Slowly, Slowly – Australia vs India ~ 4th Test (Day 4 In Play)

27 01 2008

Well, post the excitement of Days 1 & 2… that sure was a yawner.
Nice opening stand from Jaques & Hayden – at least on paper – but for Jaques to make 61 off 219 balls, and Hayden’s century off 271, well, suffice to say it set up the situation we’re in now.
Haydos - great to have him back… Australia only made 290 in a day’s play.
Ugh.

The real mettle of the Australian team will be shown now. They need to go out & set a first innings total of around 700, then put the Indians in & try to get them out – in very quick fashion.
Do-able, but looking unlikely, with many Indian batsmen finding form at the moment.

Ponting and Clarke are now at the crease, both continuing the ‘carefully now’ approach the Australian batsmen have taken. Clarke’s 37 off 98 balls, Punter’s 79 coming from 150 balls faced.
The pace must pick up if Australia are to have any show of winning this… the thing is, if they’re going to try, then they have to risk losing it as well.
It will certainly do with being a little more cavalier out on the turf, especially with the ODI series just around the corner. If they can set that total, then they only risk a draw.

But can they? The Indian bowling certainly has held them in check. Pathan (24 overs, 1/70) & Harbhajan (28 overs, 0/70) have been very good, and Sharma has been excellent ( 22 overs, 1/47). That is one kid who’s going to be a phenomenal talent for years to come…

Day 4’s here, and Australia needs a total (today) of 380.
Bring it on.

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7 responses

27 01 2008
benstinga

A little bit more action today. A good century from Ponting.

27 01 2008
benstinga

Well, a draw now seems likely. Still good cricket though!

27 01 2008
withmalice

It does seem like that… but if I were Ponting – and obviously, I’m not 😉 – I’d put the Indians in just before stumps tonight. Then try & knock them over tomorrow for a small total… Then go for it.

Australia 543/8, Hogg on 11… Johnson on 5.

27 01 2008
withmalice

Johnson out, 13.

One more to go…

27 01 2008
withmalice

Taking the wicket of Pathan for a duck is an excellent start…

Stumps for the day, and Vehwag’s on 31, with Dravid on 11.
India 45/1

28 01 2008
anandkrishna

Don’t forget Sehwag’s lives too… the man sure lives a charmed life at the top of the order! 8/1is definitely not an inspiring start. But if India can accelerate the scorong rate to make 200 more by lunch and then declare, leaving Australia the rest of the day to score the necessary runs, the match will still be a thriller. Provided, of course, that India lasts that long. We imploded at Sydney (no doubt, helped by some poor umpiring), but the Indians have a way of losing when the world expects a draw, and drawing the match when a victory is there for the taking.

But in Australia’s first innings, India was hugely handicapped by R P Singh’s injury- remember, he bowled only 4 overs. And Kumble was visibly tired (or at any rate, was not 100% OK) today, while Harbhajan just wasn’t effective. Maybe Sachin will get a few more opportunities to roll his wrists and like Sehwag, may well deliver a couple of wickets. His innocuous pace and vicious spin have bamboozled many a player- including some top-notch batsmen (or batters, if you prefer the baseball term).

Even if the match ends in a draw, I hope it won’t be a tame draw. The series has been hard-fought, and I think India can without question lay claim to being the one team that has most often pushed the Australians into a corner, and even come out on top on a few occasions.

28 01 2008
withmalice

Hey Anand… new piece up – Goodbye Gilly – Australia vs India ~ 4th Test (Day 5 In Play)

See you there! 😉

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