This article titled “Australia v India: second Test, first day – live!” was written by Adam Collins (now), Sam Perry and Geoff Lemon (later), for theguardian.com on Friday 14th December 2018 08.17 Asia/Kolkata
5th over: Australia 9-0 (Harris 0, Finch 9) Three times in three overs Ishant has beaten the outside edge. This time it is Finch, played for the considerable inswing but didn’t make contact, lucky not to lose his off-stump in the process. The Indian attack leader is going after the Victorian’s woodwork, finding an inside edge and hitting a pad through the over as well. Can Finch get through to the other side of this spell?
Just realised that I never posted the final XIs as named. Hamuma Vihari is also into the Indian middle order with Rohit Sharma picking up a back niggle in Adelaide. He’ll also send down some offies, as he did in England.
India: KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli (c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia: Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
4th over: Australia 9-0 (Harris 0, Finch 9) Putting to one side the first couple of balls, this is a nice start from Finch. To the first of Bumrah’s new set he is clipping with control through midwicket for a couple. The off-cutter is too good for him when it comes, but he responds calmly, tucking another single in front of the square leg umpire to finish.
3rd over: Australia 6-0 (Harris 0, Finch 6) Finch pushes his second single to cover. Much better batting. Harris gets another ripper from Ishant, angling in and moving away, passing his outside edge by a coat of varnish. Fantastic delivery. This should be a brilliant first session.
2nd over: Australia 5-0 (Harris 0, Finch 5) Some gold from Ricky Ponting on Seven’s call, which Geoff Lemon picked up to my left. The former Aussie captain noted that India set their backward point deep to protect against Harris’ best shot, the cut. Next ball, he creamed it right there, the fielding saving four. Earlier in the over, Finch nervously negotiated the start of Bumrah’s day with an awkward defensive stroke that found the splice of the bat before missing a wild hook second up. He was much better third time around, nailing a pull shot from to the rope to collect Australia’s first runs.
“How do Adam.” If it isn’t my old mate Andy from Shakerfaker. Good morning to you. “Was that Luciano Pavarotti singing the Australian national anthem from the grave? Sounded amazing. How did he hold that last note for so long?”
Too right. Stand down, Julie Anthony, we have a new dude for the official version. “Also I’ve got 26-1 India 4-0. So come on India.” As I detailed on Monday, there is always, always value backing against Australia in Australia. We shouldn’t talk about punting on here really, but given that Cricket Australia now have sponsored tweets from a betting agency, I guess all bets (ho ho ho!) are off.
1st over: Australia 0-0 (Harris 0, Finch 0) All the build up and tension… and Ishant sprays the first ball well down the legside. I’m so glad that I got my big camera out to capture it. His maiden to Harris involves the bat only once, the opener beaten by a beauty but leaving well otherwise. We’re away at Perth Stadium.
The players are on the field! Aaron Finch and local boy Marcus Harris are striding out to open the batting for Australia. Ishant Sharma is preparing to bowl the first ball ever at this stadium from the broadcast or northern end. Harris to face. PLAY!
Huuuuuge innings ahead of Aaron Finch. Before the Adelaide Test had even finished, Justin Langer was talking about a potential shuffle of the order where the Victorian could drop down to the middle order. But they have backed him in and now he walks out on a greenish pitch on morning one. These are the moments that can make or break a Test career.
In front of us there are kids with flags, which means the teams can’t be far away for national anthems. I neglected to note that by going with Umesh, India have also overlooked Jadeja. A side must be going well to consistently leave out the fifth ranked bowler in the world, a man who also boasts a batting average of 43 over the last couple of years.
James Sherry is welcoming the players and match officials. That won’t mean much to readers outside of Australia, but for my generation, his voice will be forever that of Saturday Disney and A*Mazing. I spent 20 minutes googling everything about him yesterday. I need better hobbies.
Amod Paranjape gets us underway on the email. “All I can say with regards to the Bhuvneshwar Kumar situation is that the skipper and coach are not comfortable playing him where the ball doesn’t swing,” he writes. “Absurd in my opinion but there it is.”
I’m with you, I can’t believe Bhuvi isn’t in the XI. That’s no reflection on Umesh, who has some of the best reverse swing skills in the world. But Bhuvi! Oh well.
Here is a bit more about Perth Stadium from the CricViz polymaths.
Kohli says he would have batted too. But he’s very happy to bowl. “I’ve seen a one-day game happen here and it had quite a bit for the bowlers so we’re pretty excited.”
In the ODI at this stadium in November, CricViz tells me, there was more average bounce than in any game played in Australia since 2015.
Tim Paine won the toss and Australia are batting
Umesh playing, Bhuvi isn’t. Four quicks for India! Australia unchanged.
Paine explains his decision: “It is really warm today and this wicket in the Shield game played pretty well to start with and with some hot weather around, we expect it will crack and up and be hard work.”
The good oil. The goss in the lift on the way up is that Australia are going to bat and India are strongly considering having a bowl. The captains are about to make their way out to the middle so we will know shortly.
Welcome to the first day of Test Cricket at Perth Stadium! It’s the second Border-Gavaskar Trophy fixture between Australia and India, the visitors going one-nil up at Adelaide on Monday. This becomes only the tenth venue used in the 141 years they have been playing Tests in Australia, so we have that considerable piece of history ahead of us today in WA.
It’s HOT outside. In the ten metres between the front door and my uber, I’ve sweated through my shirt. To that end, the toss will be complicated. I don’t doubt for a moment that bowling first could be on the agenda for both captains given how much grass is on the pitch. With so much hot weather ahead, the best time to take advantage of that is session one.
However, as Tim Paine said yesterday at his press conference, bowling first in 39 degree heat is something his quicks may never forgive him for. In short: a good toss to lose, ‘innit?
Speaking of the track, the WACA curator is apparently in strife according to one outlet this morning, for indicating to the local paper yesterday that he made the pitch as bouncy as possible to make life tough for the tourists. Putting to one side the wisdom of this given India’s superb pace attack, it forced CA to put out a statement to essentially denying the claim that they are pitch doctors. Sigh. Can’t we all just get along?
I can see tweeted reports that Umesh Yadav is marking out his run up, all-but confirming that India will go in with four quicks after Ashwin dropped out with a side strain. That’s a touch surprising as I think we all expected Bhuvi to play. Maybe there’s something going on that we don’t know about? All will be clear when the coin is tossed in about 20 minutes from now. As for Australia, they’re unchanged with Finch again to open.
I’ve timed this quite nicely as my car is just pulling up at the ground, so I’ll hop out and run upstairs. Between times, drop me a line to get this OBO started for we have a lot to discuss. Would you go the Full Nasser and stick the oppo in if the coin came down your way on a day like this? I reckon I would. Email, tweet – you know the drill. Back with you shortly.
Adam will be here shortly. In the meantime you can read his preview of the Test, featuring an excited Virat Kohli …
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