- India 19-0 at stumps on day four, requiring 87 more runs to win
- Home side on brink of Border-Gavaskar Trophy win in Dharamsala
One final thing: here is the report from a dramatic day in Dharamsala.
Related: India close to Border-Gavaskar Trophy victory after Australia collapse
One of the great Test series of modern times will end tomorrow, mostly likely with an Indian victory. The home side took a stranglehold on this match by dismissing Australia for just 137 in their second innings, leaving them just 106 for victory. They cruised to 19-0 at stumps.
The damage was done in the afternoon and evening sessions by an accomplished team bowling performance. Umesh Yadav, R. Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja each took three wickets at dreamy economy rates to deny Australia any momentum.
6th over: India 19-0 (Rahul 13, Vijay 6) – Target 106
First change of bowling and it’s O’Keefe with the final over of the day. Blimey! His first delivery explodes out of the surface, belching dust and ripping past Rahul’s outside edge. The rest of the over is more predictable enabling Rahul to see out play from the crease with a straight blade.
5th over: India 19-0 (Rahul 13, Vijay 6) – Target 106
Better rhythm and pace from Cummins first up and he almost kisses Viyay’s outside edge as a result. The rest of the over isn’t too threatening until the final delivery thuds into Vijay’s front pad. An optimistic REVIEW follows and DRS confirms the ball was bouncing well over leg stump. Steve Smith is unhappy about something, not quite sure what, but umpire Erasmus is doing his best to mollify him.
4th over: India 19-0 (Rahul 13, Vijay 6) – Target 106
India’s openers are up for this challenge, defending with purpose and running with intent; Vijay’s scampered three an excellent example.
3rd over: India 16-0 (Rahul 13, Vijay 3) – Target 106
Cummins seems caught between bowling for away swing and the outside edge and attacking Rahul’s body, the outcome of which is neither nowt nor summat, as Yorkshire-folk would say. Everything looks a touch mechanical and out of sync compared to the rhythmical spells we’ve become accustomed to.
Overwhelmed, thank you to everyone for the kind words. pic.twitter.com/C2Ije0Upww
2nd over: India 14-0 (Rahul 12, Vijay 2) – Target 106
Vijay is off the mark early as well, driving Hazlewood behind point for two.
1st over: India 12-0 (Rahul 12, Vijay 0) – Target 106
India are off to a flyer! Three boundaries of varying quality from KL Rahul against the bowling of Cummins: an edge along the ground through gully, a glorious straight drive and a wristy flick, all earn four runs to power India off the start line.
Some correspondence during the innings break.
Vijay BG emails in a helpful guide for Tamil naming conventions. “As per Tamil naming tradition, the first name is the father’s name and the last name is your name. While Rest of India uses surnames, Tamilians don’t. Instead, we prefix our names with the first letter of the father’s name: eg. M Vijay and R Ashwin.”
@JPHowcroft if a test match elsewhere in the world was almost over inside 3 days, the curator would have some serious questions to answer..
Phew! That last half hour or so was hard to keep track of.
India will have six overs to bat tonight in their pursuit of 106.
Ashwin beats the inside edge of Hazlewood’s defensive push, hits the front pad in front of middle and umpire Gould raises the finger. A tactical DRS confirms ball tracking as umpire’s call.
After a chaotic final over, Australia are all out for 137, setting India 106 runs to win.
54th over: Australia 137-9 (Wade 25, Hazlewood 0)
Ashwin coming from around the wicket to Hazlewood and the third delivery is edged solidly to second slip who takes a sharp low catch. But, hang on, despite everyone jogging off the pitch, the umpires are stopping everyone. The TV umpire has overruled the soft on-field dismissal of out – with scant evidence in my opinion – and play continues.
53rd over: Australia 137-9 (Wade 25, Hazlewood 0)
What’s happened here? Wade has edged a sitter to first slip but Ashwin’s there, for some reason and he shells it like a novice. Poor cricket from India. Australia should be all out for a lead under 100 but Wade survives and punishes Rahane’s captaincy with a cut four and then a pulled two.
52nd over: Australia 131-9 (Wade 19, Hazlewood 0)
Ashwin returns with two left-handers at the crease. Wade realises it’s now or never and tries to smash every delivery. He picks up six over extra cover, two through midwicket, and accepts a single from the fifth ball. Hazlewood defends his solitary delivery.
51st over: Australia 122-9 (Wade 10, Hazlewood 0)
Yadav’s return to the attack has been the catalyst for this latest collapse. Excellent wholehearted fast bowler.
@JPHowcroft what has been a wonderfully compelling series looks in danger of finishing in slightly disappointing manner.
Wade takes the single off the first delivery of Yadav’s over. The second ball whistles past the top of Lyon’s off stump. The third is edged to second slip. Hook, line and sinker.
50th over: Australia 121-8 (Wade 9, Lyon 0)
Terrific bowling from Jadeja, he picks up his third – and 25th of the series – and Australia are staring at something ugly. They lead by just 89.
One brings two. O’Keefe can’t get to the pitch of the ball and his push to a textbook Jadeja delivery flies straight to silly point. Sharp catch by Pujara. India rampant.
49th over: Australia 121-7 (Wade 9, O’Keefe 0)
Wade, now nine from 78 deliveries, sees off a maiden from Yadav.
48th over: Australia 121-7 (Wade 9, O’Keefe 0)
Cummins dug in but for all his application the scoreboard failed to move much while he was at the crease.
Jadeja continues and Cummins finally mistimes a drive, edging a regulation catch to Rahane at slip.
47th over: Australia 120-6 (Wade 8, Cummins 12)
Umesh Yadav to mix things up after drinks. He begins beautifully, nipping one through Cummins and just over middle stump. The batsman survives though with the bowler failing to force Australia’s number 8 to play often enough.
