“Is this the moment when openers win the test?” John asks. That way, you could almost place it. For Australia, Warner’s return feels extremely necessary – indeed, yesterday I wrote about it.
But certainly Steve Smith will very soon find any runs? India had a dearth of runs as well, and it was the outstanding innings of Rahane in Melbourne that gave them the win in that test.
Last night we had the Indian team already, and Australia is moving ahead as expected: Travis Head is dropped to put down the order of Matthew Wade and form a new opening partnership. “He hasn’t done much wrong Heady, we’ve just changed the balance of our team with an all-rounder, so he’s been unlucky,” Paine said.
Marnus LabuschagneSteve SmithMatthew WadeCameron GreenTim Paine* +Patrick CumminsMitchell StarcNathan LyonJosh HazlewoodJosh HazlewoodAustraliaDavid WarnerWill Pucovski (debut)
Shubman GillCheteshwar PujaraAjinkya RahaneHanuma Vihari *Rishabh Pant +Ravindra JadejaRavichandran AshwinNavdeep Saini (debut)Jasprit BumrahMohammed Sirajj Pant +Ravindra Jadeja
A coin lands for Tim Paine again.
In Melbourne, he did that, and as India rolled over the home side for 195, it didn’t help, but Australia got another chance here.
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A new day is dawning and a new match for the test is upon us. This is one that draws more focus than most, and not just for the sake of cricket. There is a lot of political controversy as to whether it should take place in Sydney and whether it should allow spectators. The Australian Medical Association is against it, and for those who count, the New South Wales government says yes. The latest outbreak of the coronavirus in Sydney is at stake. The numbers in Australia would appear tiny for those living in countries such as the UK or the US, but as we often see more optimistically in sport, modest beginnings will lead to things of greater magnitude.
The SCG is basically limited to a quarter of its capacity, which I think means a maximum of 10,000 individuals. A further question is whether 10,000 people will come anyway. On Boxing Day, the MCG had a maximum of 30,000 and didn’t quite hit it.
We have a series tied at 1-1 on the cricket side of the equation with two games to go. An Australian team desperate to remain in the trophy chase after losing in Melbourne, and a remarkably strong Indian team after their 36-run Adelaide fiasco not so long ago. Back at the top of the rankings are two major names: David Warner and Rohit Sharma.
But this is not Abu Dhabi’s Hyderabad versus Mumbai. In a test match, both are recovering from injury and must be delivered immediately. India made 600+ here two years ago and pressured Australia to follow suit, only prevented by rain from winning. This time… this time— we’ll find out.