This article titled “Australia beat India by 66 runs in first one-day international – as it happened” was written by Adam Collins and Geoff Lemon, for theguardian.com on Friday 27th November 2020 12.14 UTC
That’s that. Steve Smith will soon be named player of the match for his brilliant ton. Thanks for your company. I’ll be back in a few hours for the next OBO on the page, the T20 series opener between South Africa and England at Newlands then Geoff will taken the baton for the first innings on Sunday. Until then, stay well.
AUSTRALIA WIN BY 66 RUNS!
50th over: India 308-8 (Saini 29, Bumrah 0) Target 375. Australia go one-up in the three-game ODI series. A dreary end, but 700-plus runs – nothing to sneeze at.
WICKET! Shami b Starc 13 (India 308-8)
Bowls him with the yorker. Something for Starc to take from his sketchy night.
49th over: India 307-7 (Saini 28, Shami 13) Target 375. Since I started this OBO, an international tour has been cancelled, I’ve had a flight to Australia finally confirmed after months of heartache and my daughter has probably taken her first steps downstairs. Josh Hazlewood, who took three wickets in the power play some weeks ago, finishes his night with 3/55. Now get some sleep, big fella.
48th over: India 299-7 (Saini 21, Shami 13) Target 375. And after that review, Starc is now running back to his mark after every ball. Sadly, the lights have remained on at 11pm – a DRS result would have been good craic after eight hours. Two to go!
NOT OUT. Not even close. Bonkers sport sometimes, cricket.
HAS STARC PICKED UP SHAMI DOWN THE LEGSIDE? Does anyone care? They’ve sent it upstairs anyway. Let’s go to the DRS.
47th over: India 297-7 (Saini 20, Shami 12) Target 375. Shami shows he has some muscle, lifting Maxwell over midwicket for a GIANT six then leaping down the track to clip him for four more. Fair play. Saini gets a boundary too, albeit off the edge. Ruining Maxwell’s otherwise tidy figures there. And… Starc to return. Sure.
46th over: India 282-7 (Saini 16, Shami 1) Target 375. Zampa finishes with 4/54. “He’s at his peak,” says Kerry O’Keefe. “And he’s very bullish about his next few years. He wants a Test cap.” Sure, his First Class numbers are poor but Australia do play a lot of cricket in the subcontinent, especially in 2022. Some chance.
WICKET! Jadeja c Starc b Zampa 25 (India 281-7)
Zampa gets a fourth – so well bowled. Forget that it comes from a Jadeja slog, pouched by Starc at long-on, he’s done a wonderful job tonight throughout.
45th over: India 273-6 (Jadeja 18, Saini 15) Target 375. Saini bombs Maxwell over his head for six, which won’t help if their goal is to wrap this up in 10 minutes! Shane Warne makes a point worth repeating: does the one-day World Cup super league includes a Net Run Rate component, so India don’t want to get bowled out.
44th over: India 264-6 (Jadeja 17, Saini 7) Target 375. And now we find out why the Australians are racing through… curfew at 11pm local time at the SCG! That’s 12 minutes away. Will they turn the lights off? Could we be so lucky?
43rd over: India 259-6 (Jadeja 16, Saini 4) Target 375. A carbon-copy effort from Maxwell, three singles again. Carey was interested in a stumping shout off Saini but they elected not to send it upstairs. TV tells me that India took four hours and six minutes to complete their 50 overs with the ball earlier today. Not good.
42nd over: India 256-6 (Jadeja 14, Saini 3) Target 375. Zampa’s turn for one of those 90-second overs, just three singles again. No intent from India at all; they’re trying to bat out the overs. As they say in AFL-speak, we’ve entered junk time.
41st over: India 253-6 (Jadeja 12, Saini 2) Target 375. Maxwell is trying to race through this over as quickly as possible – and doing it well. Fair to assume that Finch and Kohli will both be in trouble with the match ref for how long they have taken to get through their overs today. But why aren’t India trying to take it on? Have they given up? Just three singles here – how odd.
40th over: India 250-6 (Jadeja 10, Saini 1) Target 375. It shouldn’t be a relevation that Hazlewood is now a brilliant ODI bowler – he did play in a World Cup winning team five years ago – but coming in 2020 as it did after a couple of years where he was trending towards Test Matches Only territory, it’s been a fine turnaround.
39th over: India 247-6 (Jadeja 9, Saini 0) Target 375. One run and the (likely) matchwinning wicket of Pandya. When you consider where Zampa’s night started – dropping Kohli in single digits at fine leg – he’s going very well indeed now with 3/38 to his name after seven overs. With 11 to go, India require just on 12 an over.
WICKET! Zampa c Starc b Zampa 90 (India 247-6)
Pandya holes out to Starc on the long-on rope! That’s his sweet spot and he had to keep going for it but a fine innings comes to an end. With it, surely, India’s hopes.
38th over: India 246-5 (Pandya 90, Jadeja 7) Target 375. Up over ten an over for India now, Cummins in charge of this one. Pandya gets him away down the ground, a resourceful stroke where there is a man inside the circle at mid-on and getting four for it. But from here, they need better than a boundary an over.
37th over: India 237-5 (Pandya 85, Jadeja 3) Target 375. Zampa has been so impressive after Pandya got hold of him a couple of times early, still happy to attack the stumps and mix up his speeds. We see the wrong’un and a willingness to play the cat and mouse game as required. Just five from it, Zampa wins the over.
36th over: India 232-5 (Pandya 83, Jadeja 1) Target 375. Cummins pulls out a perfect over in a modern ODI defence, slamming it down and changing his pace throughout – just one run form it. With Jadeja struggling to get into the swing so far, Pandya has no choice – he has to take Zampa on. Also, an update to the Stoinis advice: it is his left side (rather than groin) causing his discomfort.
35th over: India 231-4 (Pandya 82, Jadeja 1) Target 375. CA have told us, through their spokesman, that Marcus Stoinis has a “minor groin strain” and won’t return to the field tonight. Meanwhile, Zampa finishes his successful over – four runs and the Dhawan wicket. He still has five of the 15 overs to bowl through to the death.
WICKET! Dhawan c Starc b Zampa 74 (India 229-5)
And a wicket they get! Via Zampa and Starc, two Australians who have had rollercoaster nights, but the latter on holds on at mid-off with Dhawan unable to clear him after using his feet to the spinner. That’s a big moment in this game.
34th over: India 227-4 (Dhawan 73, Pandya 80) Target 375. Cummins returns, has has five to bowl – good news for Finch. Dhawan flicks him to the rope at one stage but six runs off the over is a win for Australia. They just need a breakthrough.
Stoinis leaves the field
33rd over: India 221-4 (Dhawan 68, Pandya 79) Target 375. Two balls into his overm Stoinis is off with an injury. A leg issue? Looks to be. Maxwell finishes it off well, just three from it. A test for Aaron Finch here now – how does he stitch it together?
32nd over: India 218-4 (Dhawan 67, Pandya 77) Target 375. Three overs in a row where India have recovered an otherwise quiet set with a boundary at the end, Dhawan this time playing a glorious cut shot off Hazlewood behind point. So, 18 overs to go and a required rate of 8.7. Australia need to remember that out there – it’s a long way to the finish line with one wicket bound to change everything.
31st over: India 213-4 (Dhawan 63, Pandya 76) Target 375. Stoinis is Finch’s Mr Fixit here, this time swung around to replace Starc. Four balls into the fresh spell he has given up just one single, which is why Dhawan sets up early to pull just as Pandya did against Hazlewood in his previous set – a well-needed boundary.
30th over: India 208-4 (Dhawan 59, Pandya 75) Target 375. Hazlewood is back. The main man tonight, with three wickets to his name earlier, has four overs in the bank for Finch to carefully allocate. Pandya waits for the right ball to take a calculated punt, back deep before the ball is bowled to pull and pull for four.
29th over: India 201-4 (Dhawan 58, Pandya 69) Target 375. It makes sense that Finch is trying to get these Starc overs out of the way as soon as possible. This doesn’t go well though, Pandya up to the task of taking a length delivery over cover for four then getting off the turf to pull four more behind square later in the set. Three to finish, a clip into the gap at midwicket – that brings up the 100 stand in 97 balls. Drinks are on the field; the required rate is 8.3 for the final stanza. Game on.
28th over: India 190-4 (Dhawan 58, Pandya 58) Target 375. We’ve got to be on track for the slowest full 50-over international played without a weather intervention? This game started seven hours ago and there’s still at least two hours left if this goes all the way. Stoinis is playing is role so well, 0/19 from five.
27th over: India 185-4 (Dhawan 55, Pandya 56) Target 375. Okay, Starc again. He starts well enough but with the fourth ball, he’s well down legside again – the 50th run he’s conceded after 5.3 legal overs. But he gets to the other end of it only giving up three. He has 24 balls left and he can forget that tonight ever happened.
26th over: India 182-4 (Dhawan 54, Pandya 55) Target 375. Quality again from Stoinis, bowling it into the pitch with his range of cutters taking pace off the ball nicely. He’s bowled four overs, 0/14. Maxwell has sent down two. Stoinis might end up having to bowl a couple of Staerc’s as well if this goes to the death.
Dhawan to 50!
25th over: India 180-4 (Dhawan 53, Pandya 54) Target 375. Cummins drops one now! In fact, he barely got a hand on the Dhawan hoick, losing it in the lights at fine leg! Not at all what Starc needs when having a night like this. That’s Dhawan’s 50, too, as the ball trickles into the rope – 55 balls for him to reach the milestone; the backbone of this chase. It doesn’t any better for the left-arm quick when sending down a full toss to Dhawan that is, quite strangely, not given as a waist-high no-ball? It looked like it was referred to the third umpire? Hard to tell from the broadcast. Pandya’s turn and a top edge that… bisects two fielders! Starc is having some kind of night out there, 0/48 from his five so far. Has to keep it together.
24th over: India 173-4 (Dhawan 53, Pandya 48) Target 375. Stoinis is doing plenty right so far, both batsmen happy taking singles from him. As a bowler, his stocks have been on the rise over the last twelve months or so. Had a very good IPL.
Pandya to 50!
23rd over: India 169-4 (Dhawan 46, Pandya 51) Target 375. The answer to my rhetorical question from the previous over is… now. Pandya has taken down Maxwell to the tune of 18 from the over, pulling behind square for four then clipping over square leg for SIX then launching him for ANOTHER SIX over long-on to bring up his half-century in 31 deliveries. Will he keep the foot down or pull back an bit, picking his moments? Without a doubt he’s the key to this for India.
22nd over: India 151-4 (Dhawan 45, Pandya 34) Target 375. Stoinis is swung around to replace Zampa and it’s another beaut, just two singles. When will Pandya really pull the trigger? I’m tempted to offer a summary of the football/Maradona exchange between Warne and Waugh but I’ll leave it to your imagination.
21st over: India 149-4 (Dhawan 45, Pandya 33) Target 375. Right, so Finch has now turned to Maxwell for the second over from this fifth bowler allocation. Despite struggling in the IPL with the bat he was very handy with the ball, and did a nice job in England too at times too, so he’ll be up for this. And it’s an uneventful start, just what his captain would have wanted, five from it to the sweepers on the rope.
20th over: India 144-4 (Dhawan 42, Pandya 31) Target 375. For the second time Zampa had given Pandya some air and for the second time he’s been bombed over his head with a huge strike over long-on, that’s a BIG SIX. It should be a successful over for the spinner though, Dhawan driving straight to Maxwell at cover, but he’s put him down! That’s very rare from one of the best fielders of all time.
19th over: India 135-4 (Dhawan 41, Pandya 23) Target 375. Right, so here we are with the Australian fifth bowler, delayed until now due to those early wickets via Hazlewood. It’s Stoinis initially to play that role, with Maxwell in support with his spin if required. It takes until the final delivery to get the boundary they need from it, Dhawan holding his pose after dispatching the seamer through midwicket.
18th over: India 128-4 (Dhawan 36, Pandya 21) Target 375. Whack! That’s Hardik Pandya’s best play, launching Zampa long and high and straight, over long-on for SIX! When he hits it, as they say, it stays hit. Zampa beats him with some extra flight later in the over and wins an outside edge, but there’s no slip – four more.
17th over: India 117-4 (Dhawan 36, Pandya 10) Target 375. Pandya pulls Cummins away for four early in the over. They need these consistent boundaries, it won’t be enough to simply wait for the fifth bowler to cash in later. Speaking of Stoinis, he makes an outstanding diving stop running around from square leg later in the over, kept in by no more than an inch. The best of the modern game right there.
16th over: India 110-4 (Dhawan 36, Pandya 3) Target 375. Tidy again, Zampa – just four off it, and very close to Dhawan rolling a ball back onto his woodwork, saved by some savvy footwork to kick it away. We’ve seen the cricket/football crossover in full flight this week at Tottenham, pleasing to see it go the other away here.
15th over: India 106-4 (Dhawan 34, Pandya 1) Target 375. Finch is now ringing the changes, Cummins on for Starc; not allowing any rhythm to form in the chase. A front-foot no-ball to begin – accurately called by the TV official, what a joy it is to see excellent reform in action in Australia – but very little else. For all the runs in the first six overs, the require rate has swelled from 7.5 to 7.7 by the end of 15.
14th over: India 103-4 (Dhawan 33, Pandya 1) Target 375. Ooh, Zampa’s wrong’un goes past the edge of Dhawan, so close to that outside edge. Four runs and the wicket from Zampa’s first over. He can really relax into his work at the bowling crease now with what happened to him earlier at fine leg well behind him.