Rahane’s catch … #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/HrByS2yezs
Gervase Greene has his right of reply during drinks. “Apologies all. If Ian Forth (OBO-34) is right, and my quoting of Churchill disenfranchised the original brilliant dictioner who said it, I regret. Fair call, oops and all that. Great that a Maxwell quote indirectly referenced his equally oddball but brilliant literary equivalent, Dr J.”
46th over: Australia 120-6 (Wade 8, Cummins 12)
That’s more like it. Wade sees out a maiden off Jadeja. The Indian bowler things every delivery is a chance. None are. The stifled cries and not-so-stifled appeals really seem to bear no reflection to the action. It must be irritating to bat against. Especially when you look up to see how great his hair is too.
45th over: Australia 120-6 (Wade 8, Cummins 12)
BOUNDARY! A legit one too! Smoothly driven from Cummins through extra cover to a loopy one from Ashwin. Roll out the bunting and strike up the band.
44th over: Australia 115-6 (Wade 7, Cummins 8)
Another maiden, but a couple of oohs and ahhs this over as Jadeja first beats Cummins’ outside edge and then finds it, but only enough to see it reach a diving slip on the bounce.
43rd over: Australia 115-6 (Wade 7, Cummins 8)
Ashwin thinks he has Wade LBW after beating the bat from around the wicket but the batsman had got far enough across to present doubt in umpire Erasmus’ mind that he was struck outside the line.
42nd over: Australia 115-6 (Wade 7, Cummins 8)
Cummins is playing like a man leaning over a pond transfixed by his own reflection, only to be jerked from his impending doom by an invisible bungy cord strapped to his waist. Most of this over he leans, prods a defensive push, and then rebounds back to his full height only to return to the same dance a moment later.
41st over: Australia 113-6 (Wade 7, Cummins 6)
Cummins nicks another single as the TV camera pans to some spectators in a very maroon-ish shade of purple, bringing about appreciative noises from Queenslander Matthew Hayden. You can take the boy out of Bundaberg etc…
40th over: Australia 110-6 (Wade 6, Cummins 4)
Cummins inside edges an early single off Jadeja leaving Wade to handle most of the over. A bat-pad catch appeal is turned down as Australia’s keeper continues to stand firm at the crease.
S Marsh’s series average of 18.87 is the third lowest of his career; however his 517 balls faced is the second most of his career. #IndvAus
39th over: Australia 109-6 (Wade 6, Cummins 3)
Ashwin inviting Cummins to drive outside his off stump for three deliveries before switching around the wicket to test his pads. Australia’s spearhead is up to the task, playing with a straight bat to work a single to long on and keep India at bay.
38th over: Australia 108-6 (Wade 6, Cummins 2)
Wade getting forward and across to Jadeja, smothering any turn and bounce that might be on offer. The bowler responds with a variety of speeds and trajectories to keep the batsman guessing as much as possible. Wade uses his quick hands to adjust smartly. Another maiden.
37th over: Australia 108-6 (Wade 6, Cummins 2)
Cummins appears to be losing patience, driving loosely at the first delivery of Ashwin’s over. A thick inside edge for two next delivery calms him down enough to see out the rest of the over without much fanfare.
36th over: Australia 106-6 (Wade 6, Cummins 0)
Wade’s trying his best to rotate the strike but he can’t nurdle Jadeja wide enough of a fielder to complete the single. The last run was 23 balls ago as another rapid maiden comes and goes in the blink of an eye.
35th over: Australia 106-6 (Wade 6, Cummins 0)
Ashwin throwing them up to Cummins, waiting for the pitch to do the rest. The surface is not as dangerous to the right hander though and the handy lower order batsman props forward and nudges six regulation deliveries away.
34th over: Australia 106-6 (Wade 6, Cummins 0)
Jadeja cranks out a maiden to Wade, who, it’s fair to say is receiving his fair share of polite encouragement from the close-in fielders.
33rd over: Australia 106-6 (Wade 6, Cummins 0)
Australia’s lead just 74 as the first of the bowlers comes out to bat.
The thing I like most about Jadeja, and there is so much to like, is there is no correlation between him appealing and someone being out
Maxwell has fallen. He’s looked assured all innings but his attempt to pad up to Ashwin has proven his undoing. The ball spun more than he expected, failed to get outside the line enough to convince Ian Gould he deserved the benefit of the doubt for not playing a shot and the finger goes up. He reviews but DRS reveals ‘umpire’s call’ orange on impact and ball tracking. A timid end to a positive innings.
32nd over: Australia 104-5 (Maxwell 43, Wade 6)
Wade looks much happier against Jadeja, moving his feet freely, surer of the bounce. Until the final delivery of the over that is that pins him on his crease and has the bowler celebrappealing like a Zoolander extra l in a wraparound shades commercial. Erasmus keeps his finger down. Saved – just – by being on the umpire’s call of the line of off stump.
31st over: Australia 103-5 (Maxwell 42, Wade 6)
Ashwin to Wade is a contest that strongly favours the bowler at the moment. The batsman is surviving like a mole popping its head above the whacking line with his eyes screwed tightly shut and his shoulders hunched.
30th over: Australia 99-5 (Maxwell 42, Wade 2)
Maxwell sweeps Jadeja for four. Jadeja bowling around the wicket, Maxwell batting in a baggy green with the proud jaw and sunken cheekbones of a matinee idol.
29th over: Australia 95-5 (Maxwell 38, Wade 2)
Ashwin coming around the wicket to Wade and he’s found his crack, just outside the left-hander’s off stump on a decent length. He hits it early and rips one past the edge, and from thereon it’s a lottery for the batsman. Some jag, others don’t, somehow Wade escapes.
