after the fourth ball, perhaps as a coded signal to his skipper that he’s done with his thankless task. Hovering around the 140kmph mark throughout, he doesn’t concede a run until Smith glides the last ball to the rope at third man. Who’d be a fast bowler in these conditions?

7.13am GMT

38th over: Australia 125-3 (Smith 44, Handscomb 10)

Interesting times; Smith is very well set and Handscomb is starting to look very comfortable as well. Having taken a wicket early in the piece, Jadeja is looking unthreatening. Kohli needs to shuffle the deck here. It ain’t working.

7.10am GMT

37th over: Australia 124-3 (Smith 43, Handscomb 10)

Ishant gets another over and continues to bend his back without much joy. The broadcasters are calling for submissions under the #IshantGameFace hashtag, but I think his skipper would rather see his wicket-taking face as the moment. I won’t lie though, there are some genuinely disturbing sights via the hashtag.

Don’t miss the 4th One … #IshantGameFace pic.twitter.com/5Y3EjXsEyZ

7.05am GMT

36th over: Australia 123-3 (Smith 42, Handscomb 10)

I wish I could do just one thing as well as the cover drive Steve Smith has just belted to the fence off Ravindra Jadeja. Even if I did, it would probably be something useless like tying Windsor knots upside down, I bet. I’ll try the latter and let you know.

7.03am GMT

35th over: Australia 118-3 (Smith 37, Handscomb 10)

“That’s how he plays, that’s his technique,” says Michael Clarke of Peter Handscomb’s shuffle back towards his stumps. Translation: “I don’t think he should play like that but it seems to work for him.” You’d hesitate to be too emphatic right now, as he hasn’t made a lot of runs in India just yet. My guess: they’ll come, and he’ll be a fixture of his side for most of the next decade. “He holds it a bit like an axe,” adds Brett Lee, planting seeds in the minds of cricket fans. Ishant might have had a maiden but again Vijay errs in the field, letting a regulation stop through to concede two. Kohli’s nudging further down the Border-McDermott continuum now.

6.58am GMT

34th over: Australia 116-3 (Smith 37, Handscomb 8)

Both batsmen are using their feet to Jadeja, confidently skipping down the track to hit him towards leg. Smith lofts a single that way and then throws back his head in disgust; it should have been four, by his reaction. Adding the observation that the Warner ball was trash, Jadeja really hasn’t bowled many “wicket balls” today.

6.55am GMT

33rd over: Australia 114-3 (Smith 36, Handscomb 7)

Australia’s smart running between the wickets continues as Handscomb turns one around the corner off his pads, down towards fine leg, and figures he can get back on the arm of the man down there. He’s right, and Kohli is doing the Allan Border teapot stance again. It’s about a 6.7 on the Craig McDermott scale.

6.50am GMT

32nd over: Australia 111-3 (Smith 35, Handscomb 7)

Ravindra Jadeja is favoured to pair with Ishant first up, but he’s not yet finding any spin in this pitch and gets turned to leg for a Handscomb single. Smith gets another hitting one very firmly to mid-on and then charging through. Kohli is cheesed off (“C’mon!” he screams at the offender, Murali Vijay), while Brett Lee says it’s spoiled a maiden. He clearly nodded off at the start of the over.

6.46am GMT

31st over: Australia 109-3 (Smith 34, Handscomb 6)

OK, we’re off and away in the second session. Ishant Sharma, his man bun, and his Shaggy-style beard are all steaming in towards Steve Smith. Of Ishant, Brett Lee is full of praise for “the way he goes about his business”, which might have a bit more impact if he hadn’t already said it of the other 21 players in this game as well. Ishant is at the very least an accurate bowler in this over, and it’s a maiden.

Imagine the frustration around Australia if Handscomb and Smith stupidly bat through this session. #Maxwellball

6.40am GMT

We’re a few minutes from the second session now

…and a couple of good things: (1) if the Fox Sports coverage of this series has taught me one thing it’s that Henry Olonga is an opera singer, and (2) Glenn Maxwell might be batting soon. Good times.

6.32am GMT

Lunch break pearls from Rodney Hogg.

Hogg: “Australia is in a mega amount of trouble at lunch”

6.15am GMT

I’m sure he didn’t mean to come across as pessimistic, but…

Nathan Lyon having a good look at the pitch in the lunch break. Renshaw came out as well. #INDvAUS

6.02am GMT

30th over: Australia 109-3 (Smith 34, Handscomb 6)

And that is lunch on day one at Ranchi, where Australia rattled along at a decent clip all morning thanks to Matt Renshaw and Steve Smith, but only the latter survived and Australia might rue the loss of early wickets given the need to maximise the value of this pitch in the first innings. India, on the other hand, will be very happy with those three wickets after losing the toss. Back with more shortly.

@rustyjacko The best thing we can do for Dan is to feel everything with the passion he felt and take it all with his grace and humour.

5.59am GMT

29th over: Australia 106-3 (Smith 31, Handscomb 6)

Oof, Smith gets lucky here, sending an inside edge between his legs to pick up a boundary off Yadav, who has in fact stayed in the attack. A little more conventional is Smith’s next shot, which fizzes away past square leg for four more. The Australian pair will have one more over to survive before the break, and Ravindra Jadeja will bowl it.

5.55am GMT

28th over: Australia 97-3 (Smith 23, Handscomb 6)

I guess we’re likely to see Ravichandran Ashwin change ends now because only an over on from his removal of Marsh he’s been replaced by Jadeja. Yadav will probably be relieved of his duties next over, as India look to jam in as many as they can before the lunch break. Smith drives the final delivery to long-on for a single and keeps the strike.

5.52am GMT

27th over: Australia 96-3 (Smith 22, Handscomb 6)

Scarier stuff here for Handscomb as Umesh has a throaty LBW appeal against him early in the over, but it’s adjudged to be sailing down leg and the home side decides against a review. Maiden for Umesh, whose gone from zero to hero in the last 20 minutes.

5.50am GMT

26th over: Australia 96-3 (Smith 22, Handscomb 6)

Not perturbed by the crisis around him, Peter Handscomb arrives with a bang, driving sumptuously for a boundary to get off the mark.

5.44am GMT

Marsh is gone! It was a definite inside edge as Marsh lunged forward and the ball flew off his pad to the man in close. He went at it with a confident stride and hard hands, and now he’s trotting back to the pavilion. Australia are teetering a little now; a session that promised much is falling away.

5.43am GMT

And they’re very, very confident in that, despite the appeal being turned down.

5.42am GMT

25th over: Australia 89-2 (Smith 21, Marsh 2)

One unique thing about Shaun Marsh is that he runs between the wickets like a character in a late 90s, early-3D video game – all robotic and square, with his chest puffed out and his long-suffering back rigidly straight. It’s a bit Fifa ‘97 referee, I reckon.

5.39am GMT

24th over: Australia 88-2 (Smith 21, Marsh 1)

Not quite as metronomic here from Ashwin, who is worked for a few singles and a two to Smith. Thomas Walker arrives with an email at the point. “Well past midnight here in Chicago but this first hour has already set up the match nicely… thanks for the OBO coverage, it’s been snowing all week here so it’s nice to be reminded that it’s warm cricket weather somewhere in the world. Also, RIP Dan Lucas, very sad to hear such awful news. I loved his Phil Hughes obituary and it feels even more poignant now.”

5.34am GMT

23rd over: Australia 84-2 (Smith 18, Marsh 1)

Shaun Marsh is the new man at the crease for the tourists, and he’s straight off the mark with a single. His eternal plight seems to be the need to survive an awkward period before lunch and tea, and that is his lot here. Twenty-five minutes will see him through to lunch. Another wicket could tip the balance in India’s favour but runs are also fairly easy to come by.

5.32am GMT

Renshaw nicks Yadav to first slip! Well, that was not quite what we expected of that over but again Umesh Yadav has done the job for his skipper, with whom he combines for this wicket. A ball earlier Renshaw had teased the crowd by purposefully flicking one just short of Rahane at second slip, but his demise is a genuinely injudicious waft, from which the outside edge is well held by Kohli.

5.29am GMT

22nd over: Australia 78-1 (Renshaw 41, Smith 15)

Another accurate and tight over from Ashwin, who is pursuing a stump-to-stump line to Steve Smith but looking increasingly less likely of actually getting him out. This is a danger time for India, I sense, because once Steven Peter Devereux Smith is in, it’s very hard to get him out.

5.25am GMT

21st over: Australia 77-1 (Renshaw 41, Smith 15)

Umesh Yadav was bowling like a drain earlier, but he returns now with his sights set on redeeming things with some reverse swing. So far it seems a double reverse, perhaps, cancelling itself out. Renshaw’s not troubled and drives for one, then Smith sees off the rest. They might tuck in next over from this end.

5.22am GMT

20th over: Australia 76-1 (Renshaw 40, Smith 15)

Some intrigue here; “We might have had our first explosion of the match,” says commentator Laxmanan Sivaramakrishnan . Don’t worry, he only means it in the sense of prodigious spin. A bit dramatic. The ball in qurstion looked a lot like it had trapped Renshaw in front, but the contact with the pad had come when he was outside the line of off stump. False alarm. Jadeja wisely decides against a review.

5.17am GMT

19th over: Australia 75-1 (Renshaw 39, Smith 15)

In a symbolic win for Matt Renshaw, Ravichandran Ashwin has moved his close-in fieldsmen back to short cover and short extra cover, but persists with a slip to the well-set batsman. Renshaw takes his time over a single and Smith bobs, weaves and cuts to pick up two to finish the over.

Ranchi pitch is playing way better than anyone expected. Retractions being drafted. Best first session deck of series.

5.14am GMT

18th over: Australia 72-1 (Renshaw 38, Smith 13)

Michael Clarke reckons that this wicket is a lot easier to score on than those of the first two Tests, which is at odds with all of the pre-match outrage about the state of the strip. Renshaw and Smith look perfectly comfortable for now, I’ll say that. Meanwhile, Ryan Jones has accepted my choice of Cheese and Onion, but adds that Light and Tangy should not be left out of the conversation. He’s right, of course. A curiously maligned crisp flavour.

5.10am GMT

17th over: Australia 69-1 (Renshaw 36, Smith 12)

As Ashwin continues to ease into what will surely be a long spell, Scott Probst arrives with a delightful and unexpected email. “This talk of the Test being in Dharamsala brings to mind to local Tibetan community; Tibetans are really into their cricket. I know an ex-monk who was opening bat for his monastery. Once when I was on a meditation retreat in Nepal with a bunch of Tibetans, one of the monks made discreet enquiries as to whether I was Ricky Ponting.” That’s all on a slightly higher plane than Ryan Jones’ request for my favourite flavour of Smith’s crisps. Cheese and onion, if you must know.

5.08am GMT

16th over: Australia 68-1 (Renshaw 35, Smith 12)

Ravindra Jadeja gets us re-started after drinks and Smith is full of positive intent as he strokes him towards point and cover without piercing the field. Jadeja has a slip and a short leg, but both are moot when he over-pitches and Smith drives him wide of mid-wicket for a boundary. Jadeja has gone for 14 runs from his four overs, which actually counts as expensive by his usual miserly standards.

5.04am GMT

15th over: Australia 64-1 (Renshaw 35, Smith 8)

As drinks are called at the mid-way point of the first session, we can now reflect on what a bonanza it has been for Matt Renshaw. He’s 35 from 43 deliveries with seven boundaries and doesn’t look too perturbed by the loss of his opening partner David Warner. That said, Australia are on top for now.

Big wicket for the Aussie VC gone cheaply again.

5.00am GMT

14th over: Australia 61-1 (Renshaw 34, Smith 6)

It’s been said a million times before, but the sight of Steve Smith bobbing up and down before playing a perfectly correct forward defence really is something. It’s like he’s doing the Zorba dance in this over from Jadeja, and he gets a single to retain the strike.

4.57am GMT

13th over: Australia 60-1 (Renshaw 34, Smith 5)

I’m not sure whether it is a concerted effort to score a lot of runs before the wicket starts deteriorating or a measure of the volume of loose balls bowled, but Renshaw is hitting boundaries for fun today and gets another through cover off Ashwin. It’s Matthew Haydenesque bully-batting and he’s perhaps setting the tone for what will follow.

4.54am GMT

12th over: Australia 54-1 (Renshaw 29, Smith 4)

The flipside of Ravindra Jadeja’s madcap brilliance so far is that he’s offering up plenty of buffet balls, and that allows Steve Smith to get off the mark with a boundary when he glances a leg-side dart down to the fence at fine leg. It’s been runs galore in this first session but you can sense imminent danger for the batsmen too.

4.51am GMT

11th over: Australia 50-1 (Renshaw 29, Smith 0)

“There is no justice when it comes to batting,” says Matthew Hayden of David Warner’s dismissal. A strange interpretation of such a dismal bit of human error, but OK. Ravi Ashwin continues to Renshaw and bowls an accurate, searching over that forces the Australian to defend as the general rule.

I know they don’t allow runners any more but surely we can make an exception to get Maxwell out there early. #INDvAUS

4.49am GMT

10th over: Australia 50-1 (Renshaw 29, Smith 0)

The Australian captain strides to the crease now and has a couple of Jadeja’s best to defend first up. David Warner’s average, meanwhile, might soon dip below 48 and his struggles in India continue.

4.48am GMT

Ravindra Jadeja comes into the attack and immediately claims Warner! My word that was a terrible dismissal. Warner had just called for his baggy green cap and ensured himself an unobstructed view of the ball, but having creamed the left-arm spinner through cover for a boundary, he then plays an ugly swipe at a full toss and sends it straight back to the bowler. That was an absolute shocker from Warner. He’s furious, and Jadeja strikes again.

4.44am GMT

9th over: Australia 45-0 (Renshaw 28, Warner 15)

A hairy moment for Renshaw here as he reaches a long way forward to pat Ashwin towards mid-on, but a leading edge squirts the other way towards short cover. Ashwin is an obvious threat here, but it must be said that the Australian’s have tended to handle him very well early in the previous two Tests.

@rustyjacko Too early to have Renshaw knocking Boycott off his perch as the greatest living Yorkshireman?

4.41am GMT

8th over: Australia 44-0 (Renshaw 27, Warner 15)

Renshaw “comes across as a bloke who is very relaxed,” says Sunil Gavaskar, hardly the most chilled-out entertainer you’re likely to meet. Aside from that he’s just got a firm sense of his bearings and clear understanding of his own game; he knows where his off stump is and picks the right ball to hit. Here Umesh* gives Warner the right one; another half-volley that gets creamed through cover for a boundary.

4.36am GMT

7th over: Australia 36-0 (Renshaw 24, Warner 10)

Spin time: Ravi Ashwin first. He licks his finger, aggressively spins the ball around in his hand to get a feel for things, then sweeps his arms in those signature loops as he runs in to Warner. He’s also probably licking his lips. Warner drives and defends towards cover for the most part, then gets back and across to cut a long-hop out to deep cover for one. Not for the first time this morning, Renshaw does even better, taking the one delivery he has left to face and depositing it through mid-wicket for a boundary. This is something of a role reversal for the Australian openers, but combined they’re going at five an over. Renshaw is also the youngest man to reach 500 Test runs.

4.32am GMT

6th over: Australia 31-0 (Renshaw 20, Warner 9)

With Umesh Yadav continuing, David Warner tucks three around the corner to start the over, and I tuck into the final mouthful of a small bag of Smith’s original chicken crisps. Actually I’ll be 100% honest: I was upending the packet and it slightly obscured my view of the shot. I’m sure that happened to Neville Cardus all the time. Gunner Gould is going just as well, dodging and weaving to avoid being hit by a throw from the outfield. No worries a ball later: Umesh over-pitches and Renshaw lathers him through cover for yet another boundary. No throw required. If this isn’t the last over of Umesh’s spell, I’ll eat the actual packet the crisps came in.

4.27am GMT

5th over: Australia 22-0 (Renshaw 16, Warner 6)

Two more to Warner gets the local broadcasters agitated about bringing the Australian’s nemesis Ravi Ashwin into the fray, and soon their head-to-head stats are flashed up on the screen. To say they’re one-sided undersells it just a touch. For now, most of the hay is being made by Matt Renshaw. Again he takes advantages of some shonky length when Ishant over-pitches, allowing him to turn four more runs through deep square leg. Australia are cruising at the moment, so we’ll probably see some spin very shortly.

4.21am GMT

4th over: Australia 15-0 (Renshaw 12, Warner 3)

Having yet to establish his mojo, David Warner does the right thing and bunts a quick single towards cover in order to rotate the strike. Renshaw gets a few gifts from Umesh at that point; a full toss is cracked straight to the man at mid-off but a loose one outside off stump is beautifully angled between gully and point for a boundary. The Queenslander is establishing a decent little platform for his innings here.

4.17am GMT

3rd over: Australia 10-0 (Renshaw 8, Warner 2)

Ishant has done two very good things here; first he appears to trap Matt Renshaw in front with a gem of a delivery, but then rightly stops his skipper from calling for a review when it’s not given. It was pitching outside leg and Ishant knew it. Unfortunately, a few balls later he pitches an even shorter one on leg and Renshaw confidently biffs it to the fence wide of mid-wicket.

4.12am GMT

2nd over: Australia 6-0 (Renshaw 4, Warner 2)

Umesh Yadav isn’t quite as accurate at the start of his first over, straying onto Warner’s pads to be turned around the corner for a couple of runs. Lulled into a false sense of comfort, Warner flinches as the next one rises up off the pitch and whistles past his ears. India think he’s strangled one down the leg side a ball later, but it’s all thigh pad.

4.08am GMT

1st over: Australia 4-0 (Renshaw 4, Warner 0)

Taking guard for Australia is Matt Renshaw (Test average: currently three above the magical 50 mark) and standing at the other end is David Warner (Test average: now almost two runs below the magical 50 mark). Bowling: Ishant Sharma (Test average: hardly the point). Ishant sends them slanting across Renshaw first up and he’s got two slips and a gully in place for the edge.

4.00am GMT

We’re a few minutes from the opening delivery of the Test

And as the anthems groan away, I can’t help but think it appropriate to post a Dan Lucas-style Simpsons clip. Anthem-themed, of course.

3.53am GMT

Australian Selection

I will take any and all emails on Glenn Maxwell’s inclusion. As much as I love the desperately unlucky Usman Khawaja, it is genuinely great to see Maxwell back in this line-up because he’s a supremely talented player and a genuine competitor who offers back-up spin and a dangerous arm in the in-field. The latter is something Australian Test sides have sorely lacked in the last few years. Pat Cummins’ return is just a heart-warmer.

3.39am GMT

Steve Smith looks at the pitch and sighs rather undiplomatically. “I don’t think there will be a great deal of bounce,” he says. “Hopefully we can post a good first innings total. Hopefully we can play well in this one.”

Team news: Australia have brought Glenn Maxwell in (!!!), as well as Pat Cummins, who hasn’t played “for a while”, says Smith. Almost six years, to be exact. India have brought opening batsman Murali Vijay back into their side as soon as possible. He replaces Abhinav Mukund.

3.27am GMT

Preamble

Hello OBOers and welcome to the first day of the third Test in this fascinating Border-Gavaskar Trophy series between Australia and India, which resumes on Ranchi’s much-discussed pitch today.

12.00am GMT

Russell will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Adam Collins’ preview of the match:

Related: Steve Smith and Australia set for Ranchi pitch battle with Virat Kohli and India

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/mar/16/india-v-australia-third-test-day-one-live

Mar 07

India beat Australia by 75 runs in second Test – as it happened

  • India 189 & 274; Australia 276 & 112 | India win by 75 runs
  • Series levelled at 1-1 with two Tests to play

9.44am GMT

What a game, and what a result for India. The series stays alive, the Border-Gavaskar trophy is up for grabs. The home side looked baked for all money after Nathan ‘Nathan’ Lyon eroded them through the first session and took his 8-50. But how quickly things can turn: he got none-for in the second innings, and made two runs in two hits with the bat.

Australia should really have found their way to a win with a first innings lead of 87 runs on a very difficult pitch. But Rahane and Pujara took the game away with their 118-run stand, the only century partnership of the match, and KL Rahul was equally important with his scores of 90 and 51.

Related: Australia put in a spin as India complete remarkable comeback in second Test

9.38am GMT

Edged a couple of runs, Lyon, then tries to drive the flighted ball and Ashwin finishes the game himself with his sixth wicket. Takes the simple return catch and India’s players descend into a huddle of yelling faces and pumping fists.

9.36am GMT

With 78 to get, Handscomb decides he needs to get some of them quickly, and tries for a big slog-sweep. The bat ends up almost vertical, the ball goes up the chimney, and Saha trots a couple of paces back behind the stumps to be there for the drop.

9.34am GMT

35th over: Australia 110-8 (Handscomb 24, Lyon 0)

Lyon tries to get himself out by slogging to cover, but fails. Survives four balls of the Jadeja over. somehow.

9.32am GMT

India on the verge now! This pitch has gone from difficult to unplayable, at least as far as some deliveries were concerned. Left-arm around to the right-hander, the ball hits a flat spot, and commando-rolls into middle stump in a manner untouchable by any bat made by man.

9.29am GMT

34th over: Australia 110-7 (Handscomb 24, O’Keefe 2)

Handscomb a defensive masterclass against Ashwin. Watches the turn, waits back, sharp reflexes. Blots out a maiden.

9.26am GMT

33rd over: Australia 110-7 (Handscomb 24, O’Keefe 2)

Yadav bowls straight, attacking the stumps. Handscomb is good enough to work a couple of singles through square leg, while O’Keefe is hit on the body and gets a leg bye. Yadav couldn’t resist the short ball to a tailender.

9.23am GMT

32nd over: Australia 107-7 (Handscomb 22, O’Keefe 2)

Alarm, alarm, alarm. O’Keefe edges a single. Handscomb flicks a more confident one. Then O’Keefe plays a similar shot, but squarer, and there’s hesitation with the calling. O’Keefe would have been run out at the non-striker’s end had the throw hit. It doesn’t. They get a valuable run, just before Handscomb is beaten on the outside edge by an absolute snorter that spits on straight. Ashwin battled in the first innings without huge reward, but he’s putting on a display here. Handscomb isn’t fussed, coming outside his off stump to nudge another run square on the leg side.

9.18am GMT

31st over: Australia 103-7 (Handscomb 20, O’Keefe 0)

Handscomb isn’t quite sure what to do here. How to approach this? He’s doing it amturely, just trying to calm things down, get settled, instil some confidence in his batting partner. He defends the entire Umesh Yadav over, and when the last ball rears up and hits him high in the ribs under his front arm, he cracks a broad grin and laughs at the bowler. Loving the contest. This is a great tell about a player.

9.13am GMT

30th over: Australia 103-7 (Handscomb 20, O’Keefe 0)

O’Keefe can also defend – remember he was part of Australia sitting on 8-161 for a session against Sri Lanka in Pallekele. He defends Ashwin’s last two balls with positive footwork.

9.11am GMT

I typed all that for nothing. Starc defends a few balls but looks uncomfrtable against Ashwin’s bounce. Then one from the off spinner comes in from around the wicket, holds its line, bounces high, zips past the inside edge of the defensive stroke, hits Starc in the armpit, and knocks down the off bail.

9.06am GMT

29th over: Australia 103-6 (Handscomb 20, Starc 1)

Mitchell Starc has 117 runs so far in the series, in his three innings. That makes him fifth on the runs list, behind only Rahul, Smith, Renshaw and Pujara. If he gets another decent knock here, he could top the list for runs by an Australian No8 or below in a series against India. More importantly, if he gets another decent knock here, Australia wins a Test and retains a trophy. Umesh bowls short, Handscomb stylishly cuts a run, then Starc opens his innings by nudging another into the leg side.

9.02am GMT

28th over: Australia 101-6 (P Handscomb 19, Starc 0)

Last ball of Ahswin’s over, as he took the wicket before tea, and Starc defends it.

8.57am GMT

Send me a tweet, send me an email, do. I’ll try to read them between my interlaced fingers.

8.54am GMT

Wellity wellity well. Get your lunch containers ready indeed, lambies and gooseberries. Inhale, exhale. Think of the work of Telepopmusik, or The Prodigy: breathe. This is a wonderful Test match. This is the business end of it. Another fast Mitchell Starc innings could turn it over. A couple of quick Ravi wickets, whether (ndra) or (chandran), and it flips the other way. But wait… if something flips in either direction, it lands the same way up. So to go the other way it needs to not flip at all. Oh, I don’t even know anymore. Hello. Geoff here. Almost having a coronary already. Farewell, Russell, goodnight sweet prince. And flights of appeals sing thee to thy rest.

8.46am GMT

With that Wade wicket, Australia now stare into the abyss. At tea they’re 87 runs short of the win and India’s spinners will be bowling at the tail. Can Mitchell Starc and Peter Handscomb pull it off? Find out when Geoff Lemon stops by shortly. I’m off to fold myself into the foetal position, or maybe blow into a paper bag for a while. Blimey.