WICKET! KL Rahul c Smith b Zampa 12 (India 101-4)
Zampa into the attack and gets a bit of luck right away, KL Rahul driving a low full toss straight into the hands of Smith at short cover. And that’s drinks.
13th over: India 99-3 (Dhawan 31, KL Rahul 11) Target 375. With Gilchrist, O’Keefe and Julian now on commentary, the conversation broadens out a bit. One point from that: it’s a good thing that we have these white-ball matches ahead of the Test summer. Of course, scheduling is a nightmare – not least with an Aussie summer – but the playing Tests in early November never feels quite right. Assuming England are going to be in for three ODIs as well as Tests next summer (after the T20 World Cup, that is), I hope they find a way to slot them in before the Ashes. Meanwhile, Starc has finally pushed through an accurate over, just the one single to Rahul.
12th over: India 98-3 (Dhawan 31, KL Rahul 10) Target 375. First up in the Hazlewood’s new over and it nearly brings a fourth wicket through his short option, Dhawan not in control with a hook that hands just short of Zampa at long leg. An appeal for caught behind down the legside later in the over but an exercise in trying to avoid a wide being signalled – they aren’t successful.
“Social media has not been too kind to the Indian team so far,” emails Abhijato Sensarma. “The pitch might very well be a road, but they’ve still not been anywhere near their best. I’ve watched enough highlight reels to cross-verify that the standard of fielding has indeed been at par with its less rigorous performances of the 1990s … The batting threatens to collapse too, and there is no Sachin Tendulkar to pull it out of the hat for a retro kit-donning India anymore.”
11th over: India 93-3 (Dhawan 29, KL Rahul 8) Target 375. India’s turn to push back, and why wouldn’t they with these two stars in the middle? And why wouldn’t they try and keep Starc down after his first two overs? The returning quick gives Dhawan something to drive through cover to start his new spell and it is driven away for four, another top shot – a shame he hasn’t had more strike. At the other end, Rahul plays with such soft hands behind point to get his first boundary. 13 off the over, leaving Starc with the figures of 0/40 off three. Still has a job to do.
10th over: India 80-3 (Dhawan 24, KL Rahul 0) Target 375. Two in the over. Meanwhile, Dhawan (24 from 19) has been seen a delivery in the last four overs of the power play. The temptation will surely be to keep Hazlewood going for another couple while it is working so well. He has 3/27 from his five with the field up.
WICKET! Shreyas Iyer c Carey b Hazlewood 2 (India 80-3)
Two in the over! And once again, it’s the Josh Hazlewood bumper that does the trick, on this occasion too quick for the new man who tried to pull out of the shot but couldn’t get his blade out of way in time, ballooning up to Carey. Superb.
WICKET! Kohli c Finch b Hazlewood 21 (India 78-2)
Hazlewood gets Kohli! Pulled straight to Finch at short midwicket. Once again, he’s followed him with that accurate short ball after the Indian captain made some room – outstanding cricket from Bendemeer Bullet. And Zampa can breathe again.
9th over: India 76-1 (Dhawan 23, Kohli 20) Target 375. Good grief, that clip from Kohli! From about off-stump, he’s taken it from his hip deep into the audience at deep backward square leg. Absurd timing – he’s the best. Zampa is in the game again at short fine, Kohli turning in his direction, but he’s able to get down to it with a safe stop. So important that he’s in a good frame of mind before bowling.
8th over: India 67-1 (Dhawan 22, Kohli 13) Target 375. Hazlewood, fantastic. Again, just when Australia needed a solid over after the dropped catch he delivers. India still need 7.3 an over but if these two bat for 90 minutes that won’t be so daunting.
Zampa drops Kohli!
7th over: India 64-1 (Dhawan 21, Kohli 11) Target 375. Straight down Zampa’s throat at fine leg, Kohli’s hooked top edge straight to the spinner… in and out! OH, NO! Such super bowling from Cummins to draw the error but it is all for nothing, the Indian captain responding with a far more imposing pull for four before dancing down the track to hammer him through cover for four more to finish. What drama!
6th over: India 54-1 (Dhawan 21, Kohli 1) Target 375. What a roar as the King sprints out to the middle. But Hazlewood, after his breakthrough, is up to the task with three accurate dots then finding the inside edge of Kohli’s bat to finish. Super bowling just when Australia needed it. Watching the replay back, the best part of the wicket-taking delivery was how he adjusted to follow Agarwal, who was backing away to try and flay him over point again. Fast bowling at its best.
WICKET! Agarwal c Maxwell b Hazlewood 22 (India 53-1)
Top edge, taken by Maxwell! Short, bang on target – that’s Josh Hazlewood.
5th over: India 53-0 (Agarwal 22, Dhawan 21) Target 375. The change is made: Cummins on for Starc. But it doesn’t change a thing – a big full toss first up is helped away through cover for four more, Dhawan moving India to 50 in 25 balls. Aaron Finch won’t panic but he will know that his RCB teammate Virat Kohli is next in, the most dominant 50-over player of all time. Cummins is back into his awkward back-of-a-length channel soon enough but when he tries out a bumper to Agarwal it doesn’t work – another wide. A bit rattled? Looks it.
“Hi Adam.” Hello, Damien McLean. “Glad you and Geoff are on the OBO today with that classic Maxwellball innings, can’t wait to hear you both dissect it. Does it get any more Maxwell than that? 45 off 19 so no half century stat, that shot over first slip spinning the bat in his hand was outrageous, two switch hits in a row for 10 runs, probably was the key to getting up over 350 but will be overshadowed by Smith and Finch centuries. Totally Maxwellball for mine, was so glad to witness it. Thanks for your work.”
Indeed, Maxwellball at its best. I was watching with nine-month-old trying to explain to her why I was getting so carried away – I suspect she’s already worked it out. And lovely to be back on the OBO with Geoff, always our home ground.
4th over: India 46-0 (Agarwal 21, Dhawan 16) Target 375. Hazlewood was magnificently frugal (and effective) with the new ball in England, bowling some gorgeous spells at Manchester to set up that series win in September. Of course, there’s nothing for the hosts to be too worried about as yet, but they could do with a dot-heavy over from the giant right-armer. And that’s precisely what he’s giving them until the penultimate delivery when Agarwal opens up the off-side and lifts him over deep point for six! That’s an outrageous shot! Can play, this man.
3rd over: India 39-0 (Agarwal 15, Dhawan 15) Target 375. It continues! First ball of the new Starc over and Dhawan strokes him with class through cover point out towards the SCG members. Not much wrong with the ball, that’s a super stroke on the up. As Harsha Bhogle puts it best, India haven’t played an away game – as far as crowd noise are concerned – for 20 years. And sure enough, the fans of the boys in blue are making plenty of noise. When Agarwal gets his turn again, he’s given something short and wide but can’t put it away due to a piece of Maxwell brilliance at point. Another quality quick single to finish from Dhawan into the off-side.
