AUSTRALIA'S INDIA TOUR, 2018-19
"Allan Border would never have played that blow, or you could never have played with Allan Border as captain" © Getty
"If it gets too hot for a few days, it's almost as if the city panicked and the winds came in, bringing the clouds to cool the city."
It's a cute belief about the weather here. This is the case during this test game. Adelaide's Islamism did hold true for the first three days of the first test. The sun was shining on the first two days with temperatures approaching 40 degrees. The second day was equally sunny, though more balmier and muggier. Then, according to tradition, Adelaide's climate "panicked," and the clouds came to compensate for the heat, soaking the Oval with a few showers, stopping the game on a few occasions. The sun was back, but not with the same power, on Saturday. But it seemed that the Australian scouts were willing to imitate Adelaide's mood.
For each time it seemed that one of them was watching, and they were about to explode, they not only blew cold, froze and perished. Unfortunately for Australia, the two most culprits were the most experienced scouts and the only non-left-handers of the middle order. It did not help that they also went out throwing shots that were not guaranteed and worthy of joke if you were an Australian fan. Do not forget, in the worst possible moments.
Usman Khawaja spent a lot of time in the crease, Allah Cheteshwar Pujara in the first round, and then was sent off by R Ashwin. He seemed interested in spending a lot of time on the crease in the second round as well, at least after he fired in a break from Ashwin and almost hit full to point the start of his turn. The Indian couturiers were strict and disciplined in the end. There were no freebies. There were not even the odd deliveries out of line. And Ashwin continued to move away in a field that, in a way, was playing better than before, but still had enough assistance to keep the Indian spinner excited. Khawaja seemed to be absorbing the pressure without much noise. But just when it seemed that he had made up his mind, he took a piece from the book "not to be tempted at home, at school, or at a cricket stadium." It was not a bold scam, but one that seemed to have no design or purpose at all. It was a shot that would not give him any applause, even if he was in a three-digit score and his team was in a good position. But here he was in 8 of 42 balls with his team chasing 323 for an unlikely win, and all hopes that he would take a bis from Abu Dhabi. His kick, all or none, managed to escape the tip of the bat and ended up in the hands of Rohit Sharma, although he had to take an acrobatic dive.
Peter Handscomb is back. It is also Australia's only antidote to Ashwin's threat, even though there are ominous spots off the right-hand stump. The house team demanded that Victorian be in the middle for a number of reasons. Handscomb for all its awkward and awkward technique is perhaps the busiest of all the scouts in their middle order. He's not the kind that gets stuck without a long mark. He also saved a Test for Australia – at Ranchi last year – and the only one except Khawaja in this lineup to have the experience of having a big role in this scenario. Handscomb also needed to stay in the middle for his own good. Although there are not many suitors now to replace him across the country, his career is at a crossroads in a way. And he seemed to be doing well, even if he did not have to face much of Ashwin. The couturiers, though true, were not making life any easier. But Handscomb came in and was starting to get well when he chose to try one of his shots for a ball that was not really asking for it. It was a long ball that went up quite a bit, but it was not short for his attempt to pull and therefore hit the bat near the handle and not in the middle. And he flew in slow motion to Pujara in the middle of the shutter. Although they had 13 separate overs, the two layoffs did not simply leave Australia down, they left them in the mud.
The stage is set for Marsh to make up for the shortcomings of his teammates. © Getty
The two disastrous setbacks were also symptomatic of Australia in most periods of the Adelaide Test. The troubling waste of his approach with the stick and the ball. It is not to say that they are completely out of boil. His scouts may have succumbed to the intensity of Indian bowling easily too much in both rounds, but his players returned to play impressively in the first round. However, they were guilty of letting the steam out when India felt the heat in the second round, Mitchell Starc in particular.
By virtue of his experience, the leftist is the leader of the rhythm attack. But even Tim Paine would agree that he feels much safer when Josh Hazlewood has the ball in his hands. Starc is the executor. He is the wicket-taker, who in terms of potential is expected to be Australia's impact player, while Hazlewood suffocates the opposition and Pat Cummins runs and keeps them honest. Hazlewood played his expected role on Saturday with over 60 percent of his excesses being run-less. Cummins was on his best working horse. But Starc was a disappointment, even if he ended up with three wickets. All too often, he was disobedient to his lineage, resulting in Paine's accusation for more than 20 b's. And he was not penetrating enough to make things worse.
The lack of controlled aggression on the other side meant that Lyon, despite six free throws, was playing a double role as an attacker and defender, while Ashwin had the luxury of betting on his seamers to make the block, as he focused on hitting the opposition outside. He played his part to perfection, ending the day with two casualties and six more potential victims on Sunday.
The Indians showed the hosts in terms of not wasting a good position or their impetus even with the bat, especially in the second round. It did not matter to India whether Ajinkya Rahane was close to a century old or not. For India had already put itself in a dominant position just as Rahane came close to a great score. It was a crucial turn when it came to Rahane's career. But despite having fallen into a turnaround, he did enough to strengthen his team's position and yours. Rohit Sharma was perhaps the only one who could be accused of wasting an opportunity. In his defense, he went into a winless situation where he had everything to lose.
There was a collective sigh of despair from all the former Australian cricketers in the comment box, which included Allan Border when Khawaja left. "Allan Border would never have played that shot, or you could never have played that shot under Allan Border as captain," as they say. The fact that Australians are already talking about the "good old days" is a worrying sign. It may be premature to compare it with the painful nostalgia that is practiced with cricket in the Caribbean, but worrying enough.
Australia has more than 200 races to arrive on the last day, and a scout, who has a reputation for being a big loser for most of his career, is in charge. Shaun Marsh blew more often than he has hot for his own good. The stage is ready for a miracle. The stage is set for Marsh to redefine his career. The stage is set for Marsh to make up for the shortcomings of his teammates.