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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

India show signs of batting potential after their trundlers let Australia amass big score: T4D2


India 1/71 (25ov, Sharma 40*/76b/ 2x6 3x4, Rahul 31*/71b/2x4) trail Australia 7/572d (152.3ov, Smith 117/208b/15x4, Warner 101, Rogers 95, Watson 81/183b/7x4, Marsh 73/116b/1x6 9x4, Burns 58/114b/10x4, Mohammed Shami 28.3-3-112-5) by 501 with 9 1st inns wkts in hand: T4/4 D2/5 at SCG.

It would be drawing the longest of bows to say that India had the better of the day's play, but they did in the first session,when their often wayward bowlers dismissed both Steve Smith - after he'd completed another magesterial century--and Shane Watson - who completed an almost magesterial 81.

Shaun Marsh and an initially tentative Joe Burns realigned the innings with the team's goals and, despite falling in the quest for quick ruins, gave Australia a big score and seemed to knock the stuffing out of india's attack . Bhuveneshwar Kumar, who I'd seen on TV perplexing some good batters, looked unfit and well below par - and pace: 34-5-122-0 sums it up (while the speed gun showed him dropping below 110km/hr as the day progressed: net bowler standard?

But as Australia moved towards a declaration KL (Lokesh) Rahul took a tentative step towards redemption by catching Burns in the outfield.

When India at last were allowed to bat, and Murali Vijay fell to Mitchell Starc for a duck, Rahul and Rohit Sharma showed more guts and determination than I expected. They hung on, then tentatively counterpunched.

Australia are still well on top but maybe- on the evidence of the Rahul- Sharma stand to date- there 's still some hard work for them to do if they are to win.

Otherwise we'll be left with another slow day replete with images of Richie Benaud lookalikes and audio of the Channel 9 commentators chuntering on about peripheral matters & spruiking memorabilia.

Scorecard http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia-v-india-2014-15/engine/match/754743.html


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