28th over: Australia 95-5 (Maxwell 38, Wade 2)
It seems like Umpire’s Call decisions annoy a lot of people, I’m not one of them. DRS was introduced to address the howler. There has to be a legitimate margin for error to retain the on-field umpire’s authority. If teams try to game the system and fail, so be it, it’s their choice to review.
27th over: Australia 93-5 (Maxwell 37, Wade 1)
REVIEW to the first delivery of Ashwin’s over to Wade. From around the wicket the one that Ashwin flicks from his fingers beats Wade’s inside edge, crashes into the flap of his pad and India appeal. Umpire Erasmus is unmoved but Rahane reviews. Height will be the decisive factor – and DRS indicates Umpire’s Call – Wade survives.
26th over: Australia 93-5 (Maxwell 37, Wade 1)
So, the series-defining session begins with Jadeja completing the over interrupted by the Tea interval following Shaun Marsh’s dismissal. Matthew Wade negotiates it smartly and gets off the mark with a single.
Yo, 2001, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but 2017 was one of the best series of all time. Of all time.
The first 4 eras of Aus cricket history:
1. The Golden Age
2. The Bradman era
3. The Border years
4. The Marsh experiment
Just a reminder, Australia lead by 60 with five wickets remaining.
Gervase Greene has emailed in some sage words.
“Can I just say (and I paraphrase Churchill with my nose pinched) that he who is tired of Maxwell is tired of cricket. I have a UK mate who plays bight-grade cricket who says everyone – yes, everyone – considers him the batting equivalent of Shane Warne. A slight overstatement, sure, but in fair weather or foul he is utterly compulsive, compulsory viewing.”
So more poetry to accompany your tea drinking. This one from Phil Withall:
“I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the works of William McGonagall, the famed Scottish poet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_McGonagall . His is often cited as the worst poet ever to have graced the art. I’ll hold my hand up and challenge him.”
The Lyon of Young, a goat in disguise, uses his guile to mesmerise.
With ball in his hand and pride in his heart.
Thank you very much Russell.
This modern classic of a series continues to deliver. Like Hagler v Hearns both teams keep throwing punches only to wear a smack or two in return for their troubles.
And that is the session. It started badly for Australia with the early dismissal of David Warner and got worse as the Indian bowlers dominated for all bar a half-century partnership between Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell. Umesh Yadav (two wickets) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (the vital wicket of Steve Smith) did the damage early and now it’s the spinners coming into the fold. Australia lead by 60 and will hope to push that past 100 at the very least, but their chances of setting India an imposing chase are reducing by the minute. Taking you through the rest of it will be JP Howcroft, the lucky bleeder.
Australia in disarray now! Shaun MArsh has been off the field all day with a bad back and now he’s out on the stroke of tea. He attempted to turn a rising off break around the corner but gloves it straight to the man at short leg. Umpires call tea and Glenn Maxwell looks miffed. He’s fast running out of partners.
25th over: Australia 92-4 (Maxwell 37, Marsh 1)
The word out of the Australian sheds is that Shaun Marsh has a “jarred back”, and is far from his physical best, but he’s out there in the middle with a Test match on the line, and could make himself a hero for his country. Ashwin has three slips for the new man. I think he fancies a wicket here. Of note from earlier in the over: Pujara copped a nasty one in the shoulder while fielding at short leg when Maxwell swept powerfully. Much has been made of the spite in this series but the Australian was straight over to check on his opponent. Good stuff.
Ashwin strikes! That is a gem of a delivery from the spinner, who gets one to jump up out of the rough and the outside edge from Handscomb is very well held by the Indian captain at first slip.
24th over: Australia 86-3 (Handscomb 18, Maxwell 36)
More runs from the bowling of Jadeja, who doesn’t look any great threat until he keeps one lower than the bottom of Handscomb’s bat and almost castles him. The rest of Australia’s batsmen will be watching that with mild concern, but Nathan Lyon will have at least half a grin.
23rd over: Australia 83-3 (Handscomb 18, Maxwell 33)
Rahane concurs with my ramblings, it appears, because Ravichandran Ashwin is on for his first spell of the innings. He’s got a slip and a short leg for Maxwell, so the latter skips down the track and looks to play to the off side, where he is relatively safe. It’s a promising over from Aswhin, featuring bounce, turn, and a few big puffs of dust.
22nd over: Australia 82-3 (Handscomb 18, Maxwell 32)
With tea approaching, perhaps it is time for Ajinkya Rahane to give Ravichandran Ashwin a bowl. The Maxwell-Handscomb partnership is worth 51 from 76 deliveries once Handscomb essays a gorgeous cover drive to the fence off Kuldeep, and India’s captain would have to be concerned about this stand inflating further at its present rate.
21st over: Australia 77-3 (Handscomb 14, Maxwell 31)
With half an hour to go in the second session, both Australian batsmen have now found their feet, but Ravindra Jadeja is extracting some sharp turn outside the off stump. Good for Australia: he’s actually spinning it too much to take a wicket unless Glenn Maxwell does something really funky. Four singles from the Jadeja over. You rarely see him milked like that.
20th over: Australia 73-3 (Handscomb 12, Maxwell 29)
Two runs from the Kuldeep over, but more pertinently, an insight into the divine intervention that played a role in Steve Smith’s dismissal earlier:
Matty Hayden: “I’m a strong believer at the moment India has no idea how to get Steve Smith out”
Next bloody ball…
19th over: Australia 71-3 (Handscomb 11, Maxwell 28)
As well as being a potent wicket-taking option, Ravindra Jadeja also sprints through his overs and rarely costs much in the way of scoreboard damage. In that light, Peter Handscomb gets lucky here when he loses control of an attempt to cut and the ball balloons away through the vacant gully region for four. Jadeja’s final delivery is even better: it goes the other way to pass between bat and pad, then sails a few inches over the top of the stumps. Too good. Australia lead by 39. Any target over 175 will be challenging, I reckon.