8.43am GMT

It’s happening! The collapse is on. Now Wade presses forward hard to the final delivery of the Ashwin over and when it bobbles up off his pad, Saha sprints past the vacant short leg region, dives and reels in a superb catch. India are right on top!

8.41am GMT

27th over: Australia 101-5 (Handscomb 19, Wade 0)

Australia had just overcome another symbolic psychological hurdle by moving into triple figures before Marsh perished, but to speak like Matthew Hayden for a moment, this has really put the cat amongst the pigeons, cats, mice, plus both sleeping and top dogs. Matthew Wade is at the crease now and Jadeja paired with Ashwin. Buckle in.

8.38am GMT

Mitch Marsh goes! Oh dear, that is unfortunate. He was back and across to the returning Ashwin and feathers an edge into his leg before short leg swoops on it. He was looking very solid until then, but now he’s on his way The person I envy: Geoff Lemon, who will take you through the evening session. We can’t be far off the tea break now. 87 to win for Australia

8.32am GMT

25th over: Australia 98-4 (Handscomb 16, M Marsh 13)

Ishant Sharma is back to replace Umesh, and I like this a lot. He really set the wheels in motion with his fiery spell earlier, but right as I type that Handscomb lathers him through cover for a boundary to reduce the target to two figures. He’s also nudging the singles when they’re on offer. Equally as good is a four Mitch Marsh punches through mid-on, with a perfectly straight bat. That means Australia have reached the half-way point in this chase, and it gets even better when Marsh angles another boundary through the cordon. Super shot.

22 runs off the last two overs from Umesh and Ishant. This match is now about winning small phases.

8.26am GMT

24th over: Australia 85-4 (Handscomb 11, M Marsh 5)

Ravindra Jadeja has 0-3 from six overs at this point, and I reckon Kohli should keep him on a while longer while he’s applying such suffocating pressure. The temptation, of course, will be to bring back Ashwin, who bowls a higher number of wicket balls.

8.23am GMT

23rd over: Australia 84-4 (Handscomb 10, M Marsh 5)

Yadav gets another over and why the hell not, because he’s heauled his side back into the contest and every time you think his threat is disspipating he takes a wicket. Having said that, Peter Handscomb has just deposited him to the fence at deep point with a quite magnificent square drive and Mitch Marsh drives confidently to get four too. With six wickets in hand, Australia need 104 runs to win.

Exciting Test cricket is the most sickening of all the excitements. #INDvsAUS

8.19am GMT

22nd over: Australia 75-4 (Handscomb 5, M Marsh 1)

Maiden from Jadeja. He’s absolutely bloody loving this. So am I. Who wouldn’t?

SH*!……

8.18am GMT

Height was the issue in the end. It was clipping the top of off stump, but it went back to the umpire’s call.

8.17am GMT

They’re not dead keen on it, and it wasn’t given, but Jadeja is being Jadeja so it’s reviewed. Brilliant.

8.15am GMT

21st over: Australia 75-4 (Handscomb 5, M Marsh 1)

Holy moly there will be some stink about this Smith thing. Yadav has finished another superb over now, but replays show that Kohli was enraged by Smith’s attempt to seek assistance from the stands. We’ve barely had time to notice that Mitch Marsh is at the crease and off the mark. Gird up your loins, Australia. This could get very ugly. Kohli is winding his arms around and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. It’s all gone a bit UFC. I think I need a double shot of something luridly coloured and petrol-tasting.

8.12am GMT

Chaos in Bangalore! Steve Smith had been trapped dead in front by Yadav but in the process of asking Handscomb whether he should review it, he also seems to be seeking guidance from the change room, which is a no-no. Nigel Llong strides at him like a traffic warden who has noticed someone parked across two spots, and Virat Kohli is also incensed. Either way, the Australian skipper walks off the ground.

8.08am GMT

20th over: Australia 71-3 (Smith 28, P Handscomb 2)

I’ve just realised how this pans out, dear readers: Ravindra Jadeja takes 7-20 and Mitchell Marsh gets out without playing a shot, having frozen on the spot pondering an unintelligible passage of Matthew Hayden’s commentary. Just a maiden for Jadeja here. He’ll swing the wrecking ball through any minute, I’m sure.

8.05am GMT

19th over: Australia 71-3 (Smith 28, Handscomb 2)

The other person who’d better get Australia home in this game is Steve Smith; it did indeed seem to be the Australian captain who talked Shaun Marsh out of reviewing that dismissal. The problem with that is that Smith was practically standing at mid-off as the ball struck his partner, and the bowler was coming around the wicket. Smith was about the least qualified person in the ground to make a call on that one. In further bad news for Australia, Handscomb now cops one in the bread basket from Umesh. By his reaction it didn’t tickle. “I have no fingernails left,” says reader James Lane. “Is it too early to start drinking Indian rum?” Not at all.

8.01am GMT

18th over: Australia 71-3 (Smith 28, Handscomb 2)

I wouldn’t say this will be the making of Peter Handscomb, because he’ll certainly cut the mustard regardless, but what wonders it might do for his confidence if he can channel his powers of playing spin here and get Australia home. He’s been solid enough in this series without going on with it. Here he faces Ravi Jadeja, who is wearing sunglasses from the props department of Point Break.

7.57am GMT

17th over: Australia 70-3 (Smith 28, Handscomb 1)

The pressure of this contest is almost unbearable now, not that you would know it from the way Steve Smith shuffles across in front of his stumps to Yadav’s shooters. He gets an underside edge on one here, which is lucky because he would have been LBW otherwise. Some are coming through at little more than ankle height, others popping up. Australia need 118 to win this Test. What else would you rather be doing?

7.54am GMT

16th over: Australia 68-3 (Smith 27, Handscomb 0)

Jadeja is back into the attack now to replace Ashwin but I’ll be honest, all the drama in this over has been focused on replays of Marsh’s dismissal. If they’d reviewed it he would have survived! Perhaps they were fooled by how much it jagged in off the pitch, but there was daylight between the ball and off stump when it was put through ball-tracker. Deary me.

7.51am GMT

15th over: Australia 67-3 (Smith 26, Handscomb 0)

He was taken off so Jadeja could send down a speculative over of spin, but Umesh Yadav has come up trumps in his second over.

7.50am GMT

Oh my word! Shaun Marsh has left and in-ducker from the returning Umesh Yadav and been trapped in front. The umpire’s finger goes straight up and after a moment of consultation with his skipper he makes the long walk back to the pavilion. Australia are in trouble here. Worse: replays reveal it was both hitting him outside the line of off stump and also just missing the stumps by a matter of inches. Good grief.

7.41am GMT

14th over: Australia 65-2 (Smith 25, S Marsh 8)

Ouch. Ashwin drops short and wide, and Smith doesn’t miss the opportunity to cash in by cutting it to the ropes. Marsh is content to push singles, and it’s sound judgement early in his innings. As they stop for drinks, Australia have eight wickets in hand and require a further 123 runs to clinch a memorable victory.

7.39am GMT

13th over: Australia 59-2 (Smith 20, S Marsh 7)

Virat Kohli saw enough of Umesh Yadav in that one over, and I don’t entirely blame him. There are not many runs to play with, so Ravindra Jadeja appears and produces a maiden first up. Funny that.

Much politicking throughout the summer to arrive at the Marsh-Wade axis at 6 and 7. Could the stakes be any higher for them than today?

7.36am GMT

12th over: Australia 59-2 (Smith 20, S Marsh 7)

“Nine an over for 15 overs would be nice,” says Matthew Hayden, outright barracking for a minute. Sunil Gavaskar finally gets his revenge, pointing out that such an equation would still leave the tourists 15 runs short. Sunnyboy indeed. Back in the middle, Marsh faces up to the marauding Ashwin and makes an absolute mockery of the game situation, caressing a cover drive to the fence like he’s playing in the backyard. He cops a lot of stick, Marsh, but his sheer talent is surely unquestioned. Australia need 129 to win from here.

7.32am GMT

11th over: Australia 53-2 (Smith 19, S Marsh 2)

Umesh is indeed the man who comes into the attack, and has no luck to start with as a thick outside edge from Steve Smith passes through the left hand of a diving Virat Kohli at seconds slip. What would have been good: a first slip. What else would be good: if this is all over today so our nerves aren’t shredded any further. Nine off the over for Australia.

7.29am GMT

10th over: Australia 44-2 (Smith 11, S Marsh 1)

Australia, meet your saviour: erm, Shaun Marsh. Let’s be honest, he played a gem of an innings to get 66 earlier in this game, but there is also the fact he had more lives than every single cat to have appeared in a Matthew Hayden idiom.

7.26am GMT

And so it begins: Warner is gone! He was attempting to sweep Ashwin there, and it got a little out of reach. Umpire Richard Illingworth had no hestitation and with ball-tracker showing it would have hit off stump, the third umpire stays with the original call. Warner falls one short of the blazing 18 I predicted of him, but confirms every other suspicion I had. This match is on a knife edge.

7.23am GMT

Warner does not look confident here, which is a very bad sign for Australia. Smith appeared to overrule, probably figuring his partner is a man who can win this game in 45 minutes of decent batting. We shall soon see.

7.22am GMT

9th over: Australia 42-1 (Warner 17, Smith 10)

Kohli does indeed grant Ishant one more over, but he’s a diminished force as it wears on. It’s very hard yakka to bowl long spells in this heat. Australia might have seen off the residual danger, though Yadav has a knack for taking early wickets. Whether he gets a go before or after first-innings spin hero Ravindra Jadeja is the question from here.

7.20am GMT

8th over: Australia 40-1 (Warner 16, Smith 9)

Bang! Warner hits a big six off Ashwin, nailing it over long on for a maximum. Risky, but it’s paid off. One thing I do love about Matthew Hayden is the way he refers to Sunil Gavaskar, scorer of 10,000 Test runs, as “Sunnyboy”. If you don’t speak Australian, that is a sugary ice block in a cardboard box. He also says this is a game of cat and mouse where there can be only one top tog. He’s wandered off to the zoo again.

7.13am GMT

7th over: Australia 31-1 (Warner 10, Smith 7)

Ishant keeps charging in with the firm belief that he’s the second coming of Dennis Lillee, which is an admirable character trait in conditions like the ones he’s normally bowling in. Warner runs a single through gully and gets off strike again, leaving his skipper to feel his way in a little further. Will Ishant get another over? I’d be tempted to allow him one more, but Umesh Yadav is probably warming up right now.

7.08am GMT

6th over: Australia 29-1 (Warner 9, Smith 6)

Cometh the hour, cometh the David Warner reverse sweep. What a madman. Anybody else would go into their shell right now, but he’s dancing about the crease doing a one-man recreation of Torvill and Dean’s bolero. They didn’t even have a Gray-Nicolls Kaboom to whack stuff with either, the jokers. A single gets him off strike, which is for the best on a number of levels; he can’t self-immolate when he’s down the other end, and Smith batters Ashwin for four through mid-wicket and then two through cover. Is anyone else’s face really hot? This game is giving me a fever.

7.04am GMT

5th over: Australia 22-1 (Warner 8, Smith 0)

Steve Smith is at the crease now, and he’s the subject of a very optimistic LBW shout from Ishant first up. That one hit the Australian skipper closer to his hip than his knee. His troubles aren’t over though; Ishant thunders one down and hits one of those crater-like cracks in the pitch, so the ball snakes away from Smith’s outside edge and almost ends him. It ends up a wicket-maiden for Ishant, who bowls like a demon throughout.

6.58am GMT

Ishant strikes! There was a prolonged delay as technicians tried to get Spidercam away from Matt Renshaw, and then something even nastier approached him: Ishant Sharma with an off-cutter. The left-hander fences unconvincingly and feathers an edge through to the keeper Saha. India have the breakthrough!

6.55am GMT

4th over: Australia 22-0 (Warner 8, Renshaw 5)

Calm down, Davey. Warner goes after Ashwin now, failing to heed the lesson learned by Renshaw two overs ago and attempting to flog it to cow corner against the spin. Not wise. Next ball Ashwin sends a textbook off-break fizzing past his outside edge. Superb bowling. Warner looks a rube in the face of such brilliance.

6.52am GMT

3rd over: Australia 18-0 (Warner 8, Renshaw 5)

Ishant comes around the wicket now when he’s bowling to Warner, and I’m not sure it’s by his own free will because a conversation with Kohli preceded the new approach. Warner still profits, working two through mid wicket before gently pushing one down to long on for three. Of note: this might be the last time he bats with that humongous Gray Nicolls ‘Kaboom’ bat, because it’s about to be banned. Ishant, meanwhile, has a spirited LBW shout against Renshaw but I think he knows it hit the pad outside the line of off stump, so there is no review. Australia now need 170 to win.

6.46am GMT

2nd over: Australia 13-0 (Warner 3, Renshaw 5)

Four more valuable runs to Australia here as Ravi Ashwin is favoured to open the bowling with some spin, and Warner pads him to the fence at fine leg. Australia will take them any way they can get them today. Warner gets a quick single too, and has started with typically manic intent. Renshaw gets a leading edge attempting to hit against the spin through mid-wicket, but picks up a single, then there is another to Warner. With minimal fuss, Australia are 13 from two overs.

6.42am GMT

1st over: Australia 6-0 (Warner 1, Renshaw 5)

Aaaaand we’re back in Bangalore, with Ishant Sharma bounding in to David Warner. “I’ve just found out during the break that 17 of his 18 hundreds have come in either Australia or South Africa,” says Michael Clarke. He’s talking about Warner, of course, but the note of incredulity is what’s so brilliant about the statement. He genuinely can’t believe it.

6.29am GMT

Damien Martyn might be the only person not watching this game of cricket

Remember when it was revealed that Martyn was among the 47 people followed by Donald Trump? Good times.

Which do you use the most? #snapchat #Instagram #SocialMedia #story

6.17am GMT

Australia need 188 to win. Their highest successful chase in India was 194 at the same ground in 1998, when Mark Taylor made 102* #INDvAUS

6.02am GMT

So we can breathe. India started the day at 214-4, and Pujara looked perfectly comfortable in adding 24 more runs before Rahane was trapped in front by Starc, triggering a monumental collapse. India lost 5-20 from 19 balls at one stage, and 6-36 all up to squander a chance to put this game beyond doubt. Now? Australia have a sniff. Even a chase as small as this will be very tough work, and they’ll have the 40-minute lunch break to think about it.

5.59am GMT

WICKET! Ishant c S Marsh b O’Keefe – 6

Ishant goes, holing out to Marsh at cover after a determined little knock. And with that wicket, Australia will chase 188 for the win.

5.57am GMT

97th over: India 274-9 (Saha 20, Ishant 6) – India lead by 187

Saha is a brick wall at the moment, and rather showing up some of his team-mates. He’s batting a good half-metre out of his crease to Hazlewood and that is no mean feat. Right as I say that he offers a chance but Warner’s dive is unsuccessful at mid-off. But there is a throw at the stumps and it hits. It’s reviewed, but Ishant survives.

5.52am GMT

96th over: India 274-9 (Saha 20, Ishant 6) – India lead by 187

Says Matthew Hayden as Steve O’Keefe replaces Nathan Lyon and his blistered finger: “He may as well go home because that’s not going anywhere, that injury… It’s time to move on I think.” Blimey. I’d hate to be a patient of Dr Hayden. ‘Look, I’ve seen a bit of a graze on your knee there…Sorry, but there is nothing we can do. You might be a goner within days. Take care of your financial affairs and say your goodbyes.’

5.49am GMT

95th over: India 273-9 (Saha 19, Ishant 6) – India lead by 186

Josh Hazlewood’s analysis was 6-66 at the start of this over, and it’s been ominous stuff for India. He took three of them yesterday, and has ripped the heart out of India’s second innings with a startling spell today. But…this is turning into a pesky partnership. It’s worth 15 very handy runs now.

5.48am GMT

Oof, a fair portion of the ball was clipping the leg stump but not enough to reverse Llong’s call.

5.47am GMT

He also might not have. Nigel Llong doesn’t like it, and he’s usually pretty sharp.

5.44am GMT

94th over: India 272-9 (Saha 18, Ishant 6) – India lead by 185

Nathan Lyon has a blister on his finger, apparently. His spinning finger. He hasn’t been playing the guitar at the team hotel or anything. Right now it appears to be troubling him, and that means he’s not troubling the batsmen. Ishant, meanwhile, is looking very solid. “He’s showing a lot more responsibility than the batsmen who preceded him,” notes Sunny Gavaskar, adopting the tone of a peeved headmaster. He’s not angry, he’s just disappointed.

5.40am GMT

93rd over: India 269-9 (Saha 16, Ishant 5) – India lead by 182

Hmm, with Hazlewood reappearing now in a change of ends, Saha goes back to refusing singles. From the fourth delivery of the over Saha decides to finally take one, and Ishant repays his faith by surviving the final two balls of the over. Things have calmed a little now after the stump-flying mayhem of the 30 minutes prior to this partnership.

5.35am GMT

92nd over: India 268-9 (Saha 15, Ishant 5) – India lead by 181

Bang! Ishant responds to the arrival of Lyon by dropping to one knee and proposing a sweep. It works, and the ball tumbles away to the fence. Then he gets off strike, and looks like a proper batsman all of sudden. He wants the strike now, and Saha allows it. Lyon has an LBW shout near the end of the over but decides against a review; it clearly hit the pad well outside the line of off stump. A significant understatement: another 20 runs would be very handy for India.

5.31am GMT

91st over: India 262-9 (Saha 14, Ishant 0) – India lead by 175

Of interest as Mitchell Starc stars the 91st over is that lunch is due in thirty-five minutes, and Wriddhiman Saha continues to refuse singles early in the over. He saw enough from Ishant in the last over to know he’s a liability. Starc bounds around the wicket and delivers from very wide on the crease, but the angle isn’t troubling Saha too badly. The penultimate delivery brings a stifled LBW shout, but only Steve Smith and the bowler are interested. Eventually Saha clubs an inside-out drive to the fence at long-off, and Smith shakes his head as though he’s never been so disgusted in his life. Nathan Lyon will come back to bowl the next over.

5.25am GMT

90th over: India 258-9 (Saha 10, Ishant 0) – India lead by 171

A Josh Hazlewood over without a wicket counts as a win for India at the moment, though again it’s a maiden, so they’re only delaying the inevitable. Ishant faces this one, and he’s hopping around like a cat on a hot tin roof to counter the Australian’s bouncers. A very tall cat. Hazlewood engages in some lovely pantomime at the end of the over, shaking his head and ruing his inefficiency for only bowling six dot balls.

5.21am GMT

89th over: India 258-9 (Saha 10, Ishant 0) – India lead by 171

Poor Mitchell Starc has produced a beautiful spell today but doesn’t have the wickets to show for it. Saha takes the responsibility of handling him in this over, and as that happens I’m just seeing a few more replays of Hazlewood’s Ambrose-to-Blewett style dismissal of Ravi Ashwin. It shot through at ankle height before breaking the stump at its base. Brilliant. Not so much for Ashwin, I guess.

5.16am GMT

88th over: India 258-9 (Saha 10, Ishant 0) – India lead by 171

India have just lost 5-20 in 19 deliveries of brainless batting, and Australia will be daring to believe they’ll win this Test match and with it the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Quite remarkable, really. Brian Withington has a question: “Heard any more about the art of captaincy from Sankaran Krishna (over 82) I wonder?” Ouch.

I am between 85 and 90 percent convinced this match is ending in a tie. It’s the only outcome that makes sense at this stage. #INDvAUS

5.13am GMT

Holy smokes, that is a terrible shot from Yadav! Hazlewood had considered a review when he thought he might have trapped the tailender in front, but didn’t. It mattered not a ball later when Yadav lost his mind and slogged one straight to Warner at wide mid off. Virat Kohli will have steam coming out his ears. Dreadful, but what a session for Australia and Hazlewood. He has six wickets!

5.10am GMT

87th over: India 258-8 (Saha 10, Yadav 1)

Umesh Yadav reaches the crease now, though I can imagine he faced a scramble not to be timed out. India have lost four wickets for eight runs for him to be required. Not long ago they lead by 150 with six wickets in hand. Now Australia can knock them off with another two poles. Saha senses the urgent need for more runs, and clubs a rather artless boundary through mid-on from the bowling of Starc. Saha is also turning down runs so as to keep Umesh off strike, which is probably wise.

5.03am GMT

Now Ashwin goes in a moment of madness! This is a bit absurd now. Ashwin was the new man at the crease for India, and though he’d immediately unleashed a beautiful square drive through the vacant point region to pick up four, Hazlewood attacks his stumps with the next ball and it keeps low to splatter them. Hazlewood has five wickets! Even better, as he was running in to bowl the delivery in question, having already taken a wicket in the over, Matthew Hayden said the following: “Josh Hazlewood’s job here is containment.”

4.57am GMT

Now Pujara goes! Hooley dooley this game is going mad. He’d just turned a boundary down to fine leg to move into the 90s, but then, having never been dismissed so close to a hundred, he wafts at a short one outside off and guides a catch to Mitchell Marsh at gully. India are collapsing exactly as Australia did in their first innings. Madness.

4.55am GMT

85th over: India 238-6 (Pujara 88, Saha 0)

What an over from Starc. Two wickets and two runs were the result, and the course of the game has altered just a little. India lead by 151 but Australia will fancy keeping their target under 200.

4.54am GMT

But only just. Holy moly what a ball. It was full and fast and swinging in, and the Indian keeper gets an inside edge into his pad. Time for the dark underpants, I would think.

4.52am GMT

Starc strikes again! This time he castles the new man Karun Nair, who made 303* in his last Test but gets an in-swinging snorter first up here – castled for a golden duck. Starc is producing a gem of a spell.

4.50am GMT

Starc gets the breakthrough! It was a superb knock by Rahane, but the new ball has done the trick for Australia. Starc was full, straight, and swinging it in just slightly, and the batsman got only a small stride in before it cannoned into his front pad. It’s hit him dead in front. Gorn!

4.49am GMT

It looks pretty good to me.

4.45am GMT

84th over: India 235-4 (Pujara 88, Rahane 51)

Big swing, no ding. Pujara unfurls a very optimistic cover drive when Hazlewood pushes one well wide of off stump, but it’s a fresh-air shot for the batsman. Reader Raymond Reardon has sent me an email about the churlishness of Australians, but it is too churlish to be approved by our lawyers. I’ll have to file it with all the ones I received after writing about Todd Carney’s “bubbling” affair. Maiden for Hazlewood. Good areas and all that.

4.41am GMT

83rd over: India 235-4 (Pujara 88, Rahane 51)

Starc bounds in and unleashes a Harmisonesque sideways wide, which almost takes out Steve Smith at first slip. “I’d like to see some toes and nose stuff,” says Matthew Hayden. Not at your team-mates though, surely. Starc is bowling very quick indeed; 150kmph first up, then 143, 149, 151, 148 and 152. Steve O’Keefe has a ping at the stumps when Pujara sprints through for a quick single to finish the over, and it was a fiery one from Starc.

4.34am GMT

82nd over: India 232-4 (Pujara 87, Rahane 51)

No surprises now as Josh Hazlewood pairs with Starc, ambling in on the hunt for more wickets to go with the three beauties he took yesterday. As that happens, reader Sankaran Krishna has some thoughts on Steve Smith’s captaincy, which I will post in the interests of balance: “Lyon and O’Keefe were causing the batsmen all sorts of problems. But the minute the second new ball became available Smith didnt hesitate at all – took it. Gotta love how uncomplicated the Aussies keep the game.” Shots fired!

4.29am GMT

81st over: India 232-4 (Pujara 87, Rahane 51)

In fact Steve Smith does take the first opportunity to unleash Mitchell Starc with the second new ball, and in these sorts of situations it normally takes the giant speedster an over or so to warm up. Right on cue, a loosener is lathered through cover by Rahane and with that he’s reached 50 from 128 deliveries of patient, game-turning batting.

4.23am GMT

80th over: India 224-4 (Pujara 84, Rahane 46)

Rahane skips down the track again and batters Lyon out to long-on, but there’s a man posted out on that boundary so it’s a lot of energy expended for a single. Lyon’s approach to Pujara is from a regulation angle over the wicket, and he might soon be tempted to use the bowling crease a little more and come wider. Pujara’s defences, which looked leaky in the early stages of his innings, are suddenly watertight.

4.21am GMT

79th over: India 223-4 (Pujara 84, Rahane 45)

The new ball is due soon, but might not be taken the way Lyon is bowling. Owing to that, both batsmen are doing their best to pick up singles from O’Keefe. There’s one each for them in this over. Tension building.

4.18am GMT

78th over: India 221-4 (Pujara 83, Rahane 44)

Lyon continues to Rahane, and you get the sense he’s getting close to a wicket here. He tosses one up to tempt Rahane forward and the batsmen nearly drowns in honey, flapping away at it but fluffing an attempt to put it back in row Z. He’s quite lucky it doesn’t slip through to Matthew Wade behind the stumps. There is a nice bit of rough for Lyon to bowl into here, and that is the secondary reason the batsmen are getting forward at every opportunity; they need to negate the prospect of the ball shooting low or doing something completely unpredictable. A lot of people whinged about this Test, but you can’t argue with the quality of the cricket it’s produced. Enthralling.