2nd over: India 32-0 (Agarwal 14, Dhawan 9) Target 375. That was the second worst first over ever in an ODI, the TV tells me. By the time this is done, it could be the latest finish for a 50-over game at the SCG as well, already 7:30pm local time. Hazlewood’s turn, with whom there is no concern with his radar, but Agarwal takes advantage from a slightly overpitched offering to slam a cover drive for four. Lovely shot. Edge next, four more! India are 30 from 10 (legal) balls. A misfield to finish too, through Maxwell at cover. 12 off the over. We have a live one here.
1st over: India 20-0 (Agarwal 2, Dhawan 9) Target 375. Agarwal off the mark first ball, squeezing a quick single. Starc’s first ball to Dhawan is speered down the legside, the left-hander off the mark later in the over with a quick single of his own to midwicket. “They can’t win it in the first ten but they can certainly lose it,” says Adam Gilchrist on telly. Spot on. Later in the over, Starc goes out wide to Agarwal who tries to cut but misses. It’s called a wide – I’m not sure about that; the right-hander made it look worse than it was with his lack of footwork. Ooh, no such confusion with the next ball, waaaay down the legside – two feet down the legside! – giving Carey no chance. Wow, three wides in a row now, overcorrecting to Agarwal well outside the off-stump. It prompts a change to around the wicket. He’s bowled four all up and there are still three deliveries to come in the over. Dhawan gets the chance to clip off his pads from one of those and doesn’t miss out, tucking over Labuschagne at square leg, skipping away for four. And it has been called as a retrospective front-foot no-ball!. Another close call but that’s what the technology is there for. Free hit… back over his head for four! One ball to come in the over and India are already up to 20. He finishes with a dot but goodness me, where does that rank in terms of the worst overs that the big left-armer has sent down for Australia?
“There’s actually 3 series starting today,” writes Mani Deep. “You missed mentioning NZ vs WI that’s going on right now.” Of course! I was just reading about that before coming on. Interesting broadcast news from over there: in the absence of a TV partner in the UK, we can watch it over here for free on YouTube.
The players are back on the field! Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal for India in the absence of Rohit Sharma, rested from this series. They need to go at exactly 7.5 an over to reach the hefty victory target of 375. Mitch Starc, the most effective quick in the history of ODI cricket, has the ball in his hand for the hosts. PLAY!
Of course, this is one of two international series starting today. The other, the T20s between South Africa and England, begins later this afternoon (UK time). I’ll also be with you on the OBO for that, as it happens – can’t stop, won’t stop. Here’s Ali Martin’s preview piece from Cape Town out of Eoin Morgan’s press conference.
Thanks, Geoff. I woke up in London just when Finch raised three figures, before Maxwell enjoyed his brilliant turn. Compare that to the last time I was logging on for a one-day international shift at the SCG in March when the ground was empty and silent, with a foreboding sense of what was the come. Lovely to see.
Perhaps less enjoyable for fans of the IPL franchises where the aforementioned Victorians, and Smith at the Royals, struggled to cut through in their recently completed T20 season. A different story today in the canary yellow on home soil.
Right, housekeeping before we get into it: you can drop me a line at any time, or ping me a tweet if that’s more your thing. And as you eat your dinner and wait for India’s chase, I’ll leave you with a lovely chat Geoff and I had during the week with Pete Siddle, ten years on from his birthday Ashes hat-trick at the Gabba.
India must chase 375 to win
A big innings comes to an end – big in every sense. It’s 40 minutes past the scheduled end of the innings, meaning that the chase should have started 10 minutes ago. The Australians had about 58 breaks to change gloves, and the Indians drifted in the field.
What an impressive day with the bat though for the Australians, who haven’t played international cricket in so long. Stoinis and Labuschagne were out very quickly but everyone else went big. Warner and Finch have an opening partnership that is entering the conversation as one of the very best. They put on 156 together today. Finch got another ton. Smith got his fastest by an absolute mile. Maxwell started a surge that added 120-odd runs in 10 overs. Carey did enough at the end. Only Shami, with 3 for 59 from his full overs, came out of the day unscathed.
India love chasing, but they have a huge task ahead here.
That’s enough from me, I’ll hand over to Adam Collins for the reply.
50th over: Australia 374-6 (Carey 17, Cummins 1) Pat Cummins will bat with three balls left in the match. Hits hard down the ground for one run to long-off. Shami around the wicket to Carey bowls a perfect yorker for none. Tries the scoop from the final ball, misses it, and Cummins is fast off the mark to get through for a bye.
WICKET! Smith b Shami 105 (65), Australia 372-6
Shami to bowl the last, and he keeps Smith scoreless from the first ball, beating the bat outside off. Not from the second, driven over cover for four! A flat loft, hard and flying away. The next ball ends this marvellous day for Smith though, a low full toss curling in a bit, Smith backing away trying to get something on it, and misses as it hits middle and off stump low down on the full.
Century! Smith 100 from 62 balls
49th over: Australia 368-5 (Smith 100, Carey 17) I’ve totally lost track of the fact that Smith is gunning for a century. What a mad last few overs. He’s facing Bumrah, and he…
he sweeps it for four!
A sweep shot! Against one of the best fast bowlers in the world. Down on one knee, to a wide ball outside off, and Smith just held the horizontal bat there, at the right angle, and almost let the ball bounce off the bat behind square leg. Hit the gap. Four runs.
Next ball? Drives it through point for one, and that’s his century! Surely that’s the fastest he’s ever made. The 10th of his career. What an innings.
Carey backs away again, gets a high full toss from Bumrah, and slaps it over cover for four. Next ball, two runs for Carey becomes three with a misfield from Kohli who was backing up, the ball keeping low and scuttling through his legs in the infield.
48th over: Australia 355-5 (Smith 95, Carey 10) Saini, to Smith, and the first ball of the over goes soaring into the O’Reilly stand! Over extra cover, lofted, long, and Smith has been blazing tonight. He comes across the stumps and tries to ramp, but only gets a bit of wood on it to short fine for a single. Carey tries to pull, bottom edge into his ribs and that hurts. Left-hander facing a right-armer coming around the wicket angling it in. So Carey backs away and slaps over cover for four! That’s the trick. A couple of singles to close the over.
47th over: Australia 342-5 (Smith 87, Carey 5) Bumrah has the ball in his second-last over, and he is absolutely nailing it. Yorker, yorker, yorker. Keeps them to three singles in a row while the commentators are talking about Australia making 400. Make that four singles in a row. Around the wicket to the left-handed Carey, angled in at his boots, perfect, dot ball! Carey scoops the last ball away through midwicket and they have to do some dicey running to get back for a second. Six from the over, a triumph for Bumrah.