18th over: Australia 67-3 (Handscomb 7, Maxwell 28)
Maxwell actually looks vulnerable to Kuldeep’s bosey, but in between times he continues to dominate the spinner. This over it’s another back foot stroke in the form of a cut, which Maxwell uses to expertly bypass point and pick himself up another boundary. Maxwell gets a little lucky from the penultimate delivery of the over, which is a straighter one he nearly pulls into the hands of Jadeja at a shortish mid-on. Another half a foot of carry and the Indian fielder would have snaffled that.
17th over: Australia 63-3 (Handscomb 7, Maxwell 24)
Jadeja has a slip and a silly point for Handscomb but the Australian defends with utmost confidence, so there is not even a thought of bringing anyone else in close to the bat. Well, at least until the final delivery of the over, which bobs up off the shoulder of the bat and flies wide of the silly point. That is encouraging for Jadeja.
16th over: Australia 63-3 (Handscomb 7, Maxwell 24)
Glenn Maxwell is going mad now. He drives Kuldeep for a boundary through cover and then, with his baggy green nestled jauntily, plants his front foot and hammers a towering six over long on. Welcome to Test cricket, Kuldeep. Earlier today I appealed for terrible poetry about Nathan Lyon and reader Adrian Holmes has delivered:
15th over: Australia 52-3 (Handscomb 6, Maxwell 14)
Spin from both ends now as Ravindra Jadeja appears for his first overs of the innings. Peter Handscomb leaves one that is angling in towards his off stump, which seems unnecessarily risky, but we should probably trust his methods given the way he batted in the second innings in Ranchi. He drives a single from the final delivery to retain the strike.
14th over: Australia 51-3 (Handscomb 5, Maxwell 14)
Kuldeep is on for a bowl now with his left-arm leg spin. He did Maxwell in with a gem of a wrongun in the first innings, so expect the Australian to be a little more circumspect this time around. An hour from tea Australia lead by 19 runs and the game hangs in the balance.
13th over: Australia 50-3 (Handscomb 4, Maxwell 14)
Hooley dooley! Glenn Maxwell has just played one of the crispest, most ridiculous back foot drives you will ever see, especially given the stakes. Kumar is the bowler and he’s a little short on a fourth stump line. Maxwell is back and across quickly and lifts his left elbow high before running his bat through a textbook stroke for four. Two balls late he repeats the feat, though this time squarer through point. It might be time for a rest for Kumar, but both Maxwell strokes are just sublime. Perhaps now the doubters are starting to realise what the Australian is capable of; in this over his defence is equally convincing.
12th over: Australia 42-3 (Handscomb 4, Maxwell 6)
After a brief break for drinks, Glenn Maxwell resumes with patient application before getting a lose one outside off stump from Umesh Yadav. The Victorian shuffles half a step towards the pitch of the ball and unfurls a confident drive to have it humming away past the rope at deep cover, then works an awkward one away from his ribs for a single to short mid-wicket. The drinks break will have helped him, but Umesh might be spent. He’s bowled a mighty spell so far, one that could prove match-turning.
11th over: Australia 37-3 (Handscomb 4, Maxwell 1)
Maxwell gets off the mark by flicking Kumar to deep mid-wicket for a single. “By my count this is the third time in a row Renshaw has been dismissed after being pegged back the previous few balls and then staying back too much,” writes Kabir Sethi. Not a bad call. It’s quite easy from the sofa, mind you. Speaking of easy, Peter Handscomb has just played a wonderful late cut off Kumar to pick up four. That can’t be as simple as he makes it look.
10th over: Australia 32-3 (Handscomb 0, Maxwell 0)
What a situation Glenn Maxwell confronts here: his team in dire straits, Umesh Yadav running rampant and the first delivery he faces cannoning into his shoulder as he tries to keep his bat away from it. “Test match cricket at its best,” says Sunil Gavaskar. It’s a cliche but it’s also true. Scores are now level but Australia have only seven wickets in hand. Not ideal.
Now Renshaw goes! Good news: my TV is now working. Bad news: Australia are collapsing to a remarkable degree. Now it’s Matt Renshaw who goes, poking around at Umesh and sending another edge through to Wriddhiman Saha. A ball earlier he’d been roughed up with another bouncer, now he’s on his way. Oh dear.
9th over: Australia 31-2 (Renshaw 8, Handscomb 0)
Now Australia have two first-time tourists at the crease in Matt Renshaw and the new man Peter Handscomb. With a big partnership they could make lifelong heroes of themselves, but their work is cut out for them. Right now Australia are staring down the barrel of a 7-10 wicket defeat, don’t you think?
Steve Smith departs! That is disastrous for Australia! He’d just hit Kumar for consecutive boundaries but now he’s gone – bowled for 17! Australia still trail by one run and their batting ace is gone. It was a shortish ball outside the line of off stump and Smith shaped to pull it, but in playing that stroke he drags an inside edge onto his timber and loses his off stump. He cannot believe it but one of the least threatening deliveries of a hostile opening bowling partnership has got him.