4.15am GMT

77th over: India 221-4 (Pujara 83, Rahane 44)

Twenty minutes ago Sunny Gavaskar was telling us that it was spinning slowly, now Michael Clarke says it’s spinning fast. Either way, batting is a very tricky business with the Australian spinners bowling with accuracy and plenty of pressure from the close-in fieldsmen. A single to Rahane is the only damage in this over, a very good one by Steve O’Keefe.

4.13am GMT

76th over: India 220-4 (Pujara 83, Rahane 43)

The Australians were utterly convinced that was out, but Richard Illingworth has had a bit of a shocker there. It was spinning well past leg stump, though Pujara was well back and pinned to the crease. He survives the rest of the over as Lyon continues to work him over.

4.12am GMT

Pujara survives! It was missing leg and he knew it, the Indian No3. He lives to fight another day but Nathan Lyon is in the mood here.

4.11am GMT

Pujara has reviewed it, and it did spin a mile so I think that’s fair enough.

4.10am GMT

75th over: India 220-4 (Pujara 83, Rahane 43)

As Pujara and Rahane bring up a superb 100-run partnership, the Australians can’t decide betwen SOK-a, SOK-y and SOK-o as Steve O’Keefe’s nickname. More on that as it’s at hand.

4.09am GMT

It clearly bounced. As you were.

4.08am GMT

Nigel Llong gave it out, short leg Peter Handscomb wasn’t sure if it carried, so we’re going upstairs

4.06am GMT

74th over: India 218-4 (Pujara 82, Rahane 42)

Rahane backs away and has a good look around the ground before facing up to Lyon, but I’m not sure an outside edge was his plan first up. Fortunately for him it doesn’t carry to Steve Smith. Lyon has a leg slip, a short leg, but no silly point and no cover, so they’re encouraging Rahane to drive. The cover comes back for Pujara. There is a big shout from Wade for LBW, but Lyon is too honest to go along with it. It struck Pujara’s front pad a decent distance outside the line of off stump.

4.02am GMT

73rd over: India 215-4 (Pujara 80, Rahane 41)

Steve O’Keefe has the ball to start with and that’s because the new one isn’t due for eight overs. Pujara turns him around the corner for a single first up and by the sounds of things, there are thousands of singing kids in the stands. Or just 50 very loud ones. There is not much spin from O’Keefe, though that’s not really his bag. It’s keeping just a touch low, which very much is his bag. A solid start from him, and Nathan Lyon will bowl from the other end.

4.00am GMT

As the players trot out, here’s our first reader email of the day

And it’s from OBO chum Robert McLiam Wilson. “Confident prediction has always been nature’s way of telling you that you are an arsebiscuit,” he starts. “As all those who relaxed about Trump before the election (and who are still similarly relaxing about Marine Le Pen) will testify. Notwithstanding, I’m not sure I have ever seen a game which so so categorically uncallable. Anything could happen. India could get 350. Or not. Lyon could get nine [editor’s note: this would be brilliant, as there are only six left to take]. Or not. It’s richly unpredictable. So, I’m making my call. Something will happen today that produces a wave of disobliging remarks about the umpires and then Jimmy Neesham will tweet something funny about it. There.”

3.57am GMT

Matthew Wade’s keeping

…is bound to be a topic of conversation when this series is done in dusted, perhaps less so if Australia pull off a miracle series win. But this little video highlights a recurring issue in the way Wade rises too far too quickly, falls off balance and has his foot flying off into the air. Don Tallon would be turning in his grave.

Fifteen minutes until the first ball of a massive day four at M Chinnaswamy Stadium #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/SjOiShho6V

3.51am GMT

More on the pitch, whose cracks are really starting to open up

Here it is in terms of what the batsmen need to do: “It really is going to be a test of how quick you make the adjustment – how quick you get down when the ball keeps low,” says Sunil Gavaskar. He reckons it’s slowed a bit now, so it’s easier to make said adjustments. Good news for Australia? Maybe, but also perhaps for Pujara and Rahane. I refuse to believe it’ll be much fun to bat on by late tonight.

This is already my favourite day of the Test. I can’t wait. #INDvAUS

3.45am GMT

The Virat Kohli controversy is still bubbling away

Ryan Harris adds to it now by saying that the Indian captain’s decision to wave his bat about as he left the field – indicating he thought he’d hit the ball before it had struck his pad – amounts to dissent. Whether it is pursued by the match referee accordingly, we will wait and see.

3.41am GMT

Here’s the pitch #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/jGF2KtsaTu

3.36am GMT

Steve Smith is out in the middle now

And he’s got a bat in his hands, eyeing off the pitch and making a mental plan for what’s ahead. His side need to take six wickets first, mind you. Nathan Lyon snared eight in the first innings and hasn’t got one yet in the second. Related to all this: the new ball is due in eight overs, which works reasonably well for Australia. The bowlers will get a feel for things before the call is made and the batsmen may have to reset with its arrival.

3.31am GMT

Preamble

Hello all and welcome to day four of the second Test between Australia and India in Bangalore, in which we’ve seen three of the more compelling days of cricket you could ever hope for. As per the first Test in Pune, India looked down and out heading into day three, but a combination of Ravindra Jadeja’s mercurial bowling, and the contrastingly brilliant batting of Lokesh Rahul, Che Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane has India 126 runs ahead.

2.42am GMT

Russell will be here shortly. In the meantime, read how Virat Kohli has succeeded in ruffling a few Australian feathers so far this Test series:

Related: Former Australia cricketer Ian Healy ‘losing respect’ for Virat Kohli

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/mar/07/india-v-australia-second-test-day-four-live

Mar 06

India gain the upper hand in Bangalore thanks to Pujara – as it happened

  • India 213-4 at stumps on day three, 126 runs ahead of Australia
  • Che Pujara (79) and Ajinkya Rahane (40) dominate late in day

11.13am GMT

After eight sessions of carnage it would have been little surprise to find the second Test all over inside three days. But out of nowhere this odd surface in Bangalore calmed down, Australia’s intensity wained and the finest partnership of the series so far ensued. An unbroken 93-run stand between Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane has dragged India from a perilous state of effectively 33/4 and guided them to a lead approaching favouritism.

It was hard to imagine such an outcome at the start of a day that began with a flurry of Australian wickets, nor heading to the tea interval when both Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja had recently perished. But this latest chapter adds another layer of intrigue to an engrossing Test match that seems set to deliver a grandstand finish.

11.06am GMT

11.04am GMT

72nd over: India 213-4 (Pujara 79, Rahane 40)

Starc to bowl the final over of the day and he almost makes it a short one, Pujara edging his first delivery but it flies wide of the solitary slip Smith. In response, Smith brings Handscomb into second slip, under a lid, and about five metres closer to the stumps than Wade. Pujara survives, finds a single from the penultimate delivery to secure his appearance at the crease tomorrow. Rahane dabs the final ball safely into the offside, high-fives his batting partner and leaves the field to warm applause.

10.58am GMT

71st over: India 208-4 (Pujara 74, Rahane 40)

Terrific umpiring as India try to minimise the number of remaining overs with a drink and physio break but India’s support staff don’t reach the square before they’re told to hop it. Now both the striker and non-striker are trying to delay O’Keefe. And while Rahane’s so focussed on playing out time he almost chases a lovely delivery into Wade’s gloves.

10.56am GMT

70th over: India 208-4 (Pujara 74, Rahane 40)

Mitchell Starc is recalled in a bold late move by Steve Smith. He’s looking for fast reverse swinging yorkers, hurling down javelins to Rahane’s toenails. One after another, like he’s trying to nail the batsmen to the ground. This is an excellent effort late in the day by the big fast bowler, but Rahane survives and even farms the strike with a single from the final delivery.

@JPHowcroft This is why test cricket is so vital. Looking for a way to get off work early tomorrow. Fascinating stuff, could go either way

10.51am GMT

69th over: India 207-4 (Pujara 74, Rahane 39)

Pujara is delivering a masterclass out there for India. Solid in defence, watchful, but still alert to scoring opportunities. A stellar innings in this match and series. What else can Australia do?

10.48am GMT

68th over: India 205-4 (Pujara 72, Rahane 39)

Lyon’s come out of nowhere to start making things happen again. Two overs in a row with more turn and bounce but with two set batsmen nearing the close of play they’re avoiding the pitfalls of previous sessions.

Australia searching for that fifth wicket late on day three… https://t.co/iGxoJAaz64 #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/fEFEFiDW4R

10.45am GMT

67th over: India 198-4 (Pujara 70, Rahane 38)

Australia rattling through the overs now as play draws to a close. O’Keefe beats Rahane’s forward prod but again there’s no edge.

10.42am GMT

66th over: India 198-4 (Pujara 70, Rahane 38)

The first delivery to take off in ages rears at Pujara from Lyon – and another immediately afterwards! The luck is with India though and there’s no gloved chance to a close catcher. Better for Australia, who have gone from chirping in the field to some positively village geeing-up.

“Come on lads” pic.twitter.com/uqlOIXyvXH

10.39am GMT

65th over: India 198-4 (Pujara 70, Rahane 38)

Rahane’s playing with fire to O’Keefe, padding up outside off-stump but despite the appeal O’Keefe concedes it probably didn’t do enough to warrant a review.

10.36am GMT

64th over: India 194-4 (Pujara 70, Rahane 34)

Under half an hour remaining of play as this partnership, unbroken for the final session, seems set to be the decisive factor in another gripping day of Test cricket.

10.33am GMT

63rd over: India 192-4 (Pujara 69, Rahane 33)

Another over from O’Keefe seen off without much fanfare.

10.31am GMT

62nd over: India 191-4 (Pujara 68, Rahane 33)

India’s lead stretches beyond 100 as Lyon spends an over with his hands on his head. This pair are playing so well form deep in their crease Lyon’s prodigious turn is not bothering them and anything loose is being scored off.

10.27am GMT

61st over: India 186-4 (Pujara 63, Rahane 33)

O’Keefe to make it spin from both ends and the left-armer gets a little bit more out of the surface but not enough to disturb what is now the highest partnership in the match.

10.24am GMT

60th over: India 183-4 (Pujara 60, Rahane 33)

Whereas earlier in the day KL Rahul was farming the strike to see off Lyon, now both batsmen are looking to score off Australia’s premier spinner. The spite in this surface has evaporated. The odd one is keeping low and the odd one is still spitting but nowhere near the extent we’d become accustomed to.

10.20am GMT

59th over: India 180-4 (Pujara 59, Rahane 31)

Rahane into his stride now, driving gloriously against Hazlewood but a superb stop by Shaun Marsh in the covers denies what would have been a textbook cover drive four. He does pick up two with a patient cut later in the over.

Nathan Lyon
1st inns: 22.2-4-50-8
2nd inns 22.0-1-56-0#IndvAus

10.16am GMT

58th over: India 178-4 (Pujara 59, Rahane 29)

Rahane’s confidence starting to flood back, despite his demotion down the order. A half-volley on off-stump is swept hard for four. Strong wrists, risky shot, but another indication of how this pitch has changed its behaviour since tea. This is not the crazy paving we’ve seen in previous sessions.

10.12am GMT

57th over: India 171-4 (Pujara 59, Rahane 22)

Hazlewood also recalled to the attack and he’s greeted by a deft late cut from Pujara to guide a four down to fine third-man. Two more with a confident push to the cover sweeper is followed by another two, cut behind point. That brings up the 50 partnership, a cheer from the crowd and an acceptance that this pair are digging India out of a massive hole.

10.07am GMT

56th over: India 163-4 (Pujara 51, Rahane 22)

Lyon returns to the attack after drinks and his drift is evident immediately but without the prodigious turn and bounce of the first innings Rahane is able to play him from the crease off the back foot into the offside.

10.01am GMT

55th over: India 159-4 (Pujara 50, Rahane 19)

50 for Pujara, just the fifth of the match, and it’s been a vital calming knock, keeping India ticking over despite the drama at the other end before tea.

Pujara has done more grinding than is seen in most nightclubs. Helped admirably by Rahul early. This Test rocks. #INDvAUS

9.57am GMT

54th over: India 157-4 (Pujara 49, Rahane 18)

More action from O’Keefe at the start of his over. One beats Pujara’s outside edge and then one looks to beat him on the inside prompting a vocal appeal but there was a big edge on closer inspection.

9.55am GMT

53rd over: India 156-4 (Pujara 48, Rahane 18)

Marsh plugging away as you’d expect but this pitch has gone into its shell a little. Whether it’s the older ball, more accomplished batting, or what, it’s hard to say, but this game has entered an unlikely phase this evening compared to what went before.

In the first innings Lyon landed 96% of his deliveries on a good length; in this innings he has only landed 39% on that length. #IndvAus

9.50am GMT

52nd over: India 155-4 (Pujara 47, Rahane 18)

O’Keefe not getting much turn from around the wicket, making the dangerous delivery, the straighter one, less of a variety. Another over comfortably seen off.

“There’s been a lot of talk about his batting.That will come good if he’s given an opportunity.” Brett Lee on M Marsh, playing his 21st Test

9.48am GMT

51st over: India 153-4 (Pujara 45, Rahane 18)

Hold your horses! What’s this? It’s the lesser spotted Mitch Marsh to trundle in for just his third over of the series. You’d fancy him on this surface, bowling those heavy stump-to-stump quicker-than-you-expect seamers. If there is uneven bounce, his line and high action should exploit them.

9.43am GMT

50th over: India 153-4 (Pujara 45, Rahane 18)

Smith packs his off-side field for O’Keefe, trying to repeat Rahane’s Pune dismissal but India’s number six is reaching the pitch of the ball comfortably and sees out a maiden.

9.41am GMT

49th over: India 153-4 (Pujara 45, Rahane 18)

Starc has yet to find his groove since he came on, his line outside off from around the wicket being left alone and anything straight worked with the angle to leg for runs.

9.38am GMT

9.36am GMT

48th over: India 149-4 (Pujara 44, Rahane 15)

Double change with Steve O’Keefe replacing Nathan Lyon. The first Test superstar has found a decent partnership blossoming for India, both right-handers judging length and turn beautifully since tea. Not much doing for SOK.

9.33am GMT

47th over: India 148-4 (Pujara 43, Rahane 15)

Sandeep has his wish… on comes Mitchell Starc for Hazlewood, and he is bowling from around the wicket, really wide with that slingy left-arm action of his. The sightscreen will need to be at extra-cover.

Australia bowled 16 maidens in 71.2 overs in the first innings; they have bowled one in 45 in this innings. #IndvAus

9.28am GMT

46th over: India 146-4 (Pujara 42, Rahane 13)

This pair looking increasingly adept at facing Lyon, Rahane now unfurling the sweep, although it’s perhaps not the most advisable stroke considering the prodigious bounce Lyon can generate. One does turn sharply but stays low and there’s an LBW shout. It would be hard to give it moved so far but replays show it was an umpire’s call on DRS. Blimey, who’d be an umpire?

9.24am GMT

45th over: India 145-4 (Pujara 42, Rahane 13)

Excellent from Rahane. Despite the pressure of the situation he’s still able to cut a rare Hazlewood loosener to the point boundary. You can see what Hazlewood’s trying to do though, find a length just shorter than normal for the shooter – and he hits the spot with his fifth delivery – but an unplayable rolling boulder is outside the off stump and no threat to Pujara.

9.21am GMT

44th over: India 140-4 (Pujara 42, Rahane 8)

This pair are using their feet well to Lyon, smothering most of the grenades by stepping forward and then defusing the ones that spit by being so deep in their crease they have time to play them with soft hands.

9.16am GMT

43rd over: India 137-4 (Pujara 41, Rahane 6)

And just for pure comedy value Hazlewood’s opening two deliveries barely get above ankle height, the first of which provokes a stifled cry for LBW. This pitch is so unpredictable.

9.13am GMT

42nd over: India 134-4 (Pujara 40, Rahane 4)

Pujara noticeably using his feet more against Lyon, especially to anything tossed up. The benefit of that is Lyon readjusting to a shorter length allowing the batsman to move back deep into his crease with plenty of time to whip runs on the on side.

9.09am GMT

41st over: India 131-4 (Pujara 38, Rahane 3)

Hazlewood shares duties with Lyon and his radar is slightly askew in his first over after the break. A number of deliveries angled down the legside could have been punished but despite Pujara’s intent the bowler escapes with just a couple of singles damage.

9.04am GMT

40th over: India 130-4 (Pujara 38, Rahane 2)

Lyon to open proceedings after tea. 32 overs to be bowled in the session.

8.57am GMT

So, what is a dangerous total for Australia to chase? Anything over 100? 150? You wouldn’t fancy chasing more on this shocker of a strip.

8.56am GMT

Aniket has completed the Venn diagram of current affairs with this thought provoking email.

“This test match ranks among the most exciting I have ever seen. Truly absorbing. There is an interesting analogy here. The general consensus here in India was that the Australians are going to be steamrolled and that they will be whitewashed, much like what Hillary Clinton, most of America and the the rest of the world thought that Trump will lose by a landslide. But as we can see, the tables have turned, and the Australians are playing magnificent cricket. Sadly, Trump has not been a magnificent president.”

8.52am GMT

Aus seem to me to giving a top display of how to use a balanced bowling attack to best effect. Know your conditions

8.51am GMT

Well, well, well. This is already a modern classic of a Test match and hurtling at pace into a defining one for this young Australian outfit. Those two wickets just before tea have transformed this Test from an ominous one for the visitors with Kohli looking to assert himself into another that could be over inside three days.

Much has come down to Steve Smith’s captaincy, and as the old adage goes, it doesn’t matter if you’re good if you’re lucky, and Smith’s luck came in just at the right time courtesy of Hazlewood’s golden arm.

8.44am GMT

Test cricket, eh?

India lead by 35 runs as my spell finishes, but JP Howcroft will be stopping by shortly to relieve me, and he’s a master of reverse swing. Do make him welcome.

8.43am GMT

39th over: India 122-4 (Pujara 34, Rahane 2)

And that is tea on day three. What a finish to the session by Australia’s Josh Hazlewood. He’s got 3-37 from 11 overs as he leads his side off, and they’re right in this game. Ajinkya Rahane was dropped down the order – which didn’t work when Ravi Jadeja was nipped out for 2 – and endured a minor nightmare in this over. The first ball he faced from Hazlewood spat up off the pitch to rap him on the knuckles, but he gets off the mark with two and survives until the break.

8.38am GMT

Ravindra Jadeja’s middle stump just landed somewhere in Wednesday! Josh Hazlewood is producing an absolute gem of a spell here and gets another. This time it’s full and straight and swinging in, and with India’s makeshift No5 playing all around it, his timber is splattered. What a game of cricket this is.

8.36am GMT

38th over: India 120-3 (Pujara 34, Jadeja 2)

We’re close to tea now on what has been another enthralling day of Test cricket. And to think there are still two Test left after these. I might need oxygen tank. Pujara just needs to get through to the next session, so pads up to the off-spinner. “Good Gary,” says Matthew Wade, giving himself wiggle room for grander compliments when it spins even more than this. Which is quite a lot.

8.32am GMT

37th over: India 120-3 (Pujara 34, Jadeja 2)

Sohid Ahmed writes in now. “Russell, we have work to do. cCn you please not make it so exciting? I am on the verge of asking my boss for a half day.” To misapply a well-worn quote from former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, any boss who doesn’t give his staff a half-day to watch this is a bum! Hazlewood continues here. Have I mentioned that he’s a genius, and that Steve Smith was very smart to bring him on? I hope so. Hazlewood finishes this over with another throaty LBW shout against Jadeja, but Nigel Llong shakes his head. He’s had a reasonable day today, the ump.

8.27am GMT

36th over: India 119-3 (Pujara 33, Jadeja 2)

I’m currently receiving a lot of emails containing the words “benefit of the doubt” and “batsman”. Sorry folks, that is not a rule, and never has been. Tough for Kohli, but as the third umpire said, he could see nothing to conclusively prove that the Indian skipper got bat on it. Meanwhile, Nathan Lyon is back on the ground and back on to bowl. He starts with a shocker, and Pujara batters it over mid-wicket for four. Jadeja faces the last couple and remains circumspect, nudging two runs to leg to get off the mark.

8.24am GMT

35th over: India 112-3 (Pujara 28, Jadeja 0)

This just gets better. Now Ravindra Jadeja strides out to the middle rather than normal No5 Ajinkya Rahane, who is out of form and now sliding down the order. Bizarre, and utterly brilliant. He sees off the rest of the Hazlewood over, though Hazlewood finishes it with another LBW shout. Kohli stands in the sheds watching TV replays. He is not amused.

8.20am GMT

Kohli is gone! I take back everything I said. Steve Smith is a genius. I am an idiot. Pace has done the job. The danger man is gone cheaply again! Hooley dooley this is some sort of Test match. It took an age for the third umpire to review all the evidence, but the Indian skipper is on his way back to the pavilion and this game is well and truly alive. India lead by 25 runs but face a real battle here.

8.17am GMT

Well, well, well. Kohli is reviewing it, but this looks salmon trout. Kohli thinks he’s feathered an edge before it hit his pad.

8.15am GMT

34th over: India 110-2 (Pujara 28, Kohli 13)

Something is up with Nathan Lyon, and he departs the ground. Glenn Maxwell comes out as sub-fielder, and O’Keefe takes Lyon’s end. Not ideal for Australia. With only a small amount of diplomacy, Michael Clarke is starting to rip into Steve Smith’s captaincy here, particularly his (under)use of the spinners. He wonders why O’Keefe doesn’t have a short leg in place in this over, and I can see what he means.

8.12am GMT

33rd over: India 106-2 (Pujara 27, Kohli 10)

Hmm, right as I’m waxing lyrical about the pressure being built by O’Keefe, Steve Smith reintroduces the pace of Hazlewood. His first ball strays onto Kohli’s pads and gets tenderised on its way to the deep mid-wicket boundary. Deary me. Kohli will be loving this. Unless Australia nip him out cheaply this could get very desperate very quickly. That tail end collapse is looking even worse now.

8.07am GMT

32nd over: India 100-2 (Pujara 26, Kohli 5)

Oooh, Pujara gets very lucky here, dancing down the wicket at Lyon and missing an on drive. The ball thuds into his pad but might have snuck through a gap for a stumping opportunity. Matthew Hayden is talking about building up the bricks. Hopefully whatever wall eventuates will keep him away from the microphone. A single to Kohli brings up 100 for India, and they now lead by 13 runs. Push that past 150 and Australia might be in serious bother. Much is at stake in the following half-hour, and whatever comes in the final session.

8.04am GMT

31st over: India 98-2 (Pujara 25, Kohli 4)

O’Keefe must wish he could roll up the Indian wickets and take them home with him, the way his career has turned the corner in the last two weeks. He’s probing away again in this over, but the main threat for now is at Lyon’s end. What O’Keefe is doing far better than the pacemen before is building pressure. He’s got a wicket, but he’s also bowled plenty of dot balls.

8.02am GMT

30th over: India 96-2 (Pujara 23, Kohli 4)

Pujara is a little more comfortable to Lyon now, and drives handsomely to long on for a single before Kohli dices with danger by pushing one inches past the right hand of Handscomb at short leg. He gets two but he’s still not comfortable. “No idea, Gaz!” cries Wade, which is a bit rich given the way he’s been keeping in the last few Tests.

8.00am GMT

29th over: India 94-2 (Pujara 23, Kohli 2)

“Bowling SOK-y” cries Matthew Wade behind the stumps, reminding everyone of what his mouth is missing. O’Keefe beats Kohli’s edge was an absolute peach, and must weather a testing little spell here from the Australian spinners. The stage is perfectly set for his combative genius, I reckon.

7.57am GMT

28th over: India 93-2 (Pujara 22, Kohli 2)

“Seriously great advert for test cricket here after England’s rather tame regression to the home team dominance paradigm,” says reader Brian Withington, and for the sake of stopping an argument, I think he’s a Brit. Pujarafinishes the Lyon over with a single and looks switched on, though Matthew Wade is carrying on as though he’s facing up with the wrong end of the bat in his hands.

7.54am GMT

27th over: India 92-2 (Pujara 21, Kohli 2)

There is no escape from the spin now for Pujara, and he’s looking only slightly more comfortable against O’Keefe than he was early on against Lyon. With the left-armer rushing between balls, Pujara tries to make him wait, and O’Keefe does a good job acting as though these demands are completely unreasonable. Buckle in for a thrilling final hour of this second session, folks.

7.52am GMT

26th over: India 89-2 (Pujara 18, Kohli 2)

Kohli is getting a huge stride in as he gets forward to counter the sharp spin of Nathan Lyon, but even a batsman as brilliant as him looks human in the face of some sublime bowling. Lyon has a slip, a leg slip and a short leg, and by the end of the over he’s also wearing a slightly sadistic grin by his affable standards. He probably fancies another eight poles here.

