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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Revamped Australia's frailties exposed once more by India's attack: T4D1

Australia 8/231 (98 ov, Siddle 47*, Smith 46, Hughes 45, Cowan 38, Ashwin 4/40, Jadeja 2/34, Sharma 2/35) v India: T4 D1 at Delhi.

The more things change ...Australia made five changes, bringing back three of the four miscreants suspended from selection (though not substitute duties) for T3, and appointing one of them, Shane Watson, captain in lieu of the injured Michael Clarke. (IMO the best replacement would have been Brad Haddin, though I can see when he wasn't chosen).

Australia recovered well from the early loss of David Warner to be 2/94 at lunch, but then the now customary middle order collapse set in as the Indian bowlers - Ravi Ashwin 30-17-40-4 outstanding - worked through the innings until some late resistance from Steve Smith 46/145 b (2x6, 3x4), Peter Siddle 47*/125b( 4x4) and James Pattinson took the team from the precipice of disaster (and embarrassment) at 7/136 to a better, if by no means dominant 8/231 at stumps on a day in which 98 overs were delivered.

The pitch has played a few (but not many) tricks, which has perplexed the commentators, some of whom feel that 280 or so may be a competitive total (or maybe they're just trying to make what seems to me to be a one sided game look less so).

Disclosure: I began to lose faith in Australia when at 115 prodigal son Watson played a prodigal stroke and was stumped for 17 running down the wicket to Ravi Jadeja. After Glenn Maxwell's T20 hoick I gave up and switched the TV off.

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