8th over: Australia 23-1 (Renshaw 8, Smith 9)
Never before have I been so aware of the fragile miracle that is satellite sports coverage. I still can’t see anything, but trust that what is happening is good. Please Mr Mudoch, please give me my ball back sir. Maybe we can reverse the normal process, and I’ll have the readers describe the game to me. Here’s Rowan Sweeney: “Enjoying the OBO and some Indonesian Cuisine, but David “Bats in the Wrong Kind of Bubble” Warner drives me crazy. Does anyone bother coaching him? I want whoever came up with the “Play your natural game” rubbish flogged!” I want the CEO of Foxtel flogged, personally.
7th over: Australia 18-1 (Renshaw 4, Smith 8)
I won’t lie, this isn’t an ideal time for the Australian broadcast of this game to cut out, but that is exactly the fate I’ve suffered in this over, so please bear with me. A good point from reader Scott Lowe as Kumar apparently produces a maiden over: “So why exactly did Warner play all four Tests, despite being useless outside Australia, and Khawaja did not play one?”
6th over: Australia 18-1 (Renshaw 4, Smith 8)
I don’t want to overstate it until the threat has genuinely passed, but already there is a sense of calm in Australia’s innings due to the presence of Steve Smith. Also, no doubt, Umesh isn’t quite producing the barnstorming deliveries that had Warner hopping around. Smith tucks him around the corner for two, and there is something worth mentioning at this point: no Australian can complain about this pitch. It’s carrying like a mid-80s WACA strip.
5th over: Australia 16-1 (Renshaw 4, Smith 6)
Kumar has three slips and a gully for Steve Smith, and India know they need to get the Australian skipper early. If not he’ll settle in for the rest of the day. Kumar is hanging them a good foot and a half outside off stump, which has been among India’s many unsuccessful strategies to Smith in this series. A fourth stump line, maybe, but not a sixth. Smith eventually gets one on his pads and turns it for a single with ease. Not much else about Australia’s start has been so straightforward.
4th over: Australia 15-1 (Renshaw 4, Smith 5)
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Steve Smith is a living legend at the moment, and only he would take the manic energy of this game and calmly turn his first delivery through backward square leg for a boundary. First ball. Incredible. I mean, it wasn’t Umesh’s best (on the pads, in Smith’s zone), but you still have to possess the wherewithal to put it away so ruthlessly without so much as a sighter. The last delivery of Umesh’s over crunches Renshaw on the shoulder as he loses track of it and ducks. Is anyone else a bit flushed and warm? I feel like it’s about 45 degrees and I’m sitting on a sofa 10,533km away from Dharamsala.
Umesh gets Warner! It’s not the paceman’s best delivery, but Warner is perhaps a little spooked by what’s going on and pushes hard towards a ball decking away from him, feathering an edge through to Saha. Review? Not in your life. Warner knows he’s gone, and drops his head as begins the slow march back to the pavilion. India’s pacemen are on fire.
3rd over: Australia 10-0 (Renshaw 4, Warner 6)
Get near a TV. This is spellbinding stuff. Did I say Umesh bowled the best bouncer of the series? Kumar has just topped it, fizzling down a nasty one to hit a startled Warner in the left shoulder. Ouch. That would have been painful. The Aussie didn’t have a clue, and the threat doesn’t pass. A ball later Warner edges thickly and Karun Nair dives to his left, dropping a very gettable chance at third slip but doing so in a way that almost brings Rahane into play at gully. The latter also dives to get the rebound, but can’t quite grasp it. How badly will that cost India? Sheesh. Warner gets a single in the process. This is brilliant cricket. Gripping.
2nd over: Australia 9-0 (Renshaw 4, Warner 5)
Holy moly. If you were wondering what David Warn’er approach would be, he’s just slashed Umesh Yadav’s first delivery of the innings for a Sehwagesque boundary over gully. A metre or so more and it would have been six. Ridiculous. Warner follows that with a single, which seems smart. No need to drown in honey at this point. Umesh sends a snorter past the outside edge of Renshaw – a ball too good to get anybody out. The ball is carrying through to Wriddhiman Saha with such bounce and pace that his keeping technique is closer to the Matrix than the MCC coaching manual. Umesh bowls probably the best bouncer of the series, whistling the ball so narrowly past the coat of arms on Renshaw’s helmet you suspect the Emu might have suffered a heart attack. Great over.
1st over: Australia 4-0 (Renshaw 4, Warner 0)
OK, we’re off in Australia’s second innings and it’s Matt Renshaw facing the first delivery of Australia’s second innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowls it with three slips and a gully in place and Renshaw confidently defends it towards gully from high on his bat. Thereafter Kumar is getting nice carry and Renshaw gets lucky when he’s squared up, but with soft hands manages to angle the ball between third slip and gully to pick up four.
We’re moments away from Australia’s second innings now
…with David Warner and Matt Renshaw about to trot out to the middle. In the meantime, James Pattinson is having a fair old day in Alice Springs. He’s just claimed the early breakthrough for the Bushrangers and South Australia are off to a disastrous start.
Woah! In the #ShieldFinal, Pattinson has sent Dalton’s off-stump flying. SA 1-0!
WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/aVItdenu5a
Score update from the Sheffield Shield final
Victoria have been bowled out for 487 and need only a draw to claim the Shield. In addition to Travis Dean’s 94, the 120 Marcus Harris made on day one and Rob Quiney’s 48, James Pattinson stepped up with 80 and keeper Seb Gotch 52 in a very patient partnership. Victoria lost 4-3 to finish off, and Chadd Sayers took 7-84 from 34.2 overs, taking his season tally to 61. He’s a marvel.
Caught Carey, bowled Sayers and that’s it!
No. 7️⃣ for Chadd and Vic all out for 487. Great finish boys. #ShieldFinal
What will we get from David Warner when Australia resume?