7.49am GMT

25th over: India 87-2 (Pujara 17, Kohli 1)

“If catches win matches then Australia have already won,” says Matthew Hayden, who might actually be demented. Anyway, O’Keefe’s introduction has had the impact we all thought it might, scores are now level, and batting wizard Virat Kohli is at the crease. What else would you rather be doing on a Tuesday, I ask you?

Steve Smith = FREAK!!!! #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/nX9kYs6Cg6

7.47am GMT

Steve Smith you genius! But also not… The Aussie skipper took an age to bring Steve O’Keefe on, and now that he has they’ve combined for the wicket of the danger man. The act itself was remarkable: Smith leapt to his right at first slip and reeled in what looked an impossible chance. It’s a one-hander of the highest order. Holy moly. Rahul can’t believe it. but he has to go.

It’s a pity. Rahul made this dicey pitch look like day two in Adelaide. His half-century has India on the brink of a lead and that’s no mean feat. It took a miracle catch to dismiss him. How good is cricket?

Holy crap. What a catch by Steven Smith. Watch the replays. #AUSvIND #Australia #India pic.twitter.com/UiAH58RbI7

7.41am GMT

24th over: India 83-1 (Rahul 51, Pujara 14)

Rahul faces up to Lyon and gives about 1/8th of a chance when he turns one hard to leg. It gets to Handscomb very quickly at short leg, and you can’t really fault him, or call it a drop. In relative terms, Pujara is also more comfortable against the off-spinner and gets one. This is genuinely absorbing Test cricket at the moment.

7.38am GMT

23rd over: India 81-1 (Rahul 50, Pujara 13)

In a surprise to absolutely nobody bar Steve Smith, the Indians continue to profit from pace bowling when Rahul lathers a half-volley through cover for another boundary off Starc, then flicks off his pads with class to pick up two. Might Darren Lehmann or the bowling coach David Saker send a memo out to the skipper at this point? O’Keefe stands with his hands on his hips as Rahul strokes a single off the final delivery of the over, which brings up his half-century from 82 deliveries. He’s making batting look ridiculously easy when you consider the grim efforts of the other 21 batsmen in this game.

7.33am GMT

22nd over: India 74-1 (Rahul 43, Pujara 13)

Fascinating stat: Lokesh Rahul averages 60 in the first innings of Tests but only 16 in the second. This is now his highest score in the second innings. He’s playing with house money. In an odd moment of this over, he backs away as Lyon moves in and gets bowled by a dead ball. Somebody is moving around in front of the sight screen again. Lyon had an opportunity to work Pujara over here, but his first delivery of the over was short and allowed his bunny to pull a single. Rahul handles the rest with aplomb.

7.28am GMT

21st over: India 70-1 (Rahul 40, Pujara 12)

A run-out is the last thing India needs at this point but Pujara almost perishes running to the danger end for a Rahul single. It was Pujara’s call, to be fair. A direct hit from gully might have had him in trouble but the throw misses. But more to the point, why is Mitchell Starc replacing Hazlewood and not Steve O’Keefe? Spin is the clear threat here, so it’s all a bit baffling from Steve Smith. Pujara has a grand old time flicking the paceman to leg and restoring his confidence a little.

7.23am GMT

20th over: India 66-1 (Rahul 39, Pujara 9)

Again Rahul decides it’s best to concede the over to Lyon and shield his partner, though Pujara might actually want to face a ball at some stage. Probably at the other end. Rahul eventually takes a single from the penultimate delivery, and Pujara’s in all sorts for the final one. So…the original plan was a good one.

7.20am GMT

19th over: India 65-1 (Rahul 38, Pujara 9)

Somewhat surprisingly, Hazlewood gets another over. Personally I think it’s time for some Steve O’Keefe, which is underlined when the tired paceman fires one down the leg side and gets turned for a gimme boundary. Puzzlingly, Rahul tries to ramp a short one over the cordon, which doesn’t seem wise. Luckily for him he fails to make contact. That aside, he’s continuing where he left off in the first innings, and boy didn’t India need his 90 runs then. They’re starting to feel like 200 as this game wears on. He’s also kept the strike for Lyon’s over.

7.15am GMT

18th over: India 60-1 (Rahul 33, Pujara 9)

Lyon’s bowling to Rahul again in this over, and turning it sharply to put his close-in fieldsmen into play. There is a slip, a leg slip and a short leg, but when his third delivery keeps low, Rahul does very well to get bat on it and avoid an LBW demise. It’s fantastic bowling by Lyon. It actually has the vibe of those times when Harbhajan Singh was off on one and tormenting the Aussies. Rahul gets a single from the final delivery to keep the strike. He’s shepherding Pujara to safety here. Brilliant batting under immense pressure.

7.12am GMT

17th over: India 59-1 (Rahul 32, Pujara 9)

Pujara is on his fourth life here, and takes advantage by opening the face and gliding Hazlewood down to third man for a boundary. The big paceman might be out of gas here, so from the next over at his end we might see a change.

7.07am GMT

16th over: India 55-1 (Rahul 32, Pujara 5)

“87 is an unlucky number in the Australian culture,” says Brett Lee, referring to Australia’s first innings lead. It’s utter hogwash, of course, though Nathan Lyon might be starting to disagree. This over he manages to avoid any further frustration, though it’s only because Pujara is standing at the non-striker’s end throughout.

7.05am GMT

15th over: India 53-1 (Rahul 30, Pujara 5)

Something worth mentioning as Josh Hazlewood is hit for Lokesh Rahul’s 1000th run in Test cricket: Che Pujara has been dismissed five times in Tests by Nathan Lyon. In the last ten minutes he’s given no less than three chances as Lyon works him over. This is the primary contest right now, and it’s enthralling. Rahul will have the strike to start with in the next over. He might want to keep it.

7.00am GMT

14th over: India 50-1 (Rahul 27, Pujara 5)

Rahul turns a single towards fine leg to get off strike, which seems a good idea the way Lyon is bowling. Sure enough, the second ball of the over is ANOTHER DROPPED CATCH! It passed Wade’s right pad – and really should have been his – but it’ll go down as a Steve Smith drop. The Aussie skipper dived to his left at first slip but he couldn’t see the ball until it was until late, and it just slaps into his palm before hitting the turf. Matthew Wade is having a shocker here. Lyon is bowling like a dream here but he could do with some help. Pujara survives.

6.56am GMT

13th over: India 47-1 (Rahul 25, Pujara 4)

Hazlewood continues with diligent intentions, but he’s a little inconsistent with his line and length so there are singles on offer for both batsmen. He attacks the stumps again with his final delivery but Rahul keeps it out. Strap in for some more of that Nathan Lyon chaos in the next over. This could be fun.

6.52am GMT

12th over: India 44-1 (Rahul 23, Pujara 3)

Ooft. Big turn for Lyon with his first delivery of the session. Rahul is forward to it but it jags in at an alarming angle to rap him on the front pad. Matthew Wade being Matthew Wade, he screams for an LBW decision, but there’s nothing doing. Rahul composes himself and gets off strike, then Pujara pushes through cover for two.

6.49am GMT

11th over: India 41-1 (Rahul 21, Pujara 1)

Che Pujara is the new man for India, and he’ll be aiming to improve on his strange showing in the first innings, where he looked well set on 17 before getting himself out. He’s off the mark with a single and Nathan Lyon will pair with the wicket-taker Hazlewood in the next over.

6.46am GMT

What a start to the second session for Australia! Josh Hazlewood appeared after the break with a few innocuous deliveries but then ripped through the defences of Indian opener Abhinav Mukund from around the wicket, castling him with the fourth ball of the session. Perfect start for Australia.

6.30am GMT

Some very sad news for lovers of great Australian sportswriting

Trevor Grant, the longtime sportswriter at the Herald Sun, Sunday Press, The Age, Sporting Globe and Newsday, has died at the age of 65. There is a tribute to him here by his former colleague Jon Anderson, but it suffices to say he was one of the most inquisitive, humane and excellent sports journalists in Australia, and a must-read cricket writer for much of his almost 50-year career.

RIP Trevor Grant one of the best sports journos I ever had the pleasure to work with. Gone too soon. #shortone

6.14am GMT

I have no idea how this is calculated but it looks good for India

An great morning session for India has seen their #WinViz rise from 14.8%. #IndvAus pic.twitter.com/yBvKknKyDV

6.03am GMT

10th over: India 38-0 (Rahul 20, Mukund 16)

Lyon’s over is an accurate and probing one, but Rahul and Mukund both push singles on their way to seeing off the threat. They couldn’t have done much better in this 35-minute barrage. They’ve chipped off 38 runs to trail by 49, and didn’t lose a wicket. The Australians will be a little disappointed with that. None of the four bowlers used produced anything compelling. The net result: India’s best session of the series.

India have had a great session there, but the last ball from Lyon was the first ball that has kept low all morning.

6.00am GMT

9th over: India 35-0 (Rahul 18, Mukund 15)

Steve O’Keefe does indeed appear for a pre-lunch over now, but it won’t be the last of the session. Rahul nudges a single to cover and knock me down with a feather, but Mukund drops his glove as he runs through for it, eking out a bit of time in the process. Then he pulls away from the final delivery as well. It doesn’t work. O’Keefe is through his six deliveries in a flash, so Lyon will have one more over.

5.56am GMT

8th over: India 34-0 (Rahul 17, Mukund 15)

Hmm, there was a little more to the Starc-Mukund conversation at the end of the last over, though it was a one-way street. Starc was unloading on the Indian opener. I wonder what Ian Healy will think. Lyon continues to left-handed Mukund, and he’s getting a decent amount of spin in this over, coming around the wicket and fizzing it past the outside edge. In a moment of madness, Mukund leaves the last, which goes on with the flight and misses the off stump by a matter of inches. Mukund chuckles, but that wasn’t his finest moment.

5.54am GMT

7th over: India 33-0 (Rahul 16, Mukund 15)

Steve Smith might have been tempted to give Steve O’Keefe an over here but sticks with Starc. The Indian openers continue to take brisk singles, which has been an obvious ploy to set a tone early in their innings. So far it’s working. Mukund can’t cash in on a wild and wooly short one from Starc, which he attacks with a full-blooded hook shot but misses. Brilliantly, he does latch on to another, top-edging it rather unconvincingly but picking up a six in the process. Starc laughs because crying wouldn’t inspire confidence.

5.48am GMT

6th over: India 25-0 (Rahul 15, Mukund 8)

Spin time now as Nathan Lyon wanders in to replace Josh Hazlewood. That seems sensible to me. Something needed to change, and he’s worth a go before lunch. He’s also on a hat-trick after taking wickets with his final two deliveries of the first innings. Mukund keeps the first one out with a solid forward defence, and when he’s on the back foot he’s offering a dead straight bat. Without a diving stop from Warner at point, Mukund also might have picked off a boundary from a half-tracker but contents himself with a single. Not much turn for Lyon in his first over.

Related: Former Australia cricketer Ian Healy ‘losing respect’ for Virat Kohli

5.44am GMT

5th over: India 24-0 (Rahul 15, Mukund 7)

We’ll have 15 minutes more play before lunch, which probably means three overs after this one from Starc. He comes around the wicket to Rahul but both he and his partner are handling things comfortably at the moment. They might not want to go off the way the early momentum has gone in their favour.

5.39am GMT

4th over: India 20-0 (Rahul 12, Mukund 6)

Remember half an hour ago when I floated a theory about India being bowled out for 75? Funny thing: I was hacked. The IT boffins tell me the security breach has since been fixed. Speaking of remedies, Josh Hazlewood seems to have reined his line in a decent amount now, and this is much tidier in his second over. A single to Rahul is the only damage and there’s a quarter of a LBW shout against Mukund from the final delivery. Not out.

5.35am GMT

3rd over: India 19-0 (Rahul 11, Mukund 6)

Rahul is making himself a little vulnerable in one sense; Starc’s extra pace means he’s not opting to bat outside his crease as per the approach of the Australians, thus he’s a greater liability to be trapped in front by Starc’s yorker. Still, the big left-armer has to nail one for that to be a problem. At the moment he’s taking the Ishant approach and pitching it a yawning distance outside off stump.

5.29am GMT

2nd over: India 14-0 (Rahul 11, Mukund 2)

Matthew Wade is grimacing already, and you can’t really blame him. Hazlewood steams in with a wide one and as well as taking off at right angles towards the cordon, it bounces a couple of times before Wade has to stop it. I hope he’s wearing a mouthguard. The next ball takes off like the pitch is the WACA circa 1975. Rahul continues his bright start by clipping a compact and effective straight drive to the fence when Halzwood over-pitches. This is a dreadful start by Australia’s opening bowlers. Both have bowled six entirely different deliveries. Line and length would do the job here. Even Mukund gets a couple.

5.24am GMT

1st over: India 7-0 (Rahul 6, Mukund 0)

We’re away in India’s second innings, and facing up to start with is Lokesh Rahul, the only major contributor of the first innings. He immediately clips Starc down to fine leg for a single. Less settled in this line-up is Abhinav Mukund, who hasn’t played a Test in six years and looks a bit rusty when he fences outside off stump to Starc first up. The Aussie laughs, then literally licks his lips.

5.18am GMT

Losing 4-7 is hardly an ideal way to finish

Though Australia’s nose is slightly ahead here. In more good news, Robert McLiam Wilson’s migraine must be clearing. He writes: “Reasons to wish you were Australian: Vol I – every single time any Aussie ever says ‘crook’ or ‘strides’ (I was born to say such things but neither work convincingly with my accent). Mind you, I feel something the same when Americans say ‘doofus’ or ‘No shit, Sherlock’.”

5.11am GMT

WICKET! Hazlewood c Rahul b Jadeja 1 (Australia all out for 276)

That is that. Jadeja finishes with 6-63 from 21.4 overs having done a superb job finishing off the Aussies. The final wicket was Hazlewood, who thumped one down to long on but not far enough to avoid Rahul in the deep. The tourists lead by 87 runs and will have somewhere in the vicinity of 35 minutes to jag a few wickets before lunch.

87 run lead for the Aussies. Very well played in tough batting conditions once again

5.07am GMT

122nd over: Australia 275-9 (O’Keefe 3, Hazlewood 1)

Does anyone else get the sneaky feeling India might be bowled out for 75 on this track? Just me? A qualifier: Josh Hazlewood is playing Ashwin comfortably in this over, and he’s hardly Sir Garfield Sobers.

5.05am GMT

121st over: Australia 275-9 (O’Keefe 3, Hazlewood 1)

Hazlewood survives the hat-trick ball and gets a single to boot. Having bowled half as many overs as Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja now has 5-62 from 21 overs of canny left-arm spin. That was an outstanding over to reduce the Australians to nine down. They lead by 86 runs at the moment, and that could have been a far bigger deficit for India.

5.03am GMT

Jadeja is on a hat-trick! Lyon is gone for a golden duck and things are falling away very quickly for the Australians. Often their tailenders have got them out of bother, today they’re falling like nine pins. The tourists have lost their last three wickets for five runs.

5.01am GMT

It’s given, and Lyon opts for the last chance saloon review. If he fails, Jadeja is on a hat-trick!

4.58am GMT

Wade’s gone! It was a hit and hope referral, that one, but it was heading straight for the stumps when it struck him in line. Off he trots and the rest of them stop for drinks.

4.57am GMT

Well that answers the question about Jadeja’s fitness, though Matthew Wade’s stay might be over. He’s been given out and he conferences with O’Keefe before asking for a review. Worth a shot.

4.56am GMT

120th over: Australia 274-7 (Wade 40, O’Keefe 3)

Hmm, has Ravi Jadeja just crocked himself diving in the outfield? He’s certainly grimacing in pain after Wade scurries through for a single. It looks like his hamstring or buttock is the issue. Sod’s law has it that he’s forced into another chase soon after. In the next over we’ll see how it’ll alter his delivery stride, if at all.

4.53am GMT

119th over: Australia 271-7 (Wade 39, O’Keefe 1)

Steve O’Keefe gets off the mark with a single, and it is worth mentioning at this point that he too can handle a cricket bat. In first-class cricket he averages 28.74 with nine half-centuries. One more here would just about get Australia over the line.

4.50am GMT

118th over: Australia 269-7 (Wade 38, O’Keefe 0)

OBO favourite Robert McLiam Wilson arrives now with his first dispatch of the Test. I won’t hold it against him that it’s taken until day three, because it appears he’s crooker than that Nigel Llong decision from earlier in the over.

4.50am GMT

Starc goes! Finally he latched onto a slog sweep, but I was wrong about the distance covered; he picks out Jadeja at cow corner, though the latter has to do some very smart work moving around to take the catch. With that wicket down, Australia have three more in the bank and lead by 80 runs. Forty more and they’ll be reasonably content.

4.46am GMT

OK, I was completely wrong on that one. It’s been overturned! Starc lives to fight another day.

4.45am GMT

And it’s been given! Starc immediately reviews but the replays don’t look good for him.

4.44am GMT

117th over: Australia 267-6 (Wade 37, Starc 25)

This is actually much better from India. Jadeja has a wide-ish leg gully in place as he comes around the wicket to Wade and when he claims an inside edge the ball nearly reach that man. Wade weathers a searching five deliveries and then plays a beautiful stroke, dancing down the wicket and gently driving past mid-off for a boundary.

4.41am GMT

116th over: Australia 262-6 (Wade 33, Starc 24)

Ashwin changes his plan of attack and comes around the wicket to Wade. He’s got a slip, a silly point and a man on the 45 (that is a close-in fine leg or a deep leg gully, in case you’re wondering). At least it gives Wade something else to think about, and he’s watchful and defensive in this over. Maiden.

4.38am GMT

115th over: Australia 262-6 (Wade 33, Starc 24)

Kohli’s seen enough of Ishant now, and I don’t entirely blame him on that front. Ravindra Jadeja appears for his first bowl of the day, and Wade is crouching low to sweep him for a single down to fine leg. Starc does even better, opening the face and running one to third man to pick up two. It’s all Australia so far. The Indian bowlers are really battling.

4.35am GMT

114th over: Australia 257-6 (Wade 31, Starc 21)

This is turning into a pesky partnership for Virat Kohli and his side. It now totals 35 runs from just under 13 overs, and Australia’s lead has stretched to 68 with a couple of bys in this over. Ashwin has half a LBW shout against Starc but it’s a rather desperate one, and not taken seriously by Nigel Llong.

4.31am GMT

113th over: Australia 255-6 (Wade 31, Starc 21)

Ishant was approaching Wade from around the wicket before, but he comes over now, which means he’s a bit straighter in his approach, and no less likely to miss out on an LBW if he’s not going to bowl straight. He draws Matthew Wade into a thick outside edge but it’s low and wide of the cordon, and runs away for four. Unlucky.

4.27am GMT

112th over: Australia 249-6 (Wade 25, Starc 21)

Ravi Ashwin is coming over the wicket to Starc, spinning it from a fourth stump line outside leg, but when he straightens up a bit Starc angles the bat and gets a couple through gully. He’s also throwing the kitchen sink at those slog-sweeps I mentioned earlier, but can’t quite make contact. When he does it might clear the stadium roofline.

4.24am GMT

111th over: Australia 247-6 (Wade 25, Starc 19)

Starc misses out on clipping one to fine leg but Wade scurries through for a leg bye, making his ground well before Saha throws down the stumps with his glove still on. Fair effort, that. I know containment is the name of the game for Ishant, but his economy rate is a moot point when Ashwin isn’t taking wickets at the other end. BOWL IT AT THE STUMPS, ISHANT!

4.18am GMT

110th over: Australia 246-6 (Wade 25, Starc 19)

Ashwin continues to Starc, who is often shaping to slog sweep but having difficulty wedding his premeditated stroke to the delivery in question. Matthew Hayden wants him to hit it flat and straight, which is his best suggestion in a while. A misfield gives Starc a single, and he retains the strike.

4.16am GMT

109th over: Australia 245-6 (Wade 25, Starc 18)

Ishant returns and finally gets one in the vicinity of the stumps, but it’s angling into Starc’s pads and he clips it away for three hany runs. So far so bad from the Indian paceman, who was excellent yesterday if a little wide with his line. Something else worth asking, re the Mitch Marsh debate: is he really needed when Starc is batting this well? Another thing: I haven’t received one publishable email about Ian Healy yet, but will keep checking them all off with the lawyers.

4.11am GMT

108th over: Australia 242-6 (Wade 25, Starc 15)

Ravi Ashwin is on from “the spinner’s end” of the ground, and will settle in for most of the morning I would think. Starc greets his first with a gigantic front pad, and then he plays an accidental French cut through his legs before four byes fly away to the boundary. It might be a tough morning behind the stumps for Wriddhiman Saha.

4.06am GMT

107th over: Australia 237-6 (Wade 25, Starc 14)

And we’re off on day three. Ishant Sharma has the ball in his hand first up and Matthew Wade faces up, whipping his hand off the bat and shaking it when the Indian paceman gets one to rear up and rap him on the gloves. Others keep lower, and I might make an early suggestion that Ishant takes on board a lesson from his dismissal of Mitch Marsh and just bowls it at the stumps. Crazy, I know, but you’re not bowling anybody or trapping them in front by pitch it a foot outside off stump on an up-and-down pitch. Balls three, four, five and six are all pitched outside off, drastically reducing the chance of a wicket as Wade gropes around. Get it together, Ishant.

3.59am GMT

Ian Healy has taken a decent old swipe at Virat Kohli

We’re still five minutes from the first ball and the hostilities have begun. The former Australian wicketkeeper says he’s “losing respect” for the Indian skipper after his verbal skirmish with Steve Smith yesterday. “The pressure is starting to tell on (Kohli),” Healy said on Melbourne radio station SEN this morning. “I’m losing respect for him. He’s not only now continuing his disrespect of the Australian players and umpires, but I think he’s putting pressure on his own players now.”

3.47am GMT

The pitch

“It looks like a totally different morning, this morning,” says Brett Lee, explaining the key differences between the concepts of yesterday and today. The pitch? The cracks are opening up like sinkholes. It’s an alarming sight on day three. We’re going to see a lot of deliveries staying low, and t’s going to be very fun to bowl on. “If Australia get the lead to 120, India’s going to have their backs to the wall,” says Sunny Gavaskar, and he’s pretty much spot-on there. “It’s almost been a pitch of two halves,” adds Lee. Somebody gag him, please.

3.43am GMT

On Shaun Marsh

“I don’t really know why he comes under the scrutiny he does,” says national selector Mark Waugh of Australia’s No4. Waugh is, remember, a member of the national selection panel, so has something of a vested interest in Marsh’s success on this tour. It’s tough on Usman Khawaja, who really should be in this side instead of Mitchell Marsh, but the older brother was magnificent yesterday. He’s not quite as stylish as Khawaja, but there is something inarguably artful about his batting on Asian pitches. He had a bit of luck in his 66 yesterday, but he did precisely the job he was brought in for.

3.38am GMT

Preamble

Hello all and welcome to day three of the Bangalore Test. Russell Jackson here to take you through the first couple of sessions on what will prove the pivotal day in deciding the result. In actual fact, I have a feeling that 45 minutes of big hitting by Mitchell Starc could put India out of the game and with it, the series. If you disagree, please do hit me with an apoplectic email or tweet.

5.55am GMT

Russell will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s how yesterday went down. It was enthralling stuff.

Related: Renshaw and Marsh edge Australia ahead of India in Bangalore Test

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/mar/06/australia-v-india-second-test-day-three-live

Mar 05

Australia v India: second Test, day two – live!

11.07am GMT

So Australia’s day, though perhaps not by a huge margin, and a victory for those who love struggling, attritional Test cricket. India fought hard, didn’t let the scoring get out of control, but couldn’t snap up wickets quickly enough.

The visiting side came into today with 40 on the board and no wickets down. Warner and Renshaw pushed on to another 50 opening stand before the more dashing of the pair was dismissed for 33, bowler by an Ashwin pearler. Smith played a long innings for not many, gone just before lunch, then Renshaw and Shaun Marsh dug in for another 50 stand.

11.03am GMT

106th over: Australia 237-6 (Wade 25, Starc 14)

Starc to face the last over. Ashwin bowling. And Starc enjoys pretending to be a top-order batsman, kicking balls away outside leg, leaving them outside off. For all his tricks, Ashwin can’t find a way through, and the day ends with a solid defensive push of the bat, something which sums up India’s inability to get past Australia today. Six wickets, yes, but the visiting team with the chance to add to a lead that while currently modest, could still be crucial on this pitch.

10.59am GMT

105th over: Australia 237-6 (Wade 25, Starc 14)

Second-last over. India can’t wait for this to be done. Umesh to bowl it. Wade gets a run with a glide, Starc goes to a similar area via the edge. Breezily 14 from 13 balls after everyone else today struggled to get close to a strike rate of 50.