46th over: Australia 336-5 (Smith 85, Carey 1) Labuschagne out off the second ball of the over, Smith misses a wide down the leg side and is furious that he doesn’t glance it for four. Gets a wide yorker from Saini next ball and drives that behind point for two. Smith shapes to ramp the next ball but bails out when it’s too short to do so, and manages to bunt a single behind point. Alex Carey on strike, a ton on his last start for Australia back in September. Drives a run, slower ball, well stopped by Dhawan at backward point who is being pursued by this ball. Smith swings and misses at a wide one, not too wide. Six from the over, a good one for Saini.
WICKET! Labuschagne c Dhawan b Saini 2 (2), Australia 331-5
Labuschagne doesn’t last long. Has to go for it. Tries a big loft down the ground, and two things happen for India: Dhawan gets a catch, after a hard day in the field, and Saini takes a wicket, after a hard day with the ball.
45th over: Australia 330-4 (Smith 81, Labuschagne 2) Out comes Marnus with 31 balls to go, and gets off the mark driving two runs down the ground right away.
WICKET! Maxwell c Jadeja b Shami 45 (19), Australia 328-4
Steve Smith has been down the non-striker’s end a lot recently, so he hits the first ball of Shami’s new over for six as well. Why not! Whips it off his legs and away over deep square! Follows up with a single to give Maxwell the strike.
“Glenn Maxwell is playing like Happy Gilmore,” says Ed Cowan on ABC radio.
Shami bowls very wide of off, and Maxwell swipes and doesn’t connect. Chahal has come off the ground with the medical staff, limping a bit. Might have hurt his ankle by the look the way he’s walking.
Shami might wish he was going off injured, as Maxwell plays a reverse lap shot for four! Over slip. Reaches wide of off stump, angles the bat like a ramp, then changes his wrist grip to divert it to the off side rather than the leg. What.
Fifth ball of the over, Shami gets some relief. And funnily Maxwell falls to the most conventional shot of his stay. Tries the lofted drive down the ground, doesn’t hit it sweetly enough, and Jadeja back on the rope comes in to claim the catch.
Catch your breath while we’re catching things. What a show.
44th over: Australia 317-3 (Smith 74, Maxwell 41) Navdeep Saini to bowl, and Smith just turns over the strike immediately. Saini just places the ball up there, and Glenn Maxwell plays a pick-up shot off his pads for six! Huuuuge! Just lifts that ball away from a fullish length, and it bounces deep into the concourse of the Ladies Stand, and takes an age to be returned and disinfected by the umpires.
Maxwell has 33 runs from 12 balls.
A couple of dots pass by as Saini bowls very wide of the off stump and Maxwell can’t make contact, then there’s another near catch for Dhawan that goes for four! Full and wide, Maxwell digs out the yorker with an open face, lofting it to deep point, Dhawan sprinting in has to dive forward, and it just half-volleys in front of him and through him for four. That’s three chances that have taunted Dhawan today.
Saini bowls the same ball. Maxwell plays the same shot! But better! Places it behind point this time, splits the outfielders to perfection!
He has 41 from 16 balls.
43rd over: Australia 302-3 (Smith 73, Maxwell 27) Ok, the spinner back on so Glenn Maxwell has called for the gold cap. Get some ventilation in there. Then he decides to ventilate Yuzi Chahal, and switch-hits him for six! A left-handed slog-sweep by a right-hander, along the ground between point and backward point for four!
No worries at all. Chahal stops and thinks. Bowls slow and really wide of the off stump. Maxwell makes it become his leg stump, and SWITCH-HITS FOR SIX!
Right out of the middle and it soars down to the Members’ Stand over the rope!
Fourth ball? Calmly flicked to deep mid for two runs. Fifth ball? Maxwell sweeps, gets a feather on it past his leg stump, and gets two more?
Sixth ball? Dropped, for six! Down the track Maxwell, drives long over extra cover, Dhawan running around from long-off, dives across to get a hand to it, and parries it over the rope.
21 from the over, 20 of them to G. J. Maxwell.
42nd over: Australia 281-3 (Smith 72, Maxwell 7) Bumrah to bowl, and Maxwell drives him for four!
That’s how we play Maxwellball!
Second ball he’s faced, opened his wrists at the ball, dipped through it as it arrived, hits the rope along the ground. Lovely.
Drives a run through point, Smith tucks another to the other side. Maxwell with this very open stance that he employs these days, both eyes on the bowler. Pull a short ball to the deep square sweeper. Smith adds another. Maxwell gets a bouncer from Bumrah, tries to uppercut over Rahul, misses out, then the umpire calls it a wide. Maxwell middles a drive but finds short midwicket for none.
41st over: Australia 272-3 (Smith 70, Maxwell 1) The first change in the batting order for Australia, with Glenn Maxwell coming in ahead of Marnus Labuschagne. This is pretty much Australia’s plan with Maxwell, that he can float as needed to finish an innings. He’s been getting on with Smith better than they did when Smith was captain. Now they’re batting together.
WICKET! Stoinis c Rahul b Chahal 0 (1), Australia 271-3
Marcus Stoinis to the middle. Had an amazing IPL (again), but historically he struggles to get moving early in an innings for Australia. Smith will keep things going, clearing the front leg against Chahal to slog-sweep six over midwicket. Drives a run down the ground. Stoinis on strike. Pushes at a ball outside the off stump, and he’s caught behind! Started walking before the umpire even moved.
At least he hasn’t soaked up any deliveries today.
WICKET! Finch c Rahul b Bumrah 114 (123), Australia 264-2
40th over: Australia 264-2 (Smith 63) Well, what a bizarre over. Having brought up his century, Finch is dropped! Dropped by Chahal at short fine leg. Bumrah the bowler, had Finch turning it away in the air, and Chahal shells it. Next ball? A misfield at deep square leg concedes four! Finch flicked it straight at Agarwal, who is beaten by the spin on the ball and lets it through his legs for a boundary. Bumrah’s next effort strays onto leg stump, and Finch glances four! He glances another brace, then from the last ball of the over, Bumrah goes short, Finch tries to uppercut over the keeper, and only gets a minor edge which sends it looping up for KL Rahul to take running back. Finally, Bumrah gets some reward.
Century! Finch 101 from 117 balls
39th over: Australia 252-1 (Finch 102, Smith 63) Well, Aaron Finch has all but disappeared in the last half hour. Steve Smith facing all the strike and scoring all the runs. Another boundary, as Smith cuts Chahal behind point, then gives Finch the chance to raise a hundred.
Finch takes it! Flicks Chahal away through deep midwicket for two, and starts his home season against a team that previously had his number, to raise his 17th ODI century for Australia.