“Now it’s up to Davey Warne to knock off that lead and go from there,” says his former team-mate Brad Haddin, but how far beyond knocking off those 32 runs Warner goes is the real question. The Australian opener played his best knock of the series with 56 in the first innings. Yes, that is damning him with faint praise, I know. Will it be a cavalier 18 here, or will he knuckle down and prove all the doubters wrong? His record in India is poor but a game-winning innings here would wipe the slate clean.
Once again @NathLyon421 picks up 5 wickets for . Another 5 in the 2nd innings please Gary.
We’ll take a break now, but it was another absorbing session of cricket. Ravindra Jadeja threatened to take the game out of Australia’s grasp, but his dismissal for 63 sparked a collapse of 4-15 as India’s tail stopped wagging. Wriddhiman Saha made a patient 31 from 102 deliveries but there was nothing much else to write home about. Pat Cummins finished with 3-94 from 30 overs of high quality fast bowling, while Nathan Lyon bagged 5-92 from 34.1 overs and deserved nothing less. More in a bit.
Lyon gets the final wicket! And that is yet another five-for for him. Kuldeep goes for a slog sweep but holes out to Hazlewood in the deep, meaning that India are all out for 332, a 32-run lead on the first innings. Lyon has his ninth five-wicket haul and we’re off for lunch after all.
118th over: India 332-9 (Kuldeep 7, Umesh 2)
Kuldeep looks genuinely good, in actual fact. Maybe he can do some damage in this little pre-lunch session, but Umesh will need to stick around for him, which is no certainty. It being Monday, Matthew Wade is straight into the latter, reminding him of his shortcomings as a batsman.
117th over: India 331-9 (Kuldeep 6, Umesh 2)
Hmm, we’re staying out there then? Umesh had no idea for the better part of what should have been the last over before lunch, shoving his bat in the path of the ball but rarely find luck in the way of making contact. But the umpires decide we’ll wait until the final wicket is taken before going off. We’ll have an extra half-hour.
116th over: India 329-9 (Kuldeep 5, Umesh 1)
Boomshakala! Kuldeep gets down on one knee to O’Keefe’s first delivery and sweeps confidently to pick up four handy runs. That was a batsman’s shot. Where he’s not so smart is in letting O’Keefe rush him to face up, and with 59 seconds remaining in the session as over is called, we will indeed have another from Cummins. Buckle in.
115th over: India 325-9 (Kuldeep 1, Umesh 1)
The Yadavs are both at the crease now, so I’ll go with Kuldeep and Umesh if that’s OK. The latter faces the music first up and works a single off his hip, trotting down the other end very slowly to ensure he’s off strike to the fire-breathing paceman. It’s been yet another superb spell of hostile fast bowling from Cummins. Now he even beats Matthew Wade when he whangs down a quite ridiculous bouncer to concede four wides. Personally I like it, but in a tight match his captain mightn’t. Cummins has 3-92 from 29 overs and India lead by 25 runs. With four minutes left before lunch, expect Steve O’Keefe to sprint through his next over and make sure Cummins has the last say.
Cummins gets another! Oof, that was a brute of a ball too. He hammers in a nasty bouncer and in the act of protecting his face, Saha gloves it skyward and towards the cordon, where Steve Smith moves around to take another catch. This is all a bit chaotic from India. They were bossing the morning 15 minutes ago. Now they might be all out before lunch.
114th over: India 318-8 (Saha 31, Yadav 0)
Debutant Kuldeep Yadav is the new man at the crease and keeps out the final delivery of the O’Keefe over. India did so well for 85% of this session but it’s falling away badly now.
Steve O’Keefe strikes in his first over of the day! Well that is a decent strike rate. It’s Kumar who goes, driving lavishly when he should be having a good look. The thick edge flies to the right of Steve Smith at first slip and he dives in the direction well to take a very smart catch. There was an amusing moment a delivery earlier when Matthew Wade greeted O’Keefe’s wares with this assessment: “Nice stock bowling!” He’s even sledging his own team-mates now.
113th over: India 317-7 (Saha 30, Kumar 0)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the new batsman at the crease for India and he’s no mug, averaging 22.63 in Tests and boasting a first-class century. He’s got a decent task ahead of him. If he can hang around for an hour with Saha, India could take this game away for Australia. If he nicks off early, who knows? Cummins has a decent head of steam up in this over but Kumar defends stoutly.
Cummins strikes! And it’s the danger man who goes as Jadeja gets forward with another attacking stroke but chops it onto his stumps to give the paceman a well-earned breakthrough. Finally! Thus ends an enterprising stand of 96 between Jadeja and Saha, who have India 17 runs ahead in the first innings. Game on.
112th over: India 317-6 (Jadeja 63, Saha 30)
Saha and Jadeja have added 94 runs in this stand as another Maxwell over begins. It’s a tight one, which is about the best Australia can hope for at the moment. As all that is happening, Daniel McDonald has kindly stopped by with some more cricket-themed Oscar nominations, as per below:
111th over: India 315-6 (Jadeja 62, Saha 29)
Crack! Jadeja gets hit in the helmet now, though it’s not quite as nasty as that sounds. He gets a short one from the returning Pat Cummins and shapes to hook it, but it deflects from his forearm into his helmet grille. Matthew Wade might be available for immediate comment, but he’s too far away from the stump microphone.
110th over: India 305-6 (Jadeja 52, Saha 29)
Matthew Wade is very unhappy about Jadeja’s half-century celebration, and demands that the batsman explain it to him. All that distracts from another exotic sight: Glenn Maxwell is on for a bowl! Sad times when you have to bury a lede like that. Nothing in the over can quite match the sword. I’m afraid the day might have peaked.