10.57am GMT

104th over: Australia 235-6 (Wade 24, Starc 13)

The specialist back on for the part-timer, Ashwin with the ball. Wade defends five balls, negotiates five safely, then the last one kicks up at him and he gloves it solidly away. Punches it, in fact. And it flies just wide of Rahane in at short mid-off. The batsmen pinch a run.

10.55am GMT

103rd over: Australia 234-6 (Wade 23, Starc 13)

This is the damage Starc can do when he comes out late. Gets a short ball fomr Yadav, pulls it four four. Then drives a couple of runs over cover. Smack, smack. The lead out to 45.

10.54am GMT

102nd over: Australia 228-6 (Wade 23, Starc 7)

Karun Nair on for a trundle, as the lead bowlers are cooked, and given India left out the extra bowler in Jayant Yadav, they’re short of options. He bowls trash, some very wide stuff, but the boundary scored from him is trash too, Starc under-edging past the keeper.

10.45am GMT

101st over: Australia 221-6 (Wade 22, Starc 1)

And a drop! Umesh nearly had two, as Starc nicks his third ball wide of the keeper, and Saha gets the flap of the glove to it as he dives across.

10.41am GMT

He finally goes! Renshaw fell on 196 balls, Marsh goes from his 197th. He’s surely exhausted, but so must Umesh Yadav be, and finally the fast bowler gets some reward. Standard straight ball, Marsh flicks across the line and chips it straight to midwicket for a comfortable, Pietersen-versus-Siddle catch.

10.38am GMT

100th over: Australia 220-5 (S Marsh 66, Wade 22)

More ticking over, five singles from Jadeja.

10.37am GMT

99th over: Australia 215-5 (S Marsh 63, Wade 20)

Wade jams Umesh Yadav away for a single, Marsh glides another, and there’s a fifty partnership for this pair. Both subject to plenty of criticism, and this performance means a lot. The last wicket fell at 163. Both lefties find another single thanks to glides behind point. Ticking over a bit more now after some very slow and patient stuff.

Reverse view. What a ground. #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/fSirrb5Xm5

10.31am GMT

98th over: Australia 211-5 (S Marsh 61, Wade 18)

Jadeja back on for his 16th. Marsh plays a single off his pads without fuss. 60 on the board, there’s the distant spectre of what would be a career-defining hundred here. Wade tries to sweep, top edges that ball away for another streaky four! Well, he’s getting the results, I guess? Execution another story.

10.28am GMT

97th over: Australia 205-5 (S Marsh 60, Wade 13)

Shaun Marsh soaking up the vast bulk of the strike here. Leaves a couple of Ishant balls, then is hit in the ribs as he shapes for a pull but can’t time it. There’s yet another lbw appeal, Ishant over the wicket, but that was angling too far across the left-hander and would have been easily missing off stump.

10.25am GMT

96th over: Australia 204-5 (S Marsh 60, Wade 13)

Marsh edges Ashwin this over, not controlled, but has the presence of mind and the positivity to rush back for a second run even this late in the day, and dive into his ground. That’s commitment. Flicks a single next ball.

10.23am GMT

95th over: Australia 201-5 (S Marsh 57, Wade 13)

Shaun Marsh is a study in discipline today. He played well in Colombo, but I’d gauge this innings as happening in more testing conditions. He leaves the ball with precision through three Ishant deliveries, then when a short ball surprises him he keeps it down for a single.

10.14am GMT

94th over: Australia 200-5 (S Marsh 56, Wade 13)

Ashwin, getting loose as he tires, fires four byes down the leg side. The day grows late. And then comes the clincher. Another shocking review. Padded away by Wade. Ashwin thinks it caught some glove as it turned across the left-hander. The replay shows the ball hitting pad-flap, then leaping well over the gloves into Wade’s shoulder. Nowhere near. India, both reviews gone, and still five wickets to get. The 200 comes up with a Marsh single.

The evidence is back, and once again, Wade ain’t gloved shit. #INDvAUS

10.06am GMT

93rd over: Australia 194-5 (S Marsh 55, Wade 12)

Edging up to drinks, and just a couple more runs from Ishant’s 21st over as Marsh plays a stylish cut shot away behind point. Once again looking in supreme control when he scores. And the patience – closing on 200 balls – has been exemplary.

10.00am GMT

92nd over: Australia 192-5 (S Marsh 53, Wade 12)

Ashwin going back to the approach that got him Warner’s wicket, with two lefties at the crease. Off spin, over the wicket, pitching outside leg and turning across. Marsh is using his feet with confidence now, though. Three singles from the over, several kicked away, Australia now in front.

9.54am GMT

91st over: Australia 189-5 (S Marsh 51, Wade 11)

Yadav has been so impressive. Still running in, belting the ball down, good pace, discipline outside the off stump. He beats Wade thoroughly from the third ball of the over, but it doesn’t take the edge. Wade jams a single thereafter, and Marsh levels the scores with a drive through cover. Australia still with five wickets in hand, but only the tail to come. This partnership is now worth 26 and growing in importance.

9.50am GMT

90th over: Australia 187-5 (S Marsh 50, Wade 10)

A casual bat-wave as Marsh drives Ashwin square for one. He’s been good. Plenty of luck with those close lbws, but he’s held his composure, and his actual run-scoring has looked quite comfortable, even if his defence has been tested plenty on a difficult pitch. Very important innings given the currently low team score. Wade sweeps another single.

9.46am GMT

89th over: Australia 185-5 (S Marsh 49, Wade 9)

Edged! Marsh is teasing the Indian bowling side now, as Australia grinds on towards India’s first innings score. Thick edge into the ground, and Kohli at slip slaps it away falling to his left. Marsh gets off strike next ball with a flick, and Wade blocks out the rest of the over.

9.44am GMT

88th over: Australia 184-5 (S Marsh 48, Wade 9)

It wasn’t under dispute, but India are the worst reviewing side imaginable. We’ve just passed the 80-over reset mark, there’s yet another appeal against Marsh, and they review even though Marsh smashed that Ashwin delivery about six inches laterally off the inside edge into his pad. Marsh is settling now, gets a single via a steady on-drive, another through cover, while Wade uses the main weapon he has chosen for this trip and gets his run via a sweep.

9.40am GMT

87th over: Australia 181-5 (S Marsh 46, Wade 8)

This pitch is becoming a minefield. A lead of 50 could be significant in the circumstances. This one from Umesh Yadav keeps very low, but somehow Marsh survives again as it misses his stumps. Only a isngle from the voer, cut from the last ball.

9.38am GMT

86th over: Australia 180-5 (S Marsh 45, Wade 8)

Another lbw reprieve for Marsh! And another tough moment for Sharma, this time his own fault because he has overstepped. Marsh looked pretty well done frmo that ball, it moved in towards him from around the wicket and hit him in front. but the heel was over the line at the bowler’s end. The batsmen scramble an extra run to make the tally two no-balls. And they collect three singles from the over, the lead is almost gone for India.

9.30am GMT

85th over: Australia 175-5 (S Marsh 44, Wade 6)

Double seam attack. What even is this? They haven’t taken the new ball yet either, in the 85th. Umesh Yadav, who was so good in the first Test. Draws a few leaves, then another good ball! Marsh given out lbw but reviews. Umesh around the wicket, angles a fast ball in, hits the front pad as Marsh tried to come across the line of the ball. Given by Umpire Illingworth, but the on-spec review strikes gold: the ball is found to be marginally striking the batsman outside the line of off, even though it was hitting half halfway up middle stump according to ball-tracking. I think those laws are garbage and that ball should be out. This ‘outside the line’ business is a hangover from the days of amateur and professionals. Who’s with me?

9.23am GMT

84th over: Australia 175-5 (S Marsh 44, Wade 6)

Edged this time, and four streaky runs for Wade. He’s a left-hander, and the tall right-armer Ishant is working him over form around the wicket. That ball moved away from this now crumbling pitch. It’s deteriorated even over the course of the day, from my vantage point. Edged just past Saha on the bounce. Then again! After leaving a couple, the next leaps at Wade, jabs into the outside edge, as he yanks his hand off the bat and the ball skews away on the bounce to slip. Gets him a single. Marsh serenely stuns the last ball into cover to take back the strike.

9.18am GMT

83rd over: Australia 169-5 (S Marsh 43, Wade 1)

Four! Not without risk. Marsh comes down the wicket and lofts Jadeja, but it only just carries the long-on, who is two third of the way back to the rope. That’s the first ball of the over, and Marsh goes defensive thereafter.

9.16am GMT

82nd over: Australia 165-5 (S Marsh 39, Wade 1)

Ishant Sharma has been good today. Very frugal, accurate. 25 runs from 17 overs. Make that 18. A maiden to Wade, working him around that off stump. Some blocks and leaves.

9.14am GMT

81st over: Australia 165-5 (S Marsh 39, Wade 1)

Jadeja to start up. A casual single for Senior Marsh to mid on. Matthew Wade comes on strike. Unloved, criticised, maligned. The urban ibis of Australian cricket, as per the cricket commentary I was listening to earlier. He does what the junior Marsh couldn’t, and gets off the mark. A swept single. Get ready for some one-sentence Jadeja overs.

9.06am GMT

Just by the way. This is some keraaaaazy stattology. Meg Lanning has just won a series decider against New Zealand with an unbeaten century, sure, that’s good. But think about this. She’s set the world record for most ODI hundreds in the women’s game – given women’s cricket has struggled to get huge numbers of games, that mark is 10. She’s the first into double figures. But what makes it really remarkable is the speed. Lanning has made her 10 hundreds in 57 games, but she too the record from England’s Charlotte Edwards, who made nine in 191 games. Think about it: 191 versus 57. Not far off a quarter as many matches. And an absurd rate on its own.

Related: Meg Lanning guides Australia to Rose Bowl series win over New Zealand

8.54am GMT

Goooooood gracious. Wickets from the last ball of sessions. Aren’t they great? I don’t mean those hokey fake ones where it falls from the fourth ball of the over and then they call a break. I mean the genuine last ball, x.5 overs down, one last opportunity for the bowler. And then. “Got him! The last ball of the day, can you believe that?” Those Bill Lawry words are burned in the memory, courtesy of whoever cut together that opening segment that ran on the TV for so many years. Ishant Sharma. Well.

Hello! Geoff here. Thanks Russell. Let’s play cricketball.

8.51am GMT

Well, that wasn’t ideal for Australia

But Ishant deserved that wicket, and replays reveal that Donald George Bradman himself probably wouldn’t have got bat on it. That’s it for me. Taking you through the rest of the day’s play is Geoffrey Lemon, who will be with you shortly.

8.47am GMT

WICKET! Mitch Marsh LBW Ishant Sharma 0 (Australia 163-5)

80th over: Australia 163-5 ( S Marsh 38)

8.40am GMT

79th over: Australia 162-4 ( S Marsh 37, M Marsh 0)

Nervy times for Mitch Marsh, who is now nine deliveries into his innings but yet to move off his duck. Let’s be honest: all of Australia is watching this. Poor bloke. Hopefully he gets some runs today for the sake of national harmony.

8.38am GMT

78th over: Australia 161-4 ( S Marsh 36, M Marsh 0)

I believe this is only the second time the Marsh brothers have batted together in Tests, so get all of your jokes in while it’s still possible. Are they the most unpopular Australian siblings since Shane and Bindi Paxton? Probably.

8.35am GMT

77th over: Australia 160-4 ( S Marsh 35, M Marsh 0)

A wicket-maiden for Jadeja, and we’ll have Marsh brothers batting at either end now. Gird up your loins, Australia.

8.34am GMT

Ashwin juggles a beauty! And Jadeja gets Handscomb! That was a tough chance to the right of Ashwin at mid-wicket, but with a dive and a bit of juggling as he hits the deck, the big all-rounder hangs onto it. With that, yet another wicket has fallen with a major break not far away.

8.30am GMT

76th over: Australia 160-3 ( Marsh 35, Handscomb 16)

The Australians might wish tea wasn’t so close at the moment, because Ravis Ashwin is really tiring. He sends down a very fatigued long hop to start this over and Marsh latches onto it perfectly, whip-cracking his cut through the field to pick up four. Ashwin ends the over scratching his head and a little peeved. He’s put in a fair old shift so far.

8.27am GMT

75th over: Australia 156-3 ( Marsh 31, Handscomb 16)

Jadeja is racing through his overs, but Peter Handscomb is pretty clear with his plan, which is a much more attacking one than we saw in Pune. Again he skips down the track to get to the pitch of the ball and flicks the spinner over mid-wicket for a boundary. It’s a bright start for the Victorian.

8.24am GMT

74th over: Australia 152-3 ( Marsh 31, Handscomb 12)

Bang! Peter Handcomb gets down the track to Ashwin, so that he’s right to the pitch of the ball, and deposits it over cow for a boundary. The horse has bolted, but Kohli and Ashwin immediately post a man back there. With that and three singles, it’s a profitable over for the Australians.

8.22am GMT

73rd over: Australia 145-3 ( Marsh 30, Handscomb 6)

Now Jadeja fires in a flatter one to Marsh, and that brings the short leg into play. Pujara, standing there, is soon diving to his left for a catch, but can’t quite get there. Marsh responds to the pressure by nudging one towards mid on and sprinting through for a single. An underrated virtue of his, that.

Renshaw averaging 165.25 (balls per dismissal) and 59.15 runs.
Bats time and makes runs. Pretty good, eh.#INDvsAUS

8.19am GMT

72nd over: Australia 143-3 ( Marsh 29, Handscomb 5)

Ashwin is coming around the wicket to Marsh, and close-ups of his deliveries reveal he’s trying to bring it in off the seam to the left-hander. He’s more conventional to Handscomb; over the wicket and turning it sharply towards off stump.

8.15am GMT

71st over: Australia 139-3 ( Marsh 28, Handscomb 2)

Handscomb is away with a single through cover, a run Kohli attempts to cut off in 1970s style, throwing his boot at it. It doesn’t work. Like Renshaw, something you can say of Handscomb is that he doesn’t look remotely overawed in what is a quite testing environment for a rookie Test player.

8.12am GMT

70th over: Australia 136-3 ( Marsh 27, Handscomb 0)

Ashwin gets the ball to rise up off the pitch like a cobra now, and Marsh does very well not to pat it into the hands of the man at silly point. The next curls past the outside edge, before Marsh settles himself with a rock solid forward defence. The crowd are really getting involved now, too. A tricky patch for the Australians.

8.10am GMT

69th over: Australia 136-3 ( Marsh 27, Handscomb 0)

Jadeja has a good look at Handscomb here, and India mustn’t have seen a lot of him because they continue to become excited by his unconventional and slightly ungainly defensive technique. In truth he’s a very capable players of spin bowling. He’s watchful in this over, and yet to get off the mark.

8.07am GMT

68th over: Australia 135-3 ( Marsh 26, Handscomb 0)

All of a sudden Ravi Ashwin has a little more spring in his step, as he was having absolutely no luck piercing Renshaw’s defence. Now he’ll have a right-hander to bowl to as well, though Marsh takes strike in this over and offers a straight bat throughout. It’s been tough work today, but India are still right in the contest here. If they can restrict Australia to 250, or a little less, and then put on 180 themselves, this pitch is going to be a nightmare in the fourth innings.

8.04am GMT

67th over: Australia 134-3 ( Marsh 25, Handscomb 0)

Peter Handscomb is the new man at the crease for Australia, and he’ll have about 40 minutes to contend with the Indian spinners before we head off for the tea break.

8.02am GMT

Jadeja does the trick again! Two deliveries after he’d skipped down the track and belted the first six of the innings, Renshaw ventures down again but misreads it, and with some smart work behind the stumps by Saha he’s on his way. The Australian opener is absolutely livid with himself, and turfs his gloves as he reaches the boundary. He should also feel proud of himself his 60 from 193 deliveries was a helluva knock given the stakes.

8.00am GMT

66th over: Australia 128-2 (Renshaw 54, Marsh 24)

At the risk of harping on the same point, this commentary is utterly maddening, but you need to have it on to get the audio from the ground. Is that a Faustian pact? “You can’t stand still otherwise you go backwards,” Hayden says now. I wish someone would roll his chair backwards a few metres.

7.56am GMT

65th over: Australia 123-2 (Renshaw 52, Marsh 22)

As if inspired by the conversation here, the Australians now start pushing those aforementioned singles. There is one here by Marsh off Jadeja, who fields off his own bowling by sprinting to cover and sliding, but can’t cut it off. It was at least a stylish dive. “The situation calls for a lot of game awareness,” says Matthew Hayden, just throwing a whole heap of words out in front of TV viewers and asking them to put them in whichever order they wish.

7.53am GMT

64th over: Australia 121-2 (Renshaw 51, Marsh 21)

Harking back to the Gervase Green email, I actually don’t mind this approach at all. For one thing, it’s a quite disorienting novelty compared to Australia’s gung-ho batting displays of failed Indian campaigns. It’s sort of working, isn’t it? My glass is half full for now.

7.51am GMT

63rd over: Australia 120-2 (Renshaw 51, Marsh 20)

Jadeja does indeed return now to replace Umesh, but the Australians handle him easily enough in his first over back. picking up a single apiece. “Hate to be a curmudgeon,” writes Gervase Greene, “but I do reflect on all those maidens bowled to Smith (and therefore Renshaw) that might have had two runs an over, or even a single.”

7.48am GMT

62nd over: Australia 118-2 (Renshaw 50, Marsh 19)

Ashwin has a wide slip, a short leg, and a quite deep leg gully as he wheels away to Marsh, who can tell from that configuration what he’s likely to receive. Should Ashwin not come around the wicket for a bit? He does turn one a mile in this over, but Marsh bats it down into the ground as it fizzes across towards the off stump. He’s been a diligent, determined batsman so far today.

7.42am GMT

61st over: Australia 118-2 (Renshaw 50, Marsh 19)

Further diminishing returns for Umesh Yadav, who keeps it tight in this over but still doesn’t look like breaking through, and Marsh casually flicks one off his pads to pick up three. Time for some Ravindra Jadeja? Probably. With that, we’ll have drinks.

7.39am GMT

60th over: Australia 115-2 (Renshaw 50, Marsh 16)

Renshaw is now dancing down the track and belting Ashwin for a boundary to cow corner! Sensational stuff from the rookie opener. He’s been going at a snail’s pace today, as the situation demands, but with that blow and two through mid wicket, he brings up a determined half-century from 183 deliveries. For four hours he’s resisted the best India has been able to throw at him. Take a bow, young man. This knock puts Australia in a very healthy position halfway through day two.

7.35am GMT

59th over: Australia 109-2 (Renshaw 44, Marsh 16)

Umesh is not quite nailing this like he did earlier in the day bowling to Smith, so the session is just fading a little as Marsh establishes himself. Umesh strays onto Marsh’s pads and he clips a couple of runs wide of mid-wicket. India have gone 17 overs without a wicket now.

7.32am GMT

58th over: Australia 107-2 (Renshaw 44, Marsh 14)

OK, my eyes are even worse than I suspected. Scrap what I said about Marsh missing that edge (though it did, to be fair). It might in fact have brushed Marsh’s thumb soon after it missed the edge, replays now reveal. That was the sound the Indians thought they’d heard. Maiden for Ashwin.

7.30am GMT

57th over: Australia 107-2 (Renshaw 44, Marsh 14)

Wriddhiman Saha is having a very taxing day at the office here, and it’s hard not to feel sorry for him. The spinners are turning it prodigiously, which is hard enough to deal with, but with the ball keeping low when the quicks are operating, he’s getting them on the bounce or around his ankles. Meanwhile, India have only one review remaining, and wisely they chose not to use it when Umesh thinks Marsh has got an outside edge to Saha. He missed it by the width of Merv Hughes’ moustache.

7.26am GMT

56th over: Australia 106-2 (Renshaw 43, Marsh 14)

Just a single to Renshaw from the Ashwin over, and when the Australian pair meet for their mid-pitch conference there is suddenly an air of command about their partnership. It now totals 24 runs from 15 overs. That is nothing to be sneezed at on a very tough day for batting.

7.23am GMT

55th over: Australia 105-2 (Renshaw 42, Marsh 14)

Umesh Yadav is back to replace Ishant, and fresh limbs means he’s getting his bouncers up that little bit higher, and Marsh almost nicks an attempted hook through to Saha. Umesh gets a little overzealous to that end, and when his third consecutive bumper just sits up in Marsh’s hitting zone, the Western Australian swivels into a pull shot and expertly dispatches it to the ropes. Marsh might have played himself in here.

7.18am GMT

54th over: Australia 101-2 (Renshaw 42, Marsh 10)

A boundary! Holy smokes, that came out of nowhere. Ashwin loops a very loose one down the leg side, and Marsh gets down on one knee to smother his sweep out to the fence at fine leg. There are four byes soon after to bring up Australia’s hundred, though you could hardly blame keeper Saha in this instance. With a single Marsh makes it nine for the over, which is a run glut compared to what we’ve seen in the rest of this second session.

7.15am GMT

53rd over: Australia 92-2 (Renshaw 42, Marsh 5)

Ishant has two standard slips, a leg slip and a short leg for Marsh, and even though he knows what line of attack to expect, the Australian cops one in the armpit when he gets his bat out the way of a bouncer. Ouch. Much like his father, he refuses to acknowledge the blow in any way. Tough. “I want to go into the brain of Matthew Hayden,” says Brett Lee, speaking on behalf of no other person on earth.

7.10am GMT

52nd over: Australia 91-2 (Renshaw 42, Marsh 4)

Marsh continues to pad up to Ashwin, or else gets back and across with a confident backward defence. From the final delivery of the over he pushes a single to wide mid-off. Ashwin has looked the goods all day, but somehow the Australians continue to blunt his impact.

7.08am GMT

51st over: Australia 90-2 (Renshaw 42, Marsh 3)

Ishant continues to Renshaw and though he’s still got the short leg in place, he poses an Umesh-like threat more than anything. Sooner or later one is going to keep so low that one of these left-handers can’t jam down his bat in time. Kohli brings in a leg gully, but Renshaw plays out a maiden without too many troubles. He’s 42 from 163 deliveries now, the 20-year-old. He’s singlehandedly distorting all those nonsense stats about the attention spans of millennials.

7.02am GMT

50th over: Australia 90-2 (Renshaw 42, Marsh 3)

“They’re whittling it away,” is Matthew Hayden’s take on Australia’s last few overs, in which they haven’t scored a run. Eventually Renshaw gets one off Ashwin, but it’s hard yakka. Shaun Marsh is in all sorts of bother against Ashwin, and has to do three things to stop one delivery; he shapes to pad up, changes his mind and blocks it, then has to kick it away from the stumps when it nearly rolls back to bowl him.

6.59am GMT

49th over: Australia 89-2 (Renshaw 41, Marsh 3)

Poor Ishant could do with a little more assistance out of this pitch as he fires down short ones to Shaun Marsh. It’s like trying to get a hacky sack to bounce at the moment. He does eventually get some bounce, but it’s backbreaking work. With Marsh not entirely comfortable, a short leg comes into play, but Marsh stands firm. Third maiden on the bounce. India are tightening the screws.

6.54am GMT

48th over: Australia 89-2 (Renshaw 41, Marsh 3)

Ashwin keeps at Renshaw, and as the Queenslander passes 150 deliveries faced, it’s probably time to start admitting he’s not doing too badly against one of the world’s best spinners. It’s not pretty, and he’s barely scoring off him, but he’s also still out there. Maiden.

6.51am GMT

47th over: Australia 89-2 (Renshaw 41, Marsh 3)

Save for his first ball of the day, which was angled down the leg side and dispatched for a boundary, Ishant Sharma has been an outstanding contributor for his side today. He’s sliding them away from Shaun Marsh to start the second session, and looking to build pressure from which Ashwin might profit. His penultimate delivery draws a throaty LBW shout against Marsh, but it was pitching a foot outside leg stump, even if it would have hit the stumps.

6.46am GMT

46th over: Australia 89-2 (Renshaw 41, Marsh 3)

We’re back after lunch with Ravi Ashwin twirling it down to Matt Renshaw, who is encircled with close-in fieldsmen but gets up and running again with a single. Not for the first time in the series, Shaun Marsh then become involved in a near run-out, though it wasn’t entirely clear whose fault it was. He gets through for the single in the end. To say he needs some runs here is something of an understatement. Usman Khawaja waits in the wings.

6.38am GMT

It’s Tests like these where I wish the old adage about your face staying fixed in a ridiculous position when the wind changes was true.

6.16am GMT

I need to frame Nathan Lyon’s pitch map from yesterday. pic.twitter.com/1iL5ULJDYr

6.04am GMT

45th over: Australia 87-2 (Renshaw 40, Marsh 2)

And that is lunch on day two. Ishant gave Matt Renshaw six of his best, but the Queenslander was up to the task, and heads off for a breather with 40 runs to his name from 144 deliveries. His efforts typify the entire morning of cricket. It’s been tough, attritional cricket, and neither side has given an inch.