Once he turns over the strike again, Smith finishes the over with six over extra cover! Ridiculous shot! A proper cover drive, only via the aerial route, and the deep cover watches it sail over his head. 14 from the over.
Fifty! Smith 50 from 36 balls
38th over: Australia 238-1 (Finch 99, Smith 52) Steve Smith is flying! Shami bowls in at the pads, decent ball, but Smith clips it over short midwicket for four! Next ball, fuller at the boot, Smith whips along the ground behind square for another boundary! He takes a single, Finch does the same. One ball to come in the over. Smith chops a run to deep third.
37th over: Australia 226-1 (Finch 97, Smith 42) Appeal for a stumping from India as Smith misses a cut shot, but his toe was grounded. He’s facing Jadeja, with a gap at deep cover, so Smith goes inside out and lofts four! Placement superb. Jadeja bowls a bit shorter next ball, so Smith back-cuts four more! Placement again, along the ground. Then to close out the over he lofts down to long on. The crowd sighs in anticipation of Shikhar Dhawan taking the catch, but the ball clears him for four! The fielder down there has been stationed well inside the rope all day, it must be said, even though the commentators are blaming Dhawan. It may have been a tactical blue rather than an individual one. No wicket, and it costs them four runs.
36th over: Australia 214-1 (Finch 97, Smith 30) Shami continues, taking a thick outside edge from Smith that squirts away for a run. Hits Finch on the pad and half appeals, but there’s a thick inside edge this time from Finch, the ball dribbling to midwicket for one more run. Finch on 97. Smith whips hard off his pads, but Kohli at short midwicket makes a spectacular diving stop, rendering them scoreless. Shami uses his bouncer, over Smith’s shoulder, but the umpire at square leg belatedly calls it wide. Not sure about that, looked a good short ball. Shami goes short again, Smith pulling away off a bottom edge to deep midwicket for one. Finch takes a leg bye straight of short midwicket. Smith keeps the strike with one.
35th over: Australia 208-1 (Finch 96, Smith 27) The batting pair just milking Jadeja here, or more accurately Smith is. Finch is batting a bit more nervously approaching his ton. A few dots, though he manages to drive two runs down the ground in between those.
34th over: Australia 203-1 (Finch 94, Smith 24) Finch with a single to start, then Smith plays the pull shot for four. Saini can’t stop bowling short balls, and it’s not working out for him. They play out a repeat version, except Smith doesn’t hit this as cleanly and gets a single to deep square. Short with width to Finch, who cuts along the ground, beating backward point for two as deep third comes around. Finch to 94, one hit away. Smokes a drive, but straight at Shreyas Iyer at cover. Smith is shadow-batting at the non-striker’s end. Course he is.
33rd over: Australia 194-1 (Finch 91, Smith 19) Jadeja is back, and has Smith down on one knee and hoicking a sweep shot away for a couple of runs. Two balls later, hit on the pad in front! Smith reviews quickly, he didn’t hit it but maybe he thinks it was high? It did strike him above the knee roll, he’s right back on his stumps but he might get this overturned here.
And he does! It is missing the bails by literally a millimetre! There is no visible gap between the ball and the bails on the ball-tracking projection, the ball is sitting right on top of those bails. A couple of pixels in it. He survives. He would have felt the contact was high, and his hunch proves right.
Smith celebrates by punting over midwicket for four!
32nd over: Australia 188-1 (Finch 91, Smith 13) Steve Smith with a bit of time to pick up the tempo: he was opening the batting at times for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, and today he’s got a full 20 overs to get himself into the game. Drives a couple of runs to deep cover from Saini, then nudges off leg stump for a single. Finch moves one run closer to a century, gets the strike back, then cuts four to move into the 90s!
31st over: Australia 179-1 (Finch 86, Smith 9) Finch turns over the strike against Chahal first ball, and Smith likes batting against spin. Down the track, to the pitch, picks it up beautifully over midwicket for four! A big gap out there with a long-on and a deep backward square only. Hits that gap easily. Turns over the strike again. Finch cuts two runs, then drives two more square of deep cover. Then runs keep flowing.
30th over: Australia 169-1 (Finch 81, Smith 4) Navdeep Saini is back with the ball, didn’t go too well for him earlier. But he gets back into things alright conceding a couple of singles and a couple of braces.
29th over: Australia 163-1 (Finch 78, Smith 1) Chahal to Finch, and we’ll see if the dismissal causes any bigger disruption to the rhythm of the batting innings. It is a tidy over, conceding two runs from six balls… but then the last delivery is an overstep! The third umpire picks it up, and that’s a no-ball! Meaning a free hit. Aaron Finch takes the opportunity, since he can’t be dismissed, of playing a switch hit! Not a shot he plays often, but he goes well outside what was his off stump, that becomes his leg stump, which is where Chahal bowls. Finch nails it along the ground past backward point for four.
28th over: Australia 156-1 (Finch 73, Smith 0) That brings Steve Smith to the middle for his first hit of the home season. He drives Shami to short midwicket to end the over with a dot.
WICKET! Warner c Rahul b Shami 69 (76), Australia 156-1
Four from Warner from the first ball of the over. That’s a dicey shot but he nails it this time: a pull shot against a ball that isn’t short, isn’t even back of a length, it’s on its way to being full. Warner goes across the line anyway, and gets it through midwicket.
Fifth ball of the over though, they go upstairs for a long DRS review. Full outside the off stump, Warner comes forward and pushes at it, and the question is whether the ball clipped the edge or whether the bat hit the ground. Snicko shows a spike, but that could be either of those contacts. In the end the third umpire rules it out, but we didn’t see a Hot Spot on that, so I’m not sure how sure the umpire could have been. Warner doesn’t seem too bothered, so perhaps he thinks he hit it. India finally get one.
27th over: Australia 149-0 (Warner 63, Finch 72) Finch takes the lead! Walks down at Jadeja, and drop-punts him over long-on for six. Bumrah was backpedalling anticipating a catch but in the end it went about 20 metres over his head and way back into the crowd. Huge hit! Finch goes along the ground next ball in a similar direction for two. Then a single to keep the strike. 11 from the over.
26th over: Australia 138-0 (Warner 62, Finch 62) Shami is back on, and looking sharp. Right-arm over the wicket, brisk. Both batsmen are using the pace and trying to chop through backward point, steering from back of a length. Shami slips in a yorker that Warner does well to keep out. He’s not a tall bowler, Shami, but gets skiddy lift from back of a length. Two singles from his first five, then Warner squeezes out two runs to third man from the last. The batsmen settle on a matching score.
25th over: Australia 134-0 (Warner 59, Finch 61) Tied down by one spinner, unleashed against the next. Warner reverse-sweeps Jadeja for four! Third man is up in the circle, and that beats him. Three in the deep on the leg side, plus a long-off for Warner. He drives two in that direction, through cover. Three dots, then a single to deep mid. This pair, they’re not flying, but they have such a good foundation at the halfway mark, this score could get huge.