If India win this series Saha or Jadeja is player of series. If Australia win, Smith no contest – still might get it with a loss #INDvAUS
109th over: India 302-6 (Jadeja 50, Saha 28)
The singles continue to accrue off the bowling of Lyon, and replays of that LBW review are no kinder on the Australians. For one thing, the inside edge sound was very loud. I guess they’re contending with crowd noises too when they’re out in the middle, but it was an absolute doozy. As is a misfield from David Warner in this over, which hands India the lead and gets the home fans up on their feet.
108th over: India 297-6 (Jadeja 46, Saha 27)
Even the normally miserly Josh Hazlewood is being worked around for singles now. Mahendra Killedar arrives now via email with a question. “So at what point does this partnership officially migrate from ‘irritating’ territory to ‘annoying’ territory for the Aussies?” I reckon we’re about 15 minutes into annoying territroy, Mahendra. Josh Halzewood is bothering to sledge Wriddhiman Saha, so all is not well.
107th over: India 295-6 (Jadeja 45, Saha 26)
Nathan Lyon was all over the home side yesterday, but the momentum has swung against him now, and Steve Smith might even consider a change soon. Saha works a single to leg and Jadeja does so too. It’s all a bit too easy for the Indian pair. Time for some Steve O’Keefe I reckon. Or another burst of Cummins.
106th over: India 291-6 (Jadeja 43, Saha 24)
Hazlewood is down to a single slip now because Steve Smith is becoming concerned by the number of easy runs the Australians are bleeding. India could have been seven down with their tail exposed at the start of the day. Now they’re on the verge of passing Australia’s first innings total. Apparently Wade earlier told Gunner Gould to watch out for Jadeja’s sword as he approaches 50. Not exactly Dave Chappelle’s first HBO special, but the internet seems to believe that it was funny.
Again, annoying lower order runs.
105th over: India 290-6 (Jadeja 42, Saha 24)
Nathan Lyon has a slip and a silly point as he bowls to Jadeja, but he hasn’t really looked like taking a wicket so far because Jadeja and Saha are really warming to their task. Jadeja moves into the 40s by sweating on some width from Lyon and opening the face glide him to the fence at third man. This is quite a reversal of fortunes for the batsman; he was given out LBW to Pat Cummins from the first delivery of the day, but a review saved his skin and he’s making the most of it.
104th over: India 285-6 (Jadeja 37, Saha 24)
Australia are getting a little desperate for a wicket now, so the broadcasters cruelly hark back to Matt Renshaw’s dropped catch from late last night. As Matthew Hayden points out, it was as much Matthew Wade’s fault for standing too close and drawing the cordon in with him than the man who actually dropped it. Live, Hazlewood keeps loping in and hammering the ball down into the deck, from which he is extracting decent pace and bounce. The cordon are much deeper than yesterday but so far they haven’t had an edge to deal with.
103rd over: India 285-6 (Jadeja 37, Saha 24)
Moments before Nathan Lyon works his way in for the first delivery of the over, there is a real verbal skirmish between Australian keeper Matthew Wade and both batsmen, forcing Ian Gould to step in and tell Wade to pipe down. He doesn’t, of course. Only a pair of Josh Hazlewood’s socks would do the job there. Wade is like a drill sergeant taunting new recruits. Amazing what a half-century does for a man’s confidence. Jadeja keeps his concentration well enough to see off the rest of the over.
102nd over: India 284-6 (Jadeja 37, Saha 23)
Josh Hazlewood is back on to replace Pat Cummins and has another very enthusiastic shout from his first delivery, but the ball pitches well outside leg before rapping Ravindra Jadeja on the front pad. No dice. Soon after Jadeja slaps a late cut to deposit a rare Hazlewood half-tracker to the fence. The frustration continues for Australia a ball later when Hazlewood cuts the batsman in half. How did that miss the stumps?
101st over: India 280-6 (Jadeja 33, Saha 23)
Peter Handscomb does some very smart work diving to his right to snare a close-in chance, but there is no prolonged appeal from the Australians because it’s flown off the thigh pad without contact from the bat. Handscomb has really added a new dimension to Australia’s fielding in there at short leg. Add in Glenn Maxwell’s ground fielding and throwing and the tourists have lifted from quite dreary and pedestrian in the field to something above adequate. Surprising: this is now the second-highest partnership of the innings.
100th over: India 279-6 (Jadeja 32, Saha 23)
Wriddhiman Saha has three Test centuries this year and when he glides Cummins down to third man at the start of the over he also passes 1,000 Test runs and brings up the 50-run partnership with Jadeja. Soon after Jadeja gets three with a wristy drive through cover, and suddenly runs are a lot easier to come by for the Indian pair. Saha opens the face to the final delivery and gets a streaky four, though a deliberate one. Steve Smith has a bit of a headache here. This partnership is really blossoming on day three.
99th over: India 269-6 (Jadeja 29, Saha 16)
“Change of bowler. Right arm over,” says Gunner Gould, signalling the return of Nathan Lyon with some spin. A full toss first up allows Saha to pat a single down to long leg, then Jadeja drives to deep extra cover for the same result. Both of them are comfortable against spin, though Ravi Jadeja’s stats have always told us this isn’t quite so. After a few sighters Jadeja frees his arms and spanks Lyon over long-on for a big six. Bang!
98th over: India 260-6 (Jadeja 22, Saha 14)
Another LBW shout from Cummins, but Marais Erasmus shakes his head. It wasn’t the worst shout, but Australia have no reviews left. A little peeved, Cummins whistles a brute of a bouncer past Jadeja’s elbow but again the Indian swivels out of the way beautifully. Sunny Gavaskar is so happy with that leave he almost dies from the sheer ecstasy of it all. In among all that frothing, Cummins is putting in a helluva shift of fast bowling. Health permitting, he could be the answer to Australia’s wishes for a Ryan Harris replacement; both strike bowler and master of containment.