5.58am GMT

44th over: Australia 86-2 (Renshaw 39, Marsh 2)

Ashwin returns and has a go at Marsh now, but the only thing doing is an outside edge which flies well wide of silly point. We’ll have one more over before lunch, which looks like it’ll be bowled by Ishant Sharma. Maybe he’ll get a wicket to go with his manic gurning from earlier in the morning.

5.56am GMT

43rd over: Australia 83-2 (Renshaw 37, Marsh 1)

Somewhat surprisingly, the tiring Umesh Yadav is granted another over, though I guess Kohli will be hoping he can exploit the Australian No4’s penchant for fishing outside off stump to the quicks. Here Marsh is determined to leave, and only plays when they’re straight. It works a treat. If Umesh is done, he’s bowled a gem of a spell without taking a wicket.

5.51am GMT

42nd over: Australia 83-2 (Renshaw 37, Marsh 1)

Marsh gets off the mark with a single, which infuriates Ravi Shastri. So it’s not all bad for Australia. Super over from Jadeja. He’s done exactly what India needed before lunch.

Great bowling Jadeja. Huge wicket of the Aussie captain @stevesmith49

5.49am GMT

And there it is! Jadeja slides one in a bit quicker to Smith and when the inside edge balloons up from his front pad towards the vacant leg slip region, Saha sprints around and dives to snaffle the chance. The Aussie skipper doesn’t even wait for the verdict. He knows he’s cooked. Worse: he’s been dismissed 12 minutes before lunch, so Shaun Marsh will have to come out and face a brief spell of hostility, on a hiding to nothing.

5.45am GMT

41st over: Australia 81-1 (Renshaw 36, Smith 8)

An understatement: a late wicket before lunch will really throw the cat amongst the pigeons, and based on what we’ve seen so far in this series, it wouldn’t be an unlikely sight. Umesh continues, but I’d be tempted to bring back Ashwin if I was Kohli; he and Jadeja are a constant threat and really hurry through their overs.

5.42am GMT

40th over: Australia 80-1 (Renshaw 35, Smith 8)

We’ll have just under 20 minutes more cricket in what has been a truly magnificent morning of testing cricket for both sides, and Steve Smith continues to do very well at picking off singles. Jadeja has two LBW shouts against Renshaw when the tall lefty sweeps, but only the latter is entirely credible. Renshaw is doing that so that contact with pad or bat occurs outside the line of off stump. So far it’s working.

5.39am GMT

39th over: Australia 78-1 (Renshaw 34, Smith 7)

Yadav continues to the sounds of horns and hollering, but the ball is talking most in this over. Renshaw can only shake his head and shrug his shoulders after the paceman shapes two consecutive deliveries away from his outside edge. The first deviated off the surface, the second was reverse swing. A third merely straightens. Renshaw has a huge grin on his face, but only because he’s surviving a quite superb spell of pace bowling and one expertly tailored to the conditions.

Utterly compelling cricket – what a game these flanneled fools play @rustyjacko

5.35am GMT

38th over: Australia 78-1 (Renshaw 34, Smith 7)

Ravindra Jadeja appears now to relieve Ashwin, which is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, Australia have seen off a very threatening spell by India’s No1 bowler, on the other they have often collapsed when faced with the wares of his replacement. He’s coming over the wicket to Renshaw, with a short leg and a slip. Renshaw has a good look and finishes the over by sweeping a single. It wasn’t Haydenesque, but it did the job.

Very impressed with Matt Renshaw. Young man, playing at this level on alien pitches and with such composure.

5.30am GMT

37th over: Australia 76-1 (Renshaw 33, Smith 6)

Umesh has been trading in low bounce today, but out of nowhere he sends one whistling past the shoulder of Matt Renshaw’s bat when the ball takes a savage deviation out of a crack, and an edge follows a ball later. Should that have been caught? Oh dear. Perhaps Kohli could have caught it if he’d stayed low at first slip, but he rises to a standing position and the ball arrives on the half-volley before flying away for four. “That’s what we call the dentist catch”, says Brett Lee, throwing out a phrase I never once hear in my years playing cricket.

5.27am GMT

36th over: Australia 72-1 (Renshaw 29, Smith 6)

A five-man conference takes place before Ashwin takes his cap off to bowl this over, but the net result is nothing more exciting than a Matt Renshaw single and some stern defensive efforts by Smith. More importantly, the Ishant Sharma GIFs are now rolling in.

I can’t stop watching Ishant Sharma #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/cA8CO6I3mO

5.23am GMT

35th over: Australia 71-1 (Renshaw 28, Smith 6)

Smith continues to trust his eye here, and steps back and across in front of his stumps to defend Yadav’s low shooters. Were it any other batsman in Australia you’d argue it’s foolhardy, but you can hardly argue with the weight of numbers in the last few years. Yadav has his heart in his mouth every delivery of this maiden, but Smith sees it off.

5.20am GMT

34th over: Australia 71-1 (Renshaw 28, Smith 6)

To be fair to him, Renshaw is really rising to the Ashwin challenge now, and though he rarely looks like scoring, he’s forced the masterful spinner around the wicket for a new line of attack. That is a minor psychological victory in a fairly one-sided contest.

5.18am GMT

33rd over: Australia 70-1 (Renshaw 28, Smith 5)

Renshaw v Ashwin and Smith vs Yadav are the main contests right now, if you take Kohli out of the equation (he is fighting all of Australia). Smith mixes things up a bit by getting off strike, which Renshaw is probably glad for, and he gets a low edge through gully to pick up four. Yadav isn’t quite as threatening against the left-hander, though Renshaw gets even luckier with his second boundary of the over: a genuinely unintentional edge between first slip and third. It took Renshaw 70 minutes to make his first five runs today, and he’s just burgled eight more in a few minutes.

5.13am GMT

32nd over: Australia 61-1 (Renshaw 20, Smith 4)

Another tight over from Ashwin, who has Renshaw wrapped around his little finger, but can’t quite flick him off. Kohli is doing everything bar engage in a rap battle in his ongoing conversation with Steve Smith.

5.11am GMT

31st over: Australia 61-1 (Renshaw 20, Smith 4)

Yadav gets another go at Smith after the break and he’s causing a few problems when the ball keeps low and takes deviations out of the cracks. The big threat he poses is LBW, I think, especially with Smith shuffling across his stumps. Australia’s run rate has crawled to two per over, and this is some truly absorbing, series-shaping cricket under way on day two. I’ve no idea how, but Smith survives the over without being pinned in front. I think Umesh Yadav might get at least two or three more overs based on that one. Kohli and Smith are still going at it.

5.04am GMT

30th over: Australia 61-1 (Renshaw 20, Smith 4)

“Matthew Hayden has quite a large p….ool,” says Michael Clarke, though nobody was asking. Ashwin also had a big appeal for a close-in catch when Smith was on strike, but it was all pad according to Nigel Llong. Drinks are out on the ground now and they’ve certainly earned them so far.

That was as tense an hour of Test cricket as I’ve seen in a long time … but brilliant viewing #IndvAus

5.03am GMT

Oof, that was very lucky for Smith as it was only shaving leg stump, so it goes back to the umpire’s call. Nigel Llong gave it not out, and that is how it stays.

5.02am GMT

The bowler is very keen on this. Nervous times for Smith, who was attempting to pull it away from his front knee roll and missed. Or did he get an underside edge? We shall soon see.

4.59am GMT

29th over: Australia 59-1 (Renshaw 19, Smith 4)

“It’s 27 degrees in Bangalore…hardly the cauldron everyone is making it out to be,” says reader Kabir Sethi. “Probably the tension of the game more than anything else.” Indeed. Just on that, Ishant did a superb job attacking and containing from his end, but his bolt is now shot so Umesh Yadav appears for a trundle. I reckon he’ll get a couple of overs, and if he doesn’t nip one of these two out, Kohli will turn to Jadeja. Ishant is staying involved by sledging the bejeezus out of Renshaw, which is nice. Yadav is keeping it worryingly low.

4.55am GMT

28th over: Australia 59-1 (Renshaw 19, Smith 4)

It’s not just Ishant getting stuck into Steve Smith, Virat Kohli is having a dip at it as well and really trying to get under the Australian captain’s skin. Lots of spice in this one, though Smith is laughing it off for now. Ashwin continues to probe away at Renshaw’s giant front pad, and the giant front pad continues to win. For now.

4.52am GMT

27th over: Australia 59-1 (Renshaw 19, Smith 4)

Matthew Hayden is talking about “the cauldron of Indian cricket” and “the furnace of the wicket”. Someone get him in front of an air conditioner, please. Anyway, that’s not his most disturbing image. He says this of Matthew Renshaw, who is currently doing well merely to survive: “He’s not only standing up, he’s dominating!” Calm down Haydos, he’s made four runs in the last 50 minutes.

4.46am GMT

26th over: Australia 58-1 (Renshaw 18, Smith 4)

Ooft. Renshaw is dicing with danger here, as Ashwin spins them across him from the rough. The Queenslander is taking the Warner route and leaving it with his stumps exposed, which as we know, didn’t exactly come up trumps. At least in this over he gets a couple of singles to leg. Using the bat is probably the way to go.

4.42am GMT

25th over: Australia 54-1 (Renshaw 16, Smith 2)

Tense times call for tough characters, and Steve Smith’s narrow-eyed focus is abundantly clear as he faces up to Ishant. The paceman is bowling with the spirit of the Demon Spofforth right now, but Smith eventually gets off strike with a single to point. Renshaw handles the rest, but he’s copping a real barrage.

4.37am GMT

24th over: Australia 53-1 (Renshaw 16, Smith 1)

Ashwin continues his cold war with Matt Renshaw, but I sense there could some weaponry unleashed soon enough. I’ve no idea how, but Renshaw pokes, prods and pads up, and negotiates his way through the onslaught. It’s not going to get any easier. Ashwin might bowl all innings the way he’s going now.

4.35am GMT

23rd over: Australia 53-1 (Renshaw 16, Smith 1)

Every delivery is subject to a raucous wall of sound from the locals right now, and a minor verbal skirmish followed that Renshaw-Ashwin stand-off late in the last over. On top of that, Ishant has worked his way into a very handy spell. This is why they call it Test cricket. Ignoring that, Brett Lee is spending the time between deliveries counting how many fidgets Steve Smith does. I, meanwhile, am spending the same time counting down the minutes until Brett Lee is gone from the commentary box.

4.29am GMT

22nd over: Australia 53-1 (Renshaw 16, Smith 1)

Steve Smith walks out to the middle now and gets off the mark with a single thanks to a minor imbroglio in which Renshaw won’t get out the way, so it trickles down to long leg, but India are all over the tourists here and the crowd is really getting involved too. Ashwin can scent blood in the water, and the Australians have a fierce battle on their hands.

4.26am GMT

Warner is removed by a gem! Holy smokes, that is an absolute peach from Ashwin, whose first ball of the over to Warner pitches outside leg, catches the Aussie opener in two minds and then fizzes across him to take the off stump. What was Warner doing? He shuffled across and exposed all three stumps. It turned a long, long way, and I’ve got to say, it was hardly surprising. The Aussie left-handers are in for a real battle today.

4.24am GMT

21st over: Australia 52-0 (Warner 33, Renshaw 16)

Ishant’s off-side protection against Warner has moved around to deep cover now, and the opener duly clubs one out there for a single. Reader Sankaran Krishna is enraged by all this, though that might be a little harsh on Ishant. He’s bowling with a decent head of steam so far. “Lyon gets 8-50 on the first day and Virat begins the second day with Ishant???” complains Sankaran. “This is beyond dumb. Starting with Ashwin and Jadeja would send a different message altogether.”

4.18am GMT

20th over: Australia 50-0 (Warner 32, Renshaw 16)

Renshaw is looking far less comfortable against Ashwin than Warner before, and he gets very lucky with an inside-edge into his pad, which balloons over the head of the man at short leg while not quite carrying to mid wicket. The rookie opener is putting his bat away so far, which doesn’t inspire much confidence. A maiden for Ashwin, and Renshaw has plenty to contemplate.

4.15am GMT

19th over: Australia 50-0 (Warner 32, Renshaw 16)

One thing I missed at the end of that Ashwin over prior: he finished it by hurling the ball back to the keeper’s end, narrowly missing Warner’s scone. Ishant isn’t quite so puffed up, or effective, and after a single to Renshaw, Warner clatters him through the cover region with an angled bat to pick up another boundary. Ishant responds with a bouncer, which rears up awkwardly and almost clips Warner’s bat as he flinches out the way. He’s coming to life now.

4.09am GMT

18th over: Australia 45-0 (Warner 28, Renshaw 15)

Unsurprisingly given the need for an early wicket, Ravichandran Ashwin will pair with Ishant in the early stages. He’s got a gully, a leg slip and short leg for Warner, and pursues a leg-side line in the hope the left-hander will do something rash. To start with Warner just pads up, but when Ashwin straightens just a fraction, a huge off-break goes fizzing past the outside edge of his forward defence. That was a jaffa. Matt Renshaw probably gulps at the other end. It’s a maiden, and a probing one.

4.05am GMT

17th over: Australia 45-0 (Warner 28, Renshaw 15)

Ishant Sharma starts us off on day two and arrives with an absolute shocker, which is angled well down leg and glanced for a gimme boundary by David Warner. “That’s an ominous beginning,” says Sunny Gavaskar, who cannot hide his displeasure. Warner is batting well out of his crease to start with, a good half-metre or so, and cracks a single out to the man at deep point. Renshaw calmly sees off the rest.

4.00am GMT

A bit on Australia’s preparation for this series: the Dubai training camp was more about getting the pace off the ball, and practicing on wickets with less bounce, than spin per se. That according to batting coach Graeme Hick, who is talking at the sidelines now. He says this will be an “exciting day” watching the likes of Steve Smith strut his stuff. If Australia win this series 4-0, and Tony Abbott makes a late charge at the coalition leadership, we really can’t rule out a knighthood for the once-maligned English batsman. Anyway, we’re a few minutes from play now. Let’s do this.

3.49am GMT

Good stuff from Michael Clarke, though somebody needs to have a word with him about shooting his videos in landscape mode.

Aussie boys getting ready for a big day pic.twitter.com/WZJnTwOPhM

3.47am GMT

Sunny Gavaskar is out in the middle now looking at the pitch, whose hexagonal cracks make it look like the wall tiles in a Moroccan hotel bathroom. It’s like a third-day WACA wicket, reckons Mark Waugh, who ponders whether it’s actually more a mental hurdle for batsmen than a technical one. Ryan Harris also reckons there is a bit too much emphasis on the surface. We’ll see. It was taking some sharp turn yesterday. I’ll say this: if this game lasts longer than the fourth morning I’ll be very surprised.

3.40am GMT

“This is a series defining day”, says Ravi Shastri at the sidelines just now, and with his wraparound shades – straight out of a Greg Chappell Cricket Centre catalogue from 1995 – he is surely correct. He wonders aloud whether the pressure is getting to India now, which is a pretty big call six days into a four-Test series.

3.30am GMT

Premable

Hello all and welcome back to another day in bizarro world, where a reality TV show host is the leader of the free world and Nathan Lyon is a record-shattering star of world cricket. Today I’ll be taking you through the second day of the Bangalore Test between India and Australia, which will only get stranger if Matthew Renshaw decides in the next ten minutes to retire from cricket and become a basket-weaver, and Harold Holt walks out to open the batting with David Warner.

5.53am GMT

Russell will be here shortly. In the meantime, catch up on day one’s drama, brought to you courtesy of Nathan Lyon:

Related: Nathan Lyon’s record 8-50 decimates India on day one of Bangalore Test

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/mar/05/australia-v-india-second-test-day-two-live

Mar 04

India bundled out for 189 as Nathan Lyon runs rampant – as it happened

  • Nathan Lyon claims record-breaking 8-50 as India all out for 189
  • Australia 40-0 at stumps on first day of Bangalore Test

11.11am GMT

Australia have negotiated the final hour of the day, and will resume tomorrow 149 behind. Yes, you are reading that correctly if having gone out without your phone for a few hours. Australia rolled India for 189.

After tea, Nathan Lyon took five wickets after tea to rout the hosts for the third time in eight days. He finished with 8-for-50. They are the best figures for any foreign bowler in India. This is one of those days where the facts speak for themselves.

11.04am GMT

16th over (and Stumps): Australia 40-0 (Warner 23, Renshaw 15). Australia have won the last quarter hour here. Warner gets off strike at the first time of asking to point. He’s cutting well here. Renshaw has the skills for this task, the bat as straight as ever, the tourists to stumps without losing a wicket. Phew. Let me catch my breath and make something of that? Back in a moment.

Related: Nathan Lyon’s record 8-50 decimates India on day one of Bangalore Test

11.02am GMT

15th over: Australia 39-0 (Warner 22, Renshaw 15). The wondrous left-arm ortho will get six balls at them here. Warner elects to use his feet to meet the flight, and push hard when Jadeja is quicker through the air. He then uses the crease to get off strike via a push to the sweeper at point. Renshaw has a couple to look at. Does well to the first, pushing behind point. So it’s Warner with one more to negotiate, and he again uses the crease with ease. This time for three. Five from it. Good over in the end. One to come. Ashwin will bowl it.

10.59am GMT

14th over: Australia 34-0 (Warner 18, Renshaw 14). Three to go. Warner gets a couple out to the on-side with no real risk. Less convincing off the inside edge. A single. Renshaw also gets one on the pads. Good batting, big boy. Then Warners the over down the ground for one. Much easier for the Australian pair in the shadow of stumps. And Jadeja is coming on!

10.57am GMT

13th over: Australia 29-0 (Warner 14, Renshaw 13). Umesh again. So, Virat seems determined to not give his best bowler a little trundle before stumps. Okay then. Warner grabs one off the hip early in the over before Renshaw does what he does best: leaves. Oh, and he’s beaten with the last ball of the over, ruining my narrative for the set. But we’ve come this far.

What has happened to Indian Cricket !!!!!! This is really affecting the start to my weekend …. #IndvAus

10.55am GMT

12th over: Australia 28-0 (Warner 13, Renshaw 13). Ashwin is the man most likely here. A Warner single puts the pressure on Renshaw. To each delivery he has a question to answer, each on the stumps. Except the one that beats him. Tough game.

Nathan Lyon’s record 8-50 decimates India on day one of Bangalore Test https://t.co/Q85gIkE0uf

10.50am GMT

11th over: Australia 27-0 (Warner 12, Renshaw 13). Why is Umesh back? He struggled early, and follows Ishant – who bowled very nicely – from the far end. Anyway, he gets the gong, not Jadeja, with six overs to go. And to be fair, beats Renshaw from around the wicket to begin. So I’ll leave him alone. Then his a good length again, making a tough leave for the youngster. Four more leaves follow, but far more convincing. Make of that what you will this close to the end of play. Maiden.

10.48am GMT

10th over: Australia 27-0 (Warner 12, Renshaw 13). Ashwin doing his bit here. Plenty of flight to Warner, then pinging a couple in to Renshaw hoping to sneak another through to his pads. He’s good enough to get bat on it around the corner though. Warner back in defence for the last couple. Good contest from both ends at the moment.

Warner has come down the pitch 207 times in Test cricket, bringing him 289 runs at a strike rate of 131.61 and an average of 48.17. #IndvAus

10.42am GMT

9th over: Australia 25-0 (Warner 11, Renshaw 12). Ishant doing a lot right, and rewarded with another over. Warner again in defence, the Indian quick changing his line a bit to attack the Australian’s stumps as we near the end of day one. A push into the off-side gives Renshaw a couple to look at. The second of those, to end the over, beats him outside the off-stump! That’s very hard to execute, moving the ball away from a left-hander from around the wicket. Quality fast bowling from the veteran. Yeah, I know he’s only 28, but he’s a veteran.

Lyon tears India apart with eight-wicket haul: https://t.co/uRmsJi2j6l #INDvAUS

10.38am GMT

8th over: Australia 23-0 (Warner 10, Renshaw 11). Ashwin pins Renshaw back to begin, but he’s back on the front foot down the ground shortly thereafter. Good cricket. Warner would be mindful of stumps, and consequentially plays conservatively rather than chancing his hand. Experienced campaigner over here, he’ll want big Test runs here tomorrow.

10.34am GMT

7th over: Australia 22-0 (Warner 10, Renshaw 10). That is DROPPED! Warner gets lucky. Ishant misses out. Flays a drive to the gully region, Rahane dives but can’t take it. Not sure the dive was required? Doesn’t look great. Ishant to Renshaw now, and he’s nearly taken his off-stump leaving! Just over the top.

Plenty more where these are coming from:

Australia’s spinners currently average 9.00 in this series. #IndvAus

10.31am GMT

6th over: Australia 19-0 (Warner 9, Renshaw 9). Virat is listening to me. Ashwin on from the Cathedral End in front of us here. And immediately gets the crowd up and about with two big LBW shouts against Renshaw. The first was just sliding. Some pressure on the captain to go upstairs, but finally he’s learned to keep it in the holster. Only taken five innings. The second is closer by the looks. But again the captain declines the chance for a second look. Renshaw survives.

Two Ashwin shouts already. Lock your kids in an attic, murder your boss, ignore all people in danger so you can WATCH THIS SESSION

10.27am GMT

5th over: Australia 18-0 (Warner 8, Renshaw 9). Ishant stays on. Wonder how long before Virat just goes for broke and chucks on his two twirlers? Best shot he’s got. Warner is defending, ducking, leaving, prodding. No real issues for him here. A single to the last ball ensures he’ll retain the strike.

10.23am GMT

4th over: Australia 17-0 (Warner 7, Renshaw 9). Renshaw into it, steering through the cordon for four. I saw steer, it was probably more an edge. But he did it so easily, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Bouncer follows, of course. But Umesh isn’t on his game here, overstepping later in the over. It’s a bit frantic out there.

@collinsadam England spinner v India, 8 innings, 40/1859 ave 46.48. Aus 3 innings, 26/334, ave 12.85. Let’s not forget to bag England…

10.19am GMT

3rd over: Australia 10-0 (Warner 6, Renshaw 4). Predictably eventful once Renshaw gives Warner the strike. He’s cut in half by Ishant. Under his bat, actually, watching it again.

Lyon took 7 for 40 from the 117 balls he landed on a good length. He over-pitched three times and dropped short twice. #IndvAus

10.10am GMT

2nd over: Australia 9-0 (Warner 6, Renshaw 3). Warner away. Short trash first up from Umesh, Warner doesn’t miss out. A steered single puts Renshaw on strike. Not mucking around, our D Warner. Renshaw takes three from the pads, the way he does so well. Essentially Al Cook mk II the big Queenslander.

I’m just going to keep posting these kinds of tweets for a while. FYI.

First time in 40 years that India have been bowled out for less than 200 in three consecutive innings at home – 105, 107 and 189. #IndvAus

10.07am GMT

1st over: Australia 1-0 (Warner 1, Renshaw 0). Righto. Australia bat now. Concentrate. Still cricket to be played. And play they will. Ishant Sharma has the ball, and Warner is away with a push. Renshaw is leaving close to his stumps, but he knows where they are. Lyon’s 8/50 also the sixth best figures of all-time for an Australian, in case you were wondering.

Best figures in India:

Murali 7-100 <<< Lyon 8-50
Warne 6-125 <<< O’Keefe 6-35#IndvAus

10.00am GMT

Australia have an hour to bat. Or 18 overs. I’m not entirely sure, but I’m in disbelief still. I never shy away from the fact that Nath was the club captain as a 21-year-old when I played at Wests UCCC in the ACT comp. So I never tire of his success. Such a wonderful story. And every time he overcomes an existential threat to his career – and there have been a few – it gets better.

9.54am GMT

Nathan Lyon, 8-for-50. Best ever figures in India by a non-Indian bowler. Extraordinary. #IndvAus pic.twitter.com/W1zEA7JkE2

9.51am GMT

FIRST BALL! LYON HAS 8-FOR-50! INDIA ARE ALL OUT FOR 189! The best figures by an Australian against India. Ever! It was the most straightforward catch, short-leg Handscomb having very little work to do. Bloody hell! What a world! And he’ll be on a hat-trick in the second dig.

9.50am GMT

What is Rahul thinking! Trying to hit Lyon off a length over his head, but nowhere near it. It has rolled off the back of the bat to mid-off to mid-off where Renshaw makes no mistake. An otherwise controlled innings comes to an end. And Lyon has 7-for-50! Party on, Nath!

9.48am GMT

71st over: India 189-8 (Rahul 90, Umesh 0). Rahul wheels away in frustration and/or injury after driving O’Keefe into the off-side after the tourist’s failed review. He has a go at a reverse sweep next, but misses. Back to the manual, he cuts one to point. A single is taken, meaning Umesh has a couple of balls to look at. Rahul is on 90. He does his job, forward in defence in a vaguely convincing fashion. India really need a Starc-like effort from Pune here to see them through to stumps. Unlikely as that is. Very long way to the finish line.

9.45am GMT

NOT OUT! Long way away from it. The parochial crowd like that, making plenty of noise for the first time in a while. Oh, the ball-tracking says it nearly hit middle stump. Survives that too.