24th over: Australia 127-0 (Warner 52, Finch 61) A good comeback over from Yuzi Chahal, who concedes a single from the final ball. Uses the googly a bit, didn’t give Warner room to swing. Kohli comes in to a short midwicket, which perhaps worries Warner too. He chips one shot to Kohli on the bounce, has the crowd interested for a second.
Fifty! Warner 50 from 54 balls
23rd over: Australia 126-0 (Warner 51, Finch 61) Classic late-era Warner: clips the ball square from Jadeja, perfectly into an outfield gap, and hustles a second run on the throw that looks dangerous but sees him make it back by a metre to raise fifty at just about a run a ball.
Finch goes a more direct run-scoring route, planting the front foot and launching Jadeja over midwicket for a one-bounce four.
22nd over: Australia 118-0 (Warner 48, Finch 56) Bumrah returns for his sixth, and Warner pulls him for four! Shot, rolled wrists, along the ground well in front of square. Bumrah responds with a perfume ball but Warner genuflects beneath it, angling in from around the wicket at the left-hander. The third umpire retrospectively picks up that one as a no-ball, Bumrah overstepping in the exertion. The bowler tries to angle in at Warner’s legs for the free hit, but Warner steps across towards it and misses his shot, getting some pad on it to deflect for four leg byes. Bumrah goes short again to finish the over, hitting Warner in the shoulder as the batsman misses another pull. Expensive!
21st over: Australia 107-0 (Warner 43, Finch 55) I know you’re all glued to this, so you’ll be thrilled to know that Warner and Finch have moved up one spot to become the 27th most prolific ODI partnership, passing Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka who made 3430 together.
Four singles from Jadeja’s over.
20th over: Australia 103-0 (Warner 41, Finch 53) Nearly run out! Should have been baked and basted! Finch had given up by the time the throw came in. Finch hits straight to mid-on, to Jadeja, the worst person in the world to take a fast single to. But Jadeja misses the throw! Not from long distance either. That’s a real chance gone begging.
Fifty! Aaron Finch 50 from 69 balls
19th over: Australia 100-0 (Warner 40, Finch 51) Jadeja doing the job, three runs from his over, one of them bringing up his 28th half-century in ODIs. Next comes the team hundred.
18th over: Australia 97-0 (Warner 39, Finch 49) There’s some ground caught up by Finch! Chahal floating the ball up, Finch slog-sweeping, huge over deep mid for six! That’s a long blow into the Members’ stand at the SCG. The over costs 13 with a couple of wides into the bargain.
17th over: Australia 84-0 (Warner 37, Finch 40) It’s an ongoing curiosity that Finch is a deceptively slow scorer in 50-over cricket. He’s played some famously destructive knocks in the T20 format, but often gets bogged down in the longer form. As he gets a single from Jadeja, he’s got 40 from 60 balls. Jadeja goes up for a caught behind as Finch tries to sweep down the leg side, KL Rahul is seemingly convinced, but they don’t review when the umpire turns it down.
There’s a round of applause around the ground too as the clock ticks over to 4:08pm local time – 408 is the Test cap number of Phillip Hughes, who died six years ago today after being injured while batting at this ground.
16th over: Australia 81-0 (Warner 35, Finch 39) Almost a chance! Chahal bowls slow and very wide of off stump, it would have been called if Finch hadn’t gone after it. He gets a thick toe top-edge, and the ball loops over point. Shikhar Dhawan runs back a long way, dives, and almost fingertips it but the ball just has enough on it to elude him. Finch gets two very ropey runs. Finch eventually gets off strike with a drive down the ground.
15th over: Australia 76-0 (Warner 34, Finch 36) Ravindra Jadeja now, it’s a double spin attack. Left-arm orthodox, flat and fast. He has a couple of lbw shouts in the over against Finch, the first not a good one as Finch had advanced and may have nicked it, the second looking much more likely as it strikes in line with the off stump with Finch playing back, but the umpire has some doubt about the bounce, and the video projection suggests it would have just gone over.
14th over: Australia 72-0 (Warner 33, Finch 34) Chahal to bowl, and Warner slog-sweeps for four! Deep midwicket, hit hard and flat, he played that on the length more than anything.
The crazy part about that partnerships list is that Tendulkar has four of the top 25, including three of the top 12. Those are with Azharuddin, Dravid, Sehwag, and Ganguly.
13th over: Australia 64-0 (Warner 27, Finch 32) Saini tries a bouncer against Finch, but he’s called wide for height. The batsmen are comfortably working him into gaps in the field, not trying anything too aggressive. At the moment they have… 3403 runs in partnership together. (Not today.) Which leaves them 28th all time.
12th over: Australia 56-0 (Warner 23, Finch 30) It’s spin time, and this is so often the key contest in India-Australia matches. A shame we won’t see Kuldeep Yadav today, the left-arm wrist-spinner, but we’ve got the right-arm version in Yuzvendra Chahal. He drifts down the leg side for a wide first up against Warner, but is right on the spot thereafter. Warner just pushes a single to square leg. Finch wanders out of his crease a few times, but Chahal is teasing him through the air with flight, some drift, giving him no room for five scoreless deliveries in a row.
11th over: Australia 54-0 (Warner 22, Finch 30) The first ten overs gone, Australia not flying but haven’t lost a wicket, which sets them up beautifully with a decent platform. They’re happy to work singles from Saini’s deliveries on the shorter side.
10th over: Australia 51-0 (Warner 20, Finch 29) Shami is back for Bumrah from the Paddington end of the ground, and immediately he’s bowling well. Had such a good IPL, he’s become a top-rate bowler in the short forms. Everything is in at the hip of Finch, giving him no room to swing. Takes three balls for Finch to dink a single. Shami asks Kohli and Bumrah to inspect the ball, then they carry on. At the hip again for Warner who glances a run. Finch defends a fuller ball on off stump, then another tailing into middle.
9th over: Australia 49-0 (Warner 19, Finch 28) Saini bowls short to start again, and Finch pings another boundary through the off side, airborne into the gap at cover point. He drops a single away, then Warner gets a short ball on his hip and plays that little low pull shot that he likes, helping it away behind square leg for four more. Saini 14 from 9 balls, then he bowls fuller and very wide across Warner, who utterly tees off and can’t reach it, trying to flog it over mid-off. Saini comes back in at the body of the left-hander, tying him up for the last two balls.
8th over: Australia 40-0 (Warner 15, Finch 23) Bumrah will bowl his fourth on the trot. Warner has hardly faced in the last couple of overs. Gets the strike now via an inside edge onto pad from Finch for a run. Warner picks up a couple of runs through midwicket. A strong off-side field in the ring for Warner: point, cover point, backward point. He hits into that trap a couple of times, no runs. Quiet over.
7th over: Australia 37-0 (Warner 13, Finch 22) There’s a hold-up in play with a couple of pitch invaders. These aren’t your typical drunken-afternoon types, they’re holding signs protesting against the Adani mining company. Some tangential relevance to an India match, given the giant wealthy and extremely suspect Indian company with a terrible environmental and ethical record is currently trying to dig up half of Queensland and burn a mountain of coal to further entrench the climate crisis.
Given virus restrictions, the players stay away from the protesters, and the protesters stay away from the players, and eventually some stewards trot out to the middle and escort the uninvited guests away.
Eventually Navdeep Saini gets his chance to bowl his first ball in Australia, which Finch cuts for four. Four dot balls follow, then a brilliant dive from Jadeja at backward point stops another cut-shot boundary and keeps it to a single.
6th over: Australia 32-0 (Warner 13, Finch 17) A bouncer from Bumrah to start, which Finch can’t get anything on as it angles in at a leg-stump line. But when Bumrah goes short again, at chest height, Finch nails a convincing boundary for the first time today. Third man and fine leg are the only two fielders out, and he pulls square of the wicket along the ground for four. With a single to mid-on, Finch raises 5000 ODI runs, trailing only Warner and Ricky Ponting in terms of how many matches it has taken him to reach that mark. He’s got 15 Australians ahead of him on the all-time runs list.
5th over: Australia 27-0 (Warner 13, Finch 12) The Australians start to get going. Warner drops a single, Finch guides two from Shami. Then flicks off the pads, but the ball slows up inside the midwicket rope and forces them to run three. Another three runs as Warner goes across the line and rather miscues a shot back over the bowler’s head, flying high and stopping when it hits the ground. Finch gets a wide ball and utterly smokes it with the cut shot, but straight along the ground to third man. Ten from the over.
4th over: Australia 17-0 (Warner 9, Finch 6) Bumrah bowls, Finch drives on the up for four! A streaky shot, punched even though it wasn’t full enough, hits it flat and airborne but Agarwal diving across from extra cover can’t get a hand to it. Bumrah tries to bang in a short one but errs down the leg side. KL Rahul is the part-time keeper in this team and he doesn’t stop the ball cleanly, allowing them an extra extra (read all about it). Warner dabs behind point, and there’s his other trademark: running the first so hard that it gives him time to come back for a second. That looked like a single from the get-go, hit just square of the deep third man, but he gets back for two. His speed between the wickets saves him on the last of the over, as Warner just checks to mid-on, and Finch is so conditioned to run on everything that they go on this shot too. India’s players erupt when Saini hits the stumps direct with an underarm diving throw, but the replay shows Warner’s own dive has just got some bat into his ground.
3rd over: Australia 8-0 (Warner 6, Finch 2) Shami continues from the Randwick End, with the Clive Churchill Stand behind him. Ties up Finch for three balls in a row, right on the off stump. Four balls. At the fifth, Finch marches at Shami and tries to clout through the off side, but Shami has bowled wider this time and it beats the shot. “It’s the control of length,” says Ed Cowan on ABC radio. Shami has been back of a length throughout, making it impossible to drive. Finch has the same movement from the final ball, but walks wider of his off stump, counters the wide line, and stabs a run out to the covers.
2nd over: Australia 7-0 (Warner 6, Finch 1) Jasprit Bumrah to bowl the second, who was so, so good on his last visit to these shores. Warner gets another drop-and-run single, but this time he didn’t want it – he was standing there holding his bat up saying no, but Finch had already committed and was running to the danger end with the ball rolling back near the bowler in Bumrah’s follow-through. Warner eventually takes off for the run, and Finch does a huge slip-n-slide dive all the way down the side of the house to the end of the yard. Finch gets off the mark with his own nudge and sprint, then Warner finds the first boundary of the match, his trademark back-foot punch square of the wicket on the off side.
“Great to have you back to interrupt my Excel nightmares!” writes Rohan O’Farrell. It’s not all bad, spreadsheets are where my best stats live.
1st over: Australia 1-0 (Warner 1, Finch 0) Here we go! India take the field with the new dark-blue retro uniforms. Mohammed Shami will start us off, and he’s right on the money immediately, bowling with pace and lift for a ball that bounces away from Warner’s outside edge. Warner shuffles forward the next ball and drops a single softly into the off-side. He’s so good at that. Finch now is the batsman being troubled outside his off stump. Left-hander, right-hander, doesn’t matter for Shami.
Australians, don’t fret about the score, even for Australia games we write it in the style used by… the entire rest of the world.
Iain Bannantyne has emailed in, very excited to see things underway. “Can you explain how many fans are allowed in and is booze unrestricted?!”
The capacity today is 23,000, which is about half the usual capacity. I’m not currently in a position to be eyeing off any drinks, but the bars downstairs did seem to be ready for trading as I made my way through the ground earlier. There is probably a consumption-in-seats rule as with a lot of venues.
Things of note on those teams are: Australia with a very conventional XI, but it’s interesting that Labuschagne is listed as low as No5 when he’s done all his good work for Australia thus far at No3. Smith up at first drop has necessitated that. Labuschagne’s ability to go up through the gears will be one thing to keep an eye on. Carey and Maxwell have swapped spots from the configuration that produced their epic match-winning stand in the most recent Australian match, at Old Trafford in September when they won the series 2-1.
For India, Agarwal over Shubman Gill is one talking point, Shreyas Iyer in the middle is interesting, and Navdeep Saini will play despite some recent troubles with his back.
Aaron Finch *
Alex Carey +
Virat Kohli *
KL Rahul +
Australia wins the toss and will bat
Interesting choice given India’s prowess while chasing in ODIs, but Australian coach Justin Langer subscribes to the scoreboard-pressure school of thought more often than not.
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It’s been a long time coming, but the Australian men’s team is back in action on home soil. The most recent occasion was the first one-dayer against New Zealand back in March, in a series that was abruptly called off when the Land of the Long White Cloud announced imminent border closures and the team had to jet home to avoid cancelled flights and weeks of quarantine. That one match was played behind closed doors in an empty stadium, but this match today will be able to have some semblance of a crowd in, under virus restrictions naturally.
The press box here at the Sydney Cricket Ground is also sparsely populated with attendees who are spaced out (in the physical sense rather than the mental). The pitch has some green tinges on it but I suspect those will be illusory in terms of any effect on the ball, and that the pitch will be hard and true. The outfield here looks pretty parched, a fair bit of white showing through the grass.
India is the opponent today, and what a match-up that will be. Virat Kohli with a limited time to have an impact before he heads home from the tour early just before Christmas. India’s players primed after a long IPL season, though they’ll have to adjust that approach a bit for 50-over cricket. We’ll have teams and the toss for you as they happen.
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