97th over: India 260-6 (Jadeja 22, Saha 14)
Hazlewood goes after Jadeja’s rib cage now but the Indian all-rounder shuffles back and swivels, both judging and executing his leave perfectly to get body and bat out of the path of the ball. He’s even smarter a delivery later when he opens the face of the bat for what looks like a single, but hares back for a well-read second run. Glenn Maxwell is thus forced to throw to the bowler’s end, and there is no chance of a run-out there. Hazlewood has a forlorn LBW shout to end the over, but it was surely sailing well past leg. The ump is having none of it. Leg bye.
96th over: India 257-6 (Jadeja 20, Saha 14)
Pat Cummins has been very sharp so far this morning. Saha picks up two runs by guiding the paceman through point, but a ball later he’s beaten all ends up and almost feathers an edge behind to Matthew Wade. At the risk of annoying people who don’t like hearing about commentary, I think even they will appreciate this gem from Sanjay Manjrekar: the former Indian batsman takes one look into the distance at the snow-topped cedar forests at the edge of the Himalayas – which provide such a stunning backdrop to cricket matches in Dharamsala – and says: “What a great movie it was, Cliffhanger.”
95th over: India 255-6 (Jadeja 20, Saha 12)
Hazlewood’s been right on the button, as per usual, but he strays onto Saha’s pads to concede a leg bye with his fourth delivery. Otherwise you can set your watch to his line and length. Or maybe your measuring tape. Anyway, you know what I mean. Jadeja finishes the over by cracking another straight drive but being a little bit closer to mid-on, David Warner is able to scramble across, dive and pull off the stop.
94th over: India 254-6 (Jadeja 20, Saha 12)
It mightn’t be the last laugh, but Jadeja gets back on track against Cummins when he cracks the paceman straight down the wicket and inches past the stumps at the non-striker’s end to pick up four. “As a pace bowler that is the biggest insult you can be given,” says Sunil Gavaskar, insult expert. I’m not sold on that. He over-pitched and got put away. Nothing more, nothing less. What Jadeja has done in this over is reacquaint himself with the concept of the leave. Not a bad idea.
93rd over: India 250-6 (Jadeja 16, Saha 12)
Wriddhiman Saha enjoys a far more convincing start than his partner, letting go a sighter from Hazlewood and then confidently driving to deep cover for two runs. Otherwise Hazlewood is digging it in short and forcing Saha to duck and weave, but there is no hint he’ll fend one to the cordon, which is currently two slips and a gully.
92nd over: India 248-6 (Jadeja 16, Saha 10)
The noise – and there definitely was one – was Jadeja’s bat clipping his pad as he attempted a loose drive. A few balls later Cummins has another throaty shout. LBW is the hope this time, but it pitched well outside the line of leg stump. Still…Jadeja is groping about like a rookie in the early stages. He takes another rusty swing at the fourth delivery, but misses by a mile. The Australian slips cordon coos as one, then Cummins cuts the Indian batsman in half with his next. What an over that was. It wasn’t until the final delivery that Jadeja finally got bat on one.
Jadeja’s version of the leave is easily my favourite. #INDvAUS
Erasmus has botched this one. Easy mistake to make first up. A lot of air between bat and ball. As you were.
The Indian has barely had time to wipe the sleep from his eyes and he’s already been given out! He reviews it, but Pat Cummins is very happy with himself.
We’re a few minutes from play now…and before anybody angrily writes in, yes I understand that Lyon and Ashwin have the same wicket tallies in this series, but I still think Lyon has bowled better. He’s taken his at at seven runs less per wicket than Ashwin, for one thing. Anyway, let’s do this.
Meanwhile, in New Zealand..
Kane Williamson has levelled the late, great Martin Crowe for Test centuries. But I bet he can’t rock a Reebok headband and wide-brimmed beige hat quite like the latter.
Most Test hundreds for NZ
Martin Crowe – 17
Kane Williamson – 17
Ross Taylor – 16
B McCullum – 12
J Wright – 12#NZvSA
Che Pujara’s ridiculous form…has stretched to 1,316 runs in 13 Tests this season. They’ve come at an average of 65.8, and taken in four centuries and eight 50s. He’s stopped by now for an interview now and rues the dismissal of KL Rahul late yesterday, which sparked India’s mini collapse. “It was a shame he got out after tea, otherwise things could be different for us,” Pujara says. “Nathan Lyon bowled well yesterday, but we still should have negotiated it…There was one session where we didn’t bat well.” You can say that again.
The local sights
I’m a hack with a camera, but this gives you a small taste of Dharamshala – the extraordinary town which will decide the series. #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/5JosUpy1PU
Hello all and welcome to day three of the fourth Test in Dharamsala, which promises to be a match-turning one. If so, it could prove series-deciding. As you well know, THIS. IS. IT. The decider. “This is a huuuuge day,” says Allan Border on the TV now. He’s said that every day of the series, to be honest, but he hasn’t been wrong by doing so. Each of these four Tests has been played at fever pitch. The pressure has been relentless, each twist and turn a doozy. Australia are now in with a shot of pulling off a remarkable Border-Gavaskar Trophy win. Nobody expected them to get close in this series. I certainly didn’t. I thought it would be a 4-0 sweep for the home side. So stick around, but also…don’t listen to me.
Russell will be here shortly, giving you just enough time to read how Nathan Lyon spun a web to trap the Indians in Dharamsala yesterday.
Related: Fourth Test: Lyon bags four wickets for Australia as India stagger in reply