9.43am GMT

We’re upstairs again! Smith isn’t worried about having a pop at this, O’Keefe wondering if Rahul top-edged a sweep. We’ll see…

9.43am GMT

70th over: India 188-8 (Rahul 89, Umesh 0). Worth noting in all that, Rahul again took a single first ball of the over. Don’t expect he will do that again if he fancies a ton, with only the fast bowlers left. Umesh is a legit no 11 coming in at no 10, so this might not take long with Lyon going as he is. For all that, he’s able to prod his way to safety through four deliveries to end the over. Lyon’s figures are 6-50 from 22 overs.

9.40am GMT

An inside edge saves Jadeja according to snicko. But it was taken easily by Smith at slip. So he’s gone! Lyon has six! What a performance. Around the wicket that just went on with the arm with plenty over overspin. He has done everything right today. What a performance.

9.37am GMT

Lyon shout for LBW! Umpire Llong says no. Smith says “nah, it is out, we’ll go upstairs.” Lyon likes it. Stand by!

9.36am GMT

69th over: India 187-7 (Rahul 88, Jadeja 3). Mitchell Starc back from the far end. He was getting some nice little reverse swing tail away from the right handers between lunch and tea. You could tell because he was hiding the ball in his right hand when running in until the delivery stride. He’s up to that again here to begin the over, bowling to lefty Jadeja. He’s really carving it back into the left-hander when he gets it right. But on the whole, not the most threatening set. He’ll be back to rectify that shortly.

Feelgood Australian-Indian story of the year pic.twitter.com/Yknk3yZhJ9

9.32am GMT

68th over: India 187-7 (Rahul 88, Jadeja 3). Lyon must have another coming soon. Absolutely all over Rahul, past his hip with a huge turning off-break. Beats everyone, including the ‘keeper and leg-slip. Singles for each to the sweepers releases the pressure somewhere.

Freddie means India here, but you can see his point.

9.27am GMT

67th over: India 181-7 (Rahul 87, Jadeja 2). Jadeja holding up his end of the bargain, racing through five dots to Jadeja after Rahul gives him the strike first ball. Lyon the man of the moment, after all.

9.26am GMT

66th over: India 180-7 (Rahul 86, Jadeja 2). It’s nearly two in two balls! Jadeja lets it go and it isn’t far from his stumps. By contrast, second ball he’s cutting from his stumps; the way he got out in the second dig last week. Gotta get them however you can. Lyon has an eight-fa on the shelf here. His eighth 5fa in Tests.

9.22am GMT

Gorgeous! Lyon has five! Another conventional offie’s wicket, holding its line a fraction after plenty of flight. Due to the turn he has routinely got today, the Indian ‘keeper had to play, but an edge was all he got. Smith did the rest. Easy as you like. 5-for-45. Five of the best.

9.20am GMT

65th over: India 177-6 (Rahul 85, Saha 1). O’Keefe has no concerns throwing it up here, giving it a chance to turn as it did for him from the other end before tea. Rahul’s most effective shot has been the tuck behind square, it gets him off strike early in the over. Saha is getting well forward to blunt any potential turn.

9.19am GMT

64th over: India 176-6 (Rahul 84, Saha 1). What is a good score here? A day ago, 500+ seemed the orthodoxy, given the track looked so flat. Not so much now. Lyon v Saha is a relatively tame affair, with the exception of the penultimate delivery that turns hard back into the right-hander when dropping the length back a bit. Maiden it is. Here are some highlights from earlier.

Aussie spin twins leave India stumped before tea: https://t.co/5lqxy2DfLr #INDvAUS

9.15am GMT

63rd over: India 176-6 (Rahul 84, Saha 1). Rahul then Saha take singles to long-off to begin the over. The former might need to get busy to reach three figures if his bowlers continue their form of last week. O’Keefe mixes it up to Rahul for the remainder of the over, but nothing coming from it for either.

9.13am GMT

62nd over: India 174-6 (Rahul 83, Saha 0). Saha comes forward to negotiate the only ball he has before Lyon’s over is done. Lyon came to this Test with a bowling average still in excess of 40 on this continent. Wonder what it’ll be by the end of today? Such a clutch performance.

Most wkts for Aus against India in Tests:

54 NATHAN LYON *
53 Brett Lee
52 R Benaud
51 G McGrath
50 M Johnson
47 G McKenzie#IndvAus

9.10am GMT

Great catch by Warner at leg-slip! Ashwin didn’t Lyon to get quite that much spin, pitching outside the off-stump it ripped across his body and collected the glove on the way through. Low take by Warner, after putting one down above his head of the same bowler earlier. But forget that, Australia in with a real show of bowling out India inside a day. What a brilliant performance from Nathan Lyon. He now has four.

9.08am GMT

61st over: India 172-5 (Rahul 82, Ashwin 6). Two around the corner for Rahul to O’Keefe’s first one after tea. He’s back to the end where he bowled his first couple of frugal spells. It is called the BELM End. They make big, industrial machinery and are owned by the government. There you go, I’ve taught you something. I personally like it better when there is a Football Stand End like at Northants. Anyway, I digress. SOK runs through this over in, I promise you, no more than 60 seconds. Rahul defending throughout.

Indian team a management seem to have read the pitch better than most pundits. Extra batter looking like a good ploy right now.

9.05am GMT

60th over: India 170-5 (Rahul 80, Ashwin 6). Pleased to see that Nathan “Nathan” Lyon is back into the attack, skipping away from us here at the Cathedral End. Singles to both Ashwin then KL Rahul gets the latter safely into the 80s. The tweaker gets one to spin back sharply to end the over.

8.59am GMT

Afternoon, everyone. I invested a fair bit of time in that middle session trying to convince colleagues here at Bangalore that the track was pretty good. On reflection, I was probably trying to convince myself. It isn’t Pune, but it shouldn’t be shooting through the way it did from O’Keefe’s end before tea.

In saying that, his dismissal of Nair on the cusp of the break was all to do with class. A lot was said about the left-armer’s overspin during the week. That it was his main weapon at Shield level, and would be his main device on a flatter track here. In other words, not to expect him to turn it much on a flat one.

8.45am GMT

59th over: India 168-5 (Rahul 79, Ashwin 5)

In the context of what is happening around him, this innings could be the making of Lokesh Rahul, who continues to soldier on despite the chaos around him and goes to tea undefeated on 79. If he and the bowlers can push this total up around 280, who knows what the pitch will do in the Australia’s first innings and beyond? With him now is Ravi Ashwin, who is a genuine all-rounder, and what a fascinating two sessions of cricket we’ve just seen.

8.40am GMT

58th over: India 160-5 (Rahul 76, Ashwin o)

Ravi Ashwin is the new man at the crease and there is plenty of spite in the contest right now; I think Rahul reckons O’Keefe was a little overzealous in his wickets celebration, and he might have a bit of a point. Distracted, O’Keefe fires four byes down the leg side and continues to jaw off at the Indian opener, who is not exactly a shrinking violet. Ashwin, meanwhile, looks like he’s batting with a piece of rope as the ball turns sharply. Might I forward the theory that this pitch is going to be a real handful for the Australians to bat on? There are shades of the first Test already as balls spit out of the foot marks.

8.37am GMT

What is going on? Now Karun Nair loses his head, charging down the pitch to O’Keefe and missing a well-flighted delivery. Matthew Wade performers a much cleaner job of the rest than he did before and Nair, who’d looked perfectly comfortable, is inexplicably gone. India are self-destructing here.

8.34am GMT

57th over: India 156-4 (Rahul 76, Karun Nair 26)

Such is his difficulty getting any assistance from the pitch, Starc now comes around the wicket to Karun Nair but offers up another full toss to be whipped through leg for a boundary. He won’t mind that as such. We all know he was going for the yorker. The bigger concern for Steve Smith is how well these batsmen are now turning the strike and refusing to allow the bowlers any rhythm.

8.28am GMT

56th over: India 148-4 (Rahul 73, Karun Nair 21)

Steve O’Keefe continues with his miserly straight ones, or not-so-straight in the case of his fourth, which is a little too short and offers Nair enough width to cut late and hard for a boundary. Nair is also beaten all ends up by one that does actually spin away from him, but it jagged so far off the surface it only really threatened Steve Smith at slip.

8.25am GMT

55th over: India 142-4 (Rahul 73, Karun Nair 15)

Starc is slanting it across the right-handed batsmen, and for now they’re disciplined enough to let them pass. Starc is not bringing it back in off the pitch, so perhaps he needs to straighten that line a little as he sets up for the yorker. We’re edging close to the tea break now and India can ill-afford the loss of another wicket.

8.21am GMT

54th over: India 139-4 (Rahul 73, Karun Nair 12)

A big section of Indian fans rise to their feet and start going wild here. Revealing a little of my current snack shortage, I will admit I assumed it was due to a tray of hot, delicious-looking samosas that were being carried into their vicinity, but they’re just trying to get on TV. Rahul and Nair continue to turn the strike in a manner no other pairing has managed today. But that matters not. I now just want a samosa.

8.17am GMT

53rd over: India 135-4 (Rahul 71, Karun Nair 10)

In a win for India, if we’re being realistic, Mitchell Starc returns now. Karun Nair is straight after him, neatly clipping four to fine leg and then getting unlucky when a straight drive cannons into his partner. Another thing I like about Nair: just a subtle hint of pudgy midriff. Gives us all hope. In most other senses he’s rock solid.

8.13am GMT

52nd over: India 131-4 (Rahul 71, Karun Nair 6)

At the risk of speaking too soon for no less than the fifth time today, Karun Nair actually does look totally comfortable at the crease, and far more convincing than Rahane before him. Let’s see if I’ve just consigned him to the gallows with that mozz.

8.09am GMT

51st over: India 128-4 (Rahul 70, Karun Nair 4)

Sunny Gavaskar’s criticisms of Lokesh Rahul aren’t quite as frequent now, because the Indian opener is the only who has truly dug in today. The Australians are all over Karun Nair and needling the rookie six at every opportunity, but if it’s making him uncomfortable it doesn’t show in his batting so far.

The home team’s current predicament has the Chinnaswamy crowd a little pensive #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/pfY6KV8FwL

8.06am GMT

50th over: India 124-4 (Rahul 67, Karun Nair 3)

Rahul and Nair are turning the strike well enough at the start of this new partnership, and the new man gets forward confidently to the buoyant Lyon. He’s got a real battle on his hands in his return to the side.

8.03am GMT

49th over: India 121-4 (Rahul 65, Karun Nair 2)

“Last time I played this bloke…” we hear the abrasive Matthew Wade say behind the stumps as Nair faces up, but then the audio cuts out, so we don’t hear the end of what surely must have been a bon mot to rank with Jimmy Ormond’s take-down of Mark Waugh (“At least I’m the best player in my own family”). But Nair gets off the mark with two from the bowling of O’Keefe. “Every dog has their day when it comes to playing spin,” says Matthew Hayden. Perhaps a Border Collie would do better than India right now.

8.00am GMT

48th over: India 119-4 (Rahul 65, Karun Nair 0)

Karun Nair is the new man at the crease. He made 303 not out in his last Test knock. Even a third of that would do his team the world of good here, because Nathan Lyon is in the mood.

7.57am GMT

Ajinkya Rahane has gone mad! What was he thinking there? The Indian No5 charges halfway down the wicket in search of another hefty blow and misses it, and he’s so far down the pitch that not even a fumble and scramble from Matthew Wade behind the stumps can save him. He’s stumped by a mile. Lyon has another!

7.55am GMT

47th over: India 118-3 (Rahul 65, Rahane 17)

“Bowled!” bellows Brett Lee now, abandoning any sense of objectivity and openly barracking for a Steve O’Keefe wicket. He might burst through the glass if it happens. “Every ball is a brand new racing event,” adds Matthew Hayden. “You just have to let it go.” If you can translate that into English for me, answers on the back of an envelope and all that. O’Keefe has 0-17 off 11 overs.

7.51am GMT

46th over: India 117-3 (Rahul 65, Rahane 16)

Nathan Lyon continues to turn the ball sharply and with angular threat. Sitting in the sheds as that is happening is Virat Kohli. If looks could kill, he’d be on a murder spree right now after falling cheaply. It’s actually not Lyon’s best over, to be honest. Four off it.

7.49am GMT

45th over: India 113-3 (Rahul 62, Rahane 15)

Matthew Hayden is back, and he says the tension is now mounting, which is certainly true of my own state of mind at the very least. He reckons 350 is a par score in the first innings, and this like all of his utterings comes in the anguished cadence of a man dictating his bank pin code to mugger. Rahane meanwhile, burgles a boundary when he takes a full toss from O’Keefe and biffs it through mid-on. You don’t get many of those from SOK.

7.42am GMT

44th over: India 107-3 (Rahul 61, Rahane 9)

Oh dear. Australia have David Warner at leg slip for Rahul, who duly sweeps it straight at him, but he shells the tough chance, getting his hands up in time but failing to make it stick in his right hand. Lyon really should have a third wicket here. There will be talk that it was a very hard chance, but you should be taking those at Test level.

7.39am GMT

43rd over: India 106-3 (Rahul 61, Rahane 9)

O’Keefe is into his ninth over now and with another maiden, he’s only conceded 10 runs thusfar. It’s really applying the squeeze at one end, and very sound partnership bowling. Meanwhile, I need an answer to the below:

I missed the end of that, but did Clarke just say Wade’s daughter was watching her dad “do his business behind the stumps”? Brilliant if so.

7.36am GMT

42nd over: India 106-3 (Rahul 61, Rahane 9)

It’s an in-out field for Lyon, Michael Clarke points out, which genuinely is the kind of thing a special comments man should be telling you about. The Australian fieldsmen are all in catching positions, either in the deep or in close. Owing to that, Rahul is keeping it on the deck, where you can’t get caught. It’s a maiden over for Lyon.

7.34am GMT

41st over: India 106-3 (Rahul 61, Rahane 9)

Twin spin? Probably. O’Keefe comes back now to replace Hazlewood, and Rahane turns him for a single. I’ll be honest: I’d like for Rahane to make some runs here because he’s a glorious player to watch when he finds his groove.

7.31am GMT

40th over: India 105-3 (Rahul 61, Rahane 8)

India pass the hundred mark now but Nathan Lyon has both batsmen in a bit of bother here, and is producing a quite magnificent spell of spin bowling. Sunil Gavaskar is calling it “brilliant”, and he’s not a man given to undue praise for Australians. Right as I type that, Rahane pitter-patters down the track like Fred Astaire and hoists the spinner over cow for a boundary. Good one Sunny.

7.27am GMT

39th over: India 99-3 (Rahul 60, Rahane 3)

“They’re better than what they’re playing like at the moment,” is Michael Clarke’s appraisal of India, and there is probably some truth to that. Virat Kohli can’t keep getting out cheaply, for one. Lokesh Rahul, meanwhile, takes a ball that Hazlewood angles in to him and quite deliberately opens the face to edge it through gully for four. Earlier Clarke was begging the Indian opener to turn the strike more often, and here he does so, sort of: a single from the final ball.

I thought @NathLyon421 bowled really well in Pune but he has been even better today. Absolutely brilliant.

7.23am GMT

38th over: India 94-3 (Rahul 55, Rahane 3)

Another biiiiiig appeal from Lyon, who draws Rahane a long way forward and jags one back into his front pad, but when Umpire Llong turns it down it is the bowler himself who talks Steve Smith out of a review. The Australians are appealing like hyenas at the moment, I must tell you for the sake of balance. Calm down gents.

7.20am GMT

37th over: India 93-3 (Rahul 54, Rahane 3)

Rahul gets a single to mid-off at the half-way mark of this Hazlewood over, but there’s nowt else on offer for the batsmen as the burly paceman does his thing. I know I’ve said it before, but he does present a challenge to the OBOer: how to explain all those dot balls in compelling terms without lying a little? Michael Clarke has replaced Matthew Hayden now, so I’ll see what gems he’s got for us.

7.16am GMT

36th over: India 92-3 (Rahul 53, Rahane 3)

More trouble behind the sight screen now, as people wander around in front of it for reasons unknown. Rahane needs as few distractions as possible right now. Anil Kumble said before the Test that he’s not playing for his spot, but there is plenty of pressure from the rest of the country nonetheless.

7.12am GMT

35th over: India 91-3 (Rahul 53, Rahane 3)

Josh Hazlewood is back to replace Starc, and we’re faced again with the possibility of a quite strange Indian collapse. This pair at the crease are handy, of course, and so is Karun Nair, but it fell away badly after that in Pune and there will be some nervous bowlers in the Indian change room right now. Hazlewood’s over is tidy but Rahane looks comfortable.

7.07am GMT

34th over: India 89-3 (Rahul 52, Rahane 1)

Overthrows to finish the over! It’s all happening. Out-of-form Ajinkya Rahane is off the mark and Nathan Lyon is a genius. He’s now removed Virat Kohli five times in Tests, drawing him level with Jimmy Anderson for that honour.

7.06am GMT

Kohli departs! Sensational stuff from Nathan Lyon. That thing I said about taking him off? Clearly I was kidding. Here he has the Indian maestro shuffling across the crease in front of his stumps but Kohli inexplicably leaves it. It pitched outside the line of off stump and spun in at a decent rate but with no shot offered and contact coming in line with middle stump, it’s about as out as you can get. Remarkable! Nathan Lyon has done it again. Three balls earlier Kohli hit a sublime cover drive for four. Now he looks a chump.

7.03am GMT

Holy moly. This looked out, and Nigel Llong gave it, but we shall soon see.

7.01am GMT

33rd over: India 84-2 (Rahul 52, Kohli 8)

Mindsets are art forms, Matthew Hayden tells us now. If that is true, mine whilst listening to this commentary is one of the paintings Gerhard Richter hated so much he burned it to a crisp. Mitchell Starc is still chugging in, but there is no masterpiece in this over.

6.56am GMT

32nd over: India 82-2 (Rahul 51, Kohli 7)

With a flick to the leg side Lokesh Rahul now brings up his half-century from 105 deliveries. He’s hit eight boundaries so far, and been prepared to bide his time to hit them. Both he and Kohli are handling Lyon very well now. Might be time for the old switcheroo to bring Steve O’Keefe back.

6.53am GMT

31st over: India 79-2 (Rahul 49, Kohli 6)

I know I shouldn’t dwell on the commentary, dear readers, but there is something utterly maddening about listening to Matthew Hayden commentate a cricket game. It makes you wish you were reading one of his cookbooks. Throw Brett Lee into the mix and you start hoping for a padded cell. Virat Kohli, meanwhile, presses forward to Starc’s final delivery of the over and lathers a quite sublime cover drive to the fence. This is going to be fun.

6.48am GMT

30th over: India 75-2 (Rahul 49, Kohli 2)

Kohli strokes a single off Lyon to get off the mark and his most obsessive fans are almost fainting at the sheer magnificence of it all. “There is a crush of humanity in this country,” says Matthew Hayden, which is a worrying way to start a sentence. Fear not, he adds that this is “infectious”. He’s off on one. Lyon, on the other hand, is not looking quite as threatening as before lunch, but the stakes and atmosphere are both slightly different now.

6.45am GMT

29th over: India 72-2 (Rahul 48, Kohli o)

As Mitchell Starc returns, and the hostilities resume, the presence of Matthew Hayden and Brett Lee in the StarSports commentary box means that the conversation immediately turns to … curry. We wouldn’t stoop to such levels of content-padding on the OBO, but if you’re interested I’ve had to make do with some wasabi peas and a can of Pepsi Max: the choice of absolutely no generation. Starc bowls a maiden. He’s probably just wolfed down a bowl of chia seeds and kale.

6.42am GMT

28th over: India 72-2 (Rahul 48, Kohli o)

After a predictably rowdy reception from the Bangalore crowd, Virat Kohli glides out to the crease and faces up to Nathan Lyon, who claims an inside edge with the final ball of his over from before lunch. Tense.

6.34am GMT

Not the greatest omen: Fox Sports are currently playing the Laxman-Dravid mega-partnership of 2001. Why? Whyyyyyyy? Fans of Michael Slater should look away now. In other news, much of India is about to grind to a halt as Virat Kohli arrives at the crease to bat. We’re a few minutes away from the second session on day one.

6.12am GMT

But…a word of warning

You can never get too far ahead of yourself on Indian tours.

India 2-72 at lunch. Last time they batted first in Test here v Pak in 2007 they ended 1st session 4-65 – and went on to make 626 #INDvAUS

6.11am GMT

Che Pujara is practically Nathan Lyon’s bunny

Lyon has now dismissed Pujara five times in Test cricket. Pujara’s average against Lyon is just 28.60. #IndvAus

6.04am GMT

Nathan Lyon, take a bow

Lyon this session

Incredible grouping. Varied pace. Took wicket. pic.twitter.com/5Z61ckD9iN

6.03am GMT

That is a real drag for Pujara, but he won’t be back after lunch as both sides now file off the ground. He goes for 17 and his side is 72-2, with Lokesh Rahul undefeated on 48 and Virat Kohli due in. Nathan Lyon gets the breakthrough to go with Mitch Starc’s early dismissal of Abhinav Mukund.

6.01am GMT

Nathan Lyon strikes! Oh dear, that is a disaster for Che Pujara, who was shielding his partner from the strike brilliantly in the closing stages of the session but from Nathan Lyon’s penultimate delivery, gets an inside edge onto his leg and can’t do anything to stop Peter Handscomb swooping on it at short leg. Perhaps he didn’t deserve that, but Lyon is rewarded for a very handy spell of bowling and gets a crucial wicket for his side.

5.57am GMT

27th over: India 72-1 (Rahul 48, Pujara 17)

The highlight of this over is a slow-motion, side-on replay of Che Pujara’s forward defence to Mitchell Starc. It showcases how the Indian batsman can make even the most express pace look pedestrian, playing it late and comfortably. I wish I could do a single thing as well as that. Blimey. He also glances one down to fine leg off the last ball of the over to retain the strike. I wouldn’t bet against that being an attempt to save impetuous Lokesh Rahul from himself in what might be the final over of the session.

5.53am GMT

26th over: India 71-1 (Rahul 48, Pujara 16)

Pujara is on power-saving mode now, happy to play back and straight if Lyon is going to continue to look for big spin. There is nobody on the 45 so both batsmen are also happy to just flick it into that region when things get awkward, so Smith brings in a leg slip after the horse has bolted. There has been a bit of that today.

5.49am GMT

25th over: India 68-1 (Rahul 47, Pujara 14)

Sunil Gavaskar is talking Lokesh Rahul down a bit here, but he’s done pretty well so far this morning. With a little under 15 minutes until the break he’s moving closer to a half-century and weathered a few probing spells. Full tosses help, too. Starc gives him one off the final delivery here and it’s dispatched for a boundary.

5.44am GMT

24th over: India 64-1 (Rahul 43, Pujara 14)

Lyon has a deep mid-wicket and long-on in place for Pujara, which seems ludicrously optimistic at this juncture. He’s really given no indication he’d like to start lofting them towards the stands. With some sharp turn from the off-spinner Pujara turns a lovely glance down to fine leg for one. Lyon is very unlucky a delivery later when a fuller one stays low and beats the outside edge, the stumps, and wicket-keeper Matthew Wade to dribble away for four byes. Wade might not want to look at that replay.

5.40am GMT

23rd over: India 58-1 (Rahul 42, Pujara 13)

Mitchell Starc is the only wicket-taker so far in the first session and he returns now for one last burst before lunch. He’s got a slip and two gullies for Rahul but no short leg or leg gully, which is proven as silly as suspected when Rahul bunts a short one into that region. What is Steve Smith not seeing her? Rahul has another stroke of luck when he lazily drives at a wide one outside off and the ensuing inside edge hits his pad and not the stumps. Maiden. Good one.

5.36am GMT

22nd over: India 58-1 (Rahul 42, Pujara 13)

Who needs fortune cookies when you’ve got me, eh? Nathan Lyon does indeed appear now to replace Steve O’Keefe, and immediately there is sharper turn and bounce. In saying that, bounce and turn aren’t much god when they’re angling down leg side and allow Lokesh Rahul to paddle one over fine leg for four. Matthew Wade’s first ten cries of “Niiice Gary” ring out across the world, which is a fair effort considering there are only six balls in the over. Lyon finishes it with an LBW shout, but he’s dreamin’.

5.32am GMT

21st over: India 52-1 (Rahul 38, Pujara 11)

What would Mitchell Marsh’s bowling be if it was a band? Badfinger? Snow Patrol? Ben & Jason? I can’t get as excited about it as Rod Marsh used to, I’ll say that. At least it’s normally tight. He’s stump-to-stump again here but Rahul looks determined to see this through until lunch.

Pujara has come down the pitch 432 times in his Test career bringing him 370 runs and he has only been dismissed twice. #IndvAus

5.29am GMT

20th over: India 51-1 (Rahul 38, Pujara 11)

O’Keefe continues with his accurate straight ones, but the Indians are no longer jumping at shadows when the spinner wheels away, and it might be time to bring Nathan Lyon on in his place I reckon. We’re half an hour from lunch and it’s probably worth a try for something different.

5.26am GMT

19th over: India 49-1 (Rahul 37, Pujara 10)

Mitch Marsh appears now for his first bowl of the game, and he gets some awkward bounce sending it down to Lokesh Rahul. At least with his first ball. The rest of it is pretty pedestrian, but he’ll look to hassle and nag them into an error.

5.21am GMT

18th over: India 48-1 (Rahul 36, Pujara 10)

This will mean nothing to non-Australian readers (though I suppose you can probably watch on YouTube, eventually), but on tonight’s ‘Cricket Legends’ episode on Fox, the Australian cricket journalist Mike Coward is the guest. That should be a beauty. Coward’s book ‘Cricket Beyond the Bazaar’ – about Australia’s triumphs and disasters touring India and Pakistan – is a classic. Maiden for Steve O’Keefe.

5.18am GMT

17th over: India 48-1 (Rahul 36, Pujara 10)

Explaining that Handscomb drop, Matthew Hayden ponders whether “the gods” are on Lokesh Rahul’s side today. The half-volley gods certainly are for this Indian pair. Again Hazlewood over-pitches and this time Pujara cashes in, flicking him for a quite casual boundary. Another is squirted through point by Rahul. India were right up against it half an hour ago. Now they’re profiting from their resilience.

5.15am GMT

16th over: India 38-1 (Rahul 31, Pujara 5)

At the start of the over the biggest risk of a wicket right appears to be a run-out, as both batsmen have a moment of hesitancy when there is a clear single, but then Peter Handscomb drops Rahul at short cover and in bizarre scenes; he hadn’t taken off the helmet he was wearing at silly point. Did it make a difference? Maybe. He dived to his left and got a hand to the drive, but it didn’t stick.

Aussies looking for wicket No.2 #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/8l1IovZ3HP

5.10am GMT

15th over: India 34-1 (Rahul 29, Pujara 3)

I’ve been focusing on the cricket so far, but it bears mentioning that either side of this pitch, the square has been turned into a bizarre, eye-gashing grid system. Why? I’ll try and find out, but it’s not a pretty sight. You could build a wall in the middle and play Battleship on it. Anyway, again Rahul has pounced from the last delivery of the over when Hazlewood over-pitches and gets driven down the ground.

5.02am GMT

14th over: India 29-1 (Rahul 25, Pujara 2)

Pujara gets his first single in a while to rotate the strike, glancing down to the 45 to pick up one, but both batsmen are still content to let O’Keefe establish his own rhythm as drinks approach. I can’t help but feel as though some of their predecessors might have gone on the attack by now.

5.00am GMT

13th over: India 28-1 (Rahul 25, Pujara 1)

The home crowd has had so little to cheer in the last half-hour they go absolutely bonkers here when Rahul gently clips two runs through mid-wicket when Hazlewood strays onto his pads. He’s a very neat and organised player, Rahul, but it’s a wonder Australia didn’t further explore the idea of roughing him up with the short ball. Against Starc he looked particularly susceptible. He deals far better with half-volleys, of that I’m sure. Hazlewood offers one up to finish the over and Rahul smokes it between point and cover to get four.

4.55am GMT

12th over: India 21-1 (Rahul 19, Pujara 1)

He isn’t spinning it to a degree that can be picked up by current camera technology, but Steve O’Keefe is angling and flighting the ball well and has a throaty appeal for leg before against Rahul to start this over. Had it turned, Rahul might have been in trouble, but it was likely sliding down leg and the Aussies decide not to review Nigel Llong’s not out verdict.

4.52am GMT

11th over: India 21-1 (Rahul 19, Pujara 1)

Starc has a rest after his first five-over spell, and Josh Hazlewood returns for another. The right-armer has changed ends but not his approach; to Pujara he’s angling it in towards middle stump and looking for the LBW. Pujara drives slightly impatiently towards cover but can’t pick the gap to Peter Handscomb’s right. At the end of the over Pujara calls for new gloves. He can’t buy a run, but it’s sweaty work all the same.

4.48am GMT

10th over: India 20-1 (Rahul 18, Pujara 1)

O’Keefe keeps going at Che Pujara, who is perhaps a little deferential in this over. Might India end up playing the reputation the left-armer established in the first Test, rather than the actual ball? We’re set for a nice little spell here to find out.

4.45am GMT

9th over: India 20-1 (Rahul 18, Pujara 1)

Starc continues to search for that toe-crushing yorker, which means he’s sending down the occasional full toss, but he’s never less than a threat. He sends one across towards first slip with Lokesh Rahul on strike, and though the batsman leaves it easily enough, Starc shakes his head at him as though he’s just been beaten all end’s up. “He’s such a lovely guy off the field,” Brett Lee says of Starc. More of those insights as they’re at hand.

4.42am GMT

8th over: India 20-1 (Rahul 18, Pujara 1)

Spin time! Hazlewood cools his jets a while and Pune Test hero Steve O’Keefe comes into the attack for his first bowl of the game. His Test figures leading into this encounter: 5 Tests, 26 wickets at 20.34. He’s wheeling away to Che Pujara first up, and the Indian No3 gets after him immediately, driving twice to cover and getting off the mark with the second, which brings a single. Lokesh Rahul is not quite as convincing when he skips down the track and flicks towards leg. We could have a nice little battle here.

4.38am GMT

7th over: India 18-1 (Rahul 17, Pujara 0)

Starc slings a rising bouncer down the leg side and though it draws no comment from the commentators, Matthew Wade does a helluva good job to dive to his left and save it. It was fizzing away for a certain boundary otherwise. A leg bye brings the first run not belonging to Lokesh Rahul, and Starc goes after the latter with the old one-two of a bouncer and a yorker. Rahul gets an inside edge from the latter and it trickles through mid-wicket for a couple. He was biffing them through cover in the first over. It’s a little harder graft now.

4.33am GMT

6th over: India 15-1 (Rahul 15, Pujara 0)

Hazlewood is wobbling it down at decent pace too, but zeroes in on Rahul’s front pad, applying his pressure with a monotonous, stump-to-stump line. It’s another maiden, and with that, it’s time to bask in some sweet memories…

First mention of Warnie’s mural for the Test. Here it is (with names provided) for those who haven’t seen it pic.twitter.com/uweQ6wRCt7

4.29am GMT

5th over: India 15-1 (Rahul 15, Pujara 0)

Starc chooses to slide them across Pujara to start with, probing away outside off stump and trying to draw him forward to glide. There are two slips and a short leg in place, and Pujara is his normal unflappable self, squinting into the sun between deliveries, then dropping his wrists and swaying out of the way when the short one comes through at 147kmph.

4.25am GMT

4th over: India 15-1 (Rahul 15, Pujara 0)

No third slip for Halzewood either, though he might not have saved a boundary that flies through that region from Rahul’s outside edge. That is the only damage for the over in what is looking like a testing little session for both batsmen. Both bowlers have hit a decent early rhythm and Starc’s yorker is working. That’s never fun to face.

4.20am GMT

3rd over: India 11-1 (Rahul 11, Pujara 0)

Cheteshwar Pujara is the new man at the crease now. He has one delivery to face and keeps out a yorker. Of interest before Starc’s wicket: only seven balls into his spell he lost his third slip, who moved across to extra cover. A tad pessimistic in the first 15 minutes of play? Either way, Rahul really doesn’t look comfortable when it’s short and angled at him from over the wicket. I’d be getting a leg gully in position pronto, personally.

4.18am GMT

Mukund departs! Oh dear, that’s an absolute shocker. It might have been heading marginally down leg, but being that it was a full toss from Starc and struck the opener’s front pad on the full, the umpire had no choice. Mukund consults with his partner, but he probably knows the answer before it’s given. Off he trudges for a duck in his first Test in six years. Sad!

4.12am GMT

2nd over: India 10-0 (Rahul 10, Mukund 0)

Abhinav Mukund is a little more circumspect than his partner as Josh Hazlewood wheels away. In ten Test innings so far the Indian opener has managed only the single half-century, and the last of those appearances was in August 2011, so he’ll be desperate to impress.

4.07am GMT

1st over: India 10-0 (Rahul 10, Mukund 0)

Mitchell Starc grabs the new ball for the Australians, stops at the end of his run-up and arcs his back into one final stretch to loosen up. Richard Illlingworth and Nigel Llong are our umpires for this game and they’re called into action before has been bowled, because some buffoon is moving around beside the sight screen.

3.57am GMT

Stat attack! This is a bit mad, really. But India have never been big on sticking with an opening combination for long, with so many versatile batsmen sliding around the order. News at the ground: the anthems are grinding away now, and we’ll have play in a couple of minutes.

Mukund and Rahul will be India’s eighth different opening pair in the last 12 months #IndvAus

3.55am GMT

The bright side for Australia bowling first here is that Starc, Hazlewood and Marsh couldn’t really be much fresher. #INDvAUS

3.46am GMT

Ahh, the soothing sight of Ryan Harris

There is something incredibly calming about the former Australian paceman’s presence, though sadly he won’t be opening the bowling today. He’s sitting in the Fox Sports studio and says fast bowlers get very excited indeed by the sight of “live grass” on the pitch, which is what we’ve got here. Whatever floats your boat. I sense that things will get bleak for the Aussies if they can’t strike while the ball is still moving around a bit.

3.37am GMT

“It looks like a good track to bat on, so we’d like to put some big runs on the board.,” says Kohli. “The guys are going to come out with much more intent in this game.” Murali Vijay is out with injury and Abhinav Mukund comes in for him, while spinner Jayant Yadav is dropped for an extra batsman: Karun Nair, the 25-year-old who made 303 not out in his last Test innings. That’s a fairly handy “in”.

“It’s going to be important to score big first innings runs,” says Steve Smith, who adds that early wickets are crucial. Stuff we don’t already know is thin on the ground. He’s not giving much away, but clearly would have preferred to bat.

3.35am GMT

Preamble

Hello all and welcome to day one of the second Test in Bangalore, in which Australia will be looking to extend their dominance of Pune but are likely to face a much sterner challenge from the chastened home side. Russell Jackson here to take you through the first two sessions, and Adam Collins will make an appearance later with the old ball.

5.51am GMT

Russell will be here shortly. In the meantime, check out Adam Collins’ take on what Australia is likely to face after India’s humbling loss in Pune.

Related: Australia end wait for win in India as Steve Smith backs his words with action | Adam Collins

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/mar/04/australia-v-india-second-test-day-one-live

Feb 23

Renshaw and Starc lead the way for Australia in Pune – as it happened

  • Australia 256-9 at stumps on day one of the Pune Test against India
  • Matt Renshaw and Mitchell Starc the stars with half-centuries

11.14am GMT

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.

11.06am GMT

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

11.01am GMT

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.

10.58am GMT

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

10.54am GMT

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.

10.49am GMT

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.

10.43am GMT

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.

10.40am GMT

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.

10.35am GMT

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

10.30am GMT

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.

10.26am GMT

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

10.23am GMT

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.”

10.20am GMT

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

10.18am GMT

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

10.14am GMT

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!

10.12am GMT

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.

10.03am GMT

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.

10.00am GMT

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.

9.56am GMT

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.

9.53am GMT

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.

9.51am GMT

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?

9.47am GMT

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.

9.43am GMT

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.

9.39am GMT

WICKET! Umesh has trapped Wade. But we’re upstairs on review. Stand by!

9.39am GMT

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.

9.38am GMT

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.

9.34am GMT

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.

9.31am GMT

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.

9.28am GMT

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.”

9.25am GMT

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

9.22am GMT

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.

9.18am GMT

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.

9.14am GMT

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.

9.12am GMT

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.

9.11am GMT

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.

9.07am GMT

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.

9.03am GMT

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.

9.01am GMT

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.

8.45am GMT

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.

8.38am GMT

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.”

8.34am GMT

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.

8.30am GMT

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.

8.28am GMT

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.

8.26am GMT

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.

8.23am GMT

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.

8.19am GMT

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.

8.15am GMT

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.

8.09am GMT

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.

8.06am GMT

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.

8.01am GMT

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

7.58am GMT

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.

7.52am GMT

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.

7.50am GMT

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.

7.41am GMT

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.

7.38am GMT

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.

7.34am GMT

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.

7.31am GMT

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.

7.30am GMT

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.

7.27am GMT

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.

7.24am GMT

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.

7.22am GMT

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.

7.18am GMT

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

7.16am GMT

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.

7.12am GMT

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.

7.09am GMT

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.

7.06am GMT

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.

7.05am GMT

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.

7.03am GMT

I don’t think they’re even sure, but it’s Smith, so they have a bash anyway.

6.59am GMT

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.”

6.56am GMT

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.

6.53am GMT

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.

6.50am GMT

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.

6.46am GMT

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

6.38am GMT

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

6.32am GMT

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.

6.23am GMT

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

6.06am GMT

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

6.03am GMT

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.

6.00am GMT

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

5.58am GMT

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.

5.55am GMT

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

5.52am GMT

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.

5.49am GMT

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.

5.45am GMT

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?

5.44am GMT

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.

5.40am GMT

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.

5.37am GMT

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.

5.33am GMT

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.

5.31am GMT

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.

5.27am GMT

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?

5.25am GMT

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.

5.20am GMT

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.

5.19am GMT

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.

5.15am GMT

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.

5.12am GMT

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.

5.08am GMT

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.

5.02am GMT

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.

4.59am GMT

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.

4.55am GMT

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.

4.52am GMT

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.

4.50am GMT

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.

4.47am GMT

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.

4.45am GMT

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.

4.43am GMT

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.

4.41am GMT

10th over: Australia 27-0 (Warner 15, Renshaw 12)

4.40am GMT

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.

4.36am GMT

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.

4.33am GMT

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.

4.27am GMT

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.

4.23am GMT

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.

4.18am GMT

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.

4.15am GMT

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.

4.10am GMT

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.

4.07am GMT

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.

3.57am GMT

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.

3.46am GMT

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

3.41am GMT

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.

3.35am GMT

“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.

3.33am GMT

Preamble

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?

10.36pm GMT

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

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/feb/23/india-v-australia-first-test-day-one-live

Feb 22

The box seat: the subtle comforts of TV sports news in a world gone mad

Fox Sports 500’s success is a byproduct of admirable restraint from producers no doubt tempted to import the American model wholesale

On ESPN First Take this Wednesday, three grown men performed a real-life version of the barber-shop argument from Eddie Murphy’s Coming To America. The topic on this occasion was not the merits of Rocky Marciano and Cassius Clay, but Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. Try as you might, it was almost impossible from the screaming match on offer to isolate exactly how and why Irsay was so objectionable. Only cryptic clues could be gleaned via the network’s rolling ticker.

Related: Australia must follow Steve Smith’s example to stand a chance in India | Russell Jackson

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/23/the-box-seat-the-subtle-comforts-of-tv-sports-news-in-a-world-gone-mad

Feb 21

Australia must follow Steve Smith’s example to stand a chance in India | Russell Jackson

Australia’s Test tour promises little in the way of genuinely competitive cricket, as a rock-solid home batting line-up meets a fledgling one

Firstly, an announcement for viewers at home: playing the role of Glenn McGrath in this week’s episode of India vs Australia is Harbhajan Singh. “If Australia play well, India will win 3-0,” the former Indian spinner said on Friday. “That is if Australia play well. Otherwise, 4-0.”

Harbhajan, you might remember, was a villain of some repute in previous seasons of this engrossing but mostly predictable cable-TV drama, due for its return on Thursday in Pune. And as per the case of McGrath before him, who could really counter such a bold and dismissive prediction as this one?

Related: With the IPL’s millions, this is surely the best time to be a top-level cricketer | Vic Marks

Related: IPL auction: ‘complete carnage’ as Ben Stokes becomes best-paid international player

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/22/australia-must-follow-steve-smiths-example-to-stand-a-chance-in-india

Feb 15

The box seat: Dane Swan’s alt-right education and Sydney FC’s Invincibles | Russell Jackson

This week in Australian sport TV, Dane Swan is set to weigh in further on the ills of the world, and the A-League might need a nickname sub-committee

Those who derived a measure of schadenfreude from Collingwood’s bumpy transition between the coaching reigns of Mick Malthouse and Nathan Buckley might also have appreciated the recent appearances on the Ten network’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (Sun-Thurs, 7:30pm) of Pies premiership star Dane Swan. If not, we’ve been watching it so you don’t have to.

Free of the draconian strictures of professional sport, last week the former midfield ace sat blind-folded with two alligators snapping at his heels. The metaphorical properties of Swan’s time in the jungle have dwindled since, but last week we were genuinely absorbed by his role of go-between as radio shock jock Steve Price and the prone, slightly incomprehensible American actor Tom Arnold debated the topic of same sex marriage. There is a sentence you didn’t expect to read in 2017.

Related: Will the AFLW herald changing times for gay players in the men’s game? | Kate O’Halloran

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/feb/16/the-box-seat-dane-swans-alt-right-education-and-sydney-fcs-invincibles

Jan 21

Daria Gavrilova defeats Bacsinszky to reach Australian Open fourth round

  • Daria Gavrilova defeats Timea Bacsinszky 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in Melbourne
  • Australian progresses to fourth round clash with Karolina Pliskova

Daria Gavrilova knocked Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky out of the Australian Open on Saturday night in Melbourne, defeating the the 12th seed in three sets and delivering a secondary bump to the national spirit: at points in the second set it had looked as though the only Australians who’d be left in action for the second week of singles matches would be the ball kids.

Gavrilova took the match 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 across two hours and 33 minutes at Margaret Court Arena, though she endured a torrid spell in the second set. Her victory booked a round four encounter with fifth seed Karolina Pliskova, who also weathered three gruelling sets in her 4-6, 6-0, 10-8 victory over Latvian teenager Jelena Ostapenko.

Related: Australian Open: Rafael Nadal survives five-set thriller against Alexander Zverev

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/22/daria-gavrilova-defeats-bacsinszky-to-reach-australian-open-fourth-round

Jan 21

Johanna Konta defeats Caroline Wozniacki to progress to fourth round – as it happened

  • Johanna Konta defeats Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1 in Melbourne
  • Britain’s ninth seed plays ruthlessly to announce herself a contender

6.16am GMT

The final analysis

“I definitely played at a very high level today,” Konta says in the aftermath, before paying tribute to her well-beaten opponent Caroline Wozniacki. “She really doesn’t give it to you… I knew it was going to be an incredibly tough one.”

6.09am GMT

Johanna Konta defeats Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1 to progress to the fourth round

Johanna Konta takes it in an hour and 15 minutes, holding a nervy service game to finish it. Otherwise it’s been a commanding performance from the ninth seed, who treated the former world No1 like a hitting partner here in a 6-3, 6-1 victory.

6.02am GMT

2nd set: Johanna Konta* 5-1 Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Again Konta produces a majestic winner from a return, falling to her right and rifling a forehand winner down the line. That’s followed by a lovely topspin forehand winner across court to make it 0-30 but Wozniacki admirably pulls herself back into it and avoids the bagel. Good on her. Konta will now serve for the match.

5.58am GMT

2nd set: Johanna Konta 5-0 *Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Woznicki is down but nor entirely out, and finally produces her fourth winner of the match off Konta’s first service point, but the Brit than pushes her around in a rally and dispatches another backhand winner, then an ace. She leads that category 4-0 with that one, and follows it with another first serve Wozniacki struggles to lay racquet on.

5.53am GMT

2nd set: Johanna Konta* 4-0 Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Oof, another savage return here from Konta against Wozniacki’s tame second serve. I’m actually feeling a bit sorry for the Dane here, and right as I say that another Konta winner off the second serve goes whistling past her. It’s falling away very quickly for the former world No1. She produces a winner to make it 15-30, but goes long with a backhand to offer up two more break points. Konta gets a little overzealous on a return first up, but makes no mistake with another scything return on the second. She’s got one foot in the fourth round now. Meanwhile: Alexander Zverev has just taken the first set off Rafael Nadal – 6-4!

5.49am GMT

2nd set: Johanna Konta 3-0 Caroline Wozniacki* (*denotes next server)

Bang! Konta slaps another incredible winner here – this time a cross-court forehand to leave Wozniacki grasping at thin air, and it’s 40-0 in the blink of an eye. Wozniacki wins one point but that is a minor distraction from the Brit’s total dominance. She’s been ruthless today.

5.44am GMT

2nd set: Johanna Konta* 2-0 Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Wozniacki really needs to make a bit of a statement here on serve but again her body language isn’t exactly imposing, which follows on from her serve deserting her. She coughs up two break points and double faults to concede. She’s absolutely battling at Margaret Court Arena.

5.42am GMT

2nd set: Johanna Konta 1-0 Caroline Wozniacki* (*denotes next server)

Konta’s dominance is both statistical and psychological now. She’s hitting it hard and better far more often than her opponent, and Wozniacki is just hanging in and nothing much more. Konta holds easily to get the second set under way.

5.36am GMT

1st set: Johanna Konta* 6-3 Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Wozniacki is absolutely battling on her second serve here, and Konta peels off a borderline demoralising cross-court winner of it to make it 15-30, then sets up break and set point with another expertly crafted rally. She takes it! The first set is gone in 42 minutes and Johanna Konta is looking good at Melbourne Park.

5.31am GMT

1st set: Johanna Konta 5-3 *Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Konta’s really taking charge now, and bosses the Dane around the court again to set up a big smash to make it 30-0. The Brit is serving very well bar an aberrant double fault, the only point Wozniacki wins as Konta holds.

5.27am GMT

1st set: Johanna Konta* 4-3 Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Following the recent trend, Konta starts this Wozniacki service game by caning an emphatic backhand winner across court. At 0-30 she has the Dane on the rack but loops a top-spin backhand wide after a decent rally, doing the same again to bring her opponent back on level terms. There follows a sublime forehand winner from the Brit, who cracks it across court with such precision that Wozniacki is no chance of retrieving it.

5.21am GMT

1st set: Johanna Konta 3-3 *Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

The start of this Konta service game is held up as a gaggle of Aussie supporters return to their seats a little late with a round of beers. Konta just takes the biscuits, smacking a couple of aces down the middle on her way to a reasonably easy hold.

5.15am GMT

1st set: Johanna Konta* 2-3 Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Thump! Konta leans into another thunderous backhand winner – her fifth of the encounter so far to Woznaicki’s zero – in the Dane’s first service point, and makes it 15-30 with a forehand winner after running Wozniacki ragged. Wozniacki won’t buckle though, and regains her composure well to hold comfortably. This seems destined for a tiebreak.

5.11am GMT

1st set: Johanna Konta 2-2 *Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Konta returns with her precise, slightly obsessive-compulsive service routine but she’s in a slight spot of bother at 15-30 and an awkward spot in a rally, but Wozniacki goes wide with a forehand. A long rally thereafter is dominated by Konta, who works her opponent wide at every opportunity to set up a pot-away volley. It goes to deuce but with another brutal backhand her opponent can barely lay racquet on, Konta holds.

5.04am GMT

1st set: Johanna Konta* 1-2 Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Konta continues to attack at every opportunity, missing the mark slightly with a pair of thumping attempted winners; the first is cross-court and long, the second an attempt at passing Wozniacki down the line but it’s into the net. The Dane cannot reach an almighty winner ay 40-0 but holds, though not quite as emphatically as only dropping one point would suggest.

5.00am GMT

1st set: Johanna Konta 1-1 *Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Thwack! Konta rocks into her first service game and quickly batters another pair of huge backhand winners to make it 30-0 in no time. The angle and speed she imparted on the second was superb. Wozniacki, on the other hand, is a little anaemic on her return and it’s over very quickly in a love game.

4.58am GMT

1st set: Johanna Konta* 0-1 Caroline Wozniacki (*denotes next server)

Wozniacki does the honours first and she’s in trouble early as Konta finds her range, then at 30-30 blisters an eye-catching backhand winner down the line to set up an early break point. The Dane saves it with a strong first serve, then another, but she’s having to defend a lot too. Konta has been the aggressor early. It’s a real battle, but Wozniacki eventually holds.

4.54am GMT

Your head-to-head stats: well, there aren’t any. These two have somehow never met, so this one is pure novelty. Let’s do this.

4.51am GMT

Preamble

Hello all and welcome to this enticing round three Australian Open clash between Great Britain’s Johanna Konta and Dane Caroline Wozniacki. Konta enters this one as the ninth seed and slight favourite. Locals reckon they have equal claim on her (at least while she’s doing well) because she was born in Sydney. She’s also a little bit sick of talking about that, it’s safe to say.

2.55am GMT

Russell will be here shortly. In the meantime, check out Kevin Mitchell’s latest on Dan Evans’ unlikely insurrection as he eyes a semi-final clash with Andy Murray.

Related: Insurrection in the air as Dan Evans eyes semi-final with Andy Murray

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jan/21/johanna-konta-v-caroline-wozniacki-australian-open-third-round-live

Older posts «