WICKET! Smith c Samson b Chahal 12 (9), Australia 72-2
Chahal gets another one! And it’s the big one of Smith. The leggie has him lifting a ball towards midwicket, neither here nor there in terms of distance, but Samson produces the second brilliant take of the night, sprinting in and diving full length forwards. Perhaps with the angle of the light towers here it’s a bit easier to take the flatter catches than the higher ones.
9th over: Australia 68-1 (Short 22, Smith 9) Chahar and Chahal in bowling tandem: one a solid pace bowler, the other a very slight leggie. The pace bowler is having less luck though. One ball drops short, Smith unfurls those rubber arms, and smacks the pull shot over backward square for six.
8th over: Australia 57-1 (Short 19, Smith 1) The captain gone, the former captain to the middle. A couple of singles and Chahal has 1 for 4 from his first over.
WICKET! Finch c Pandya b Chahal 35 (26), Australia 56-1
Here’s the most interesting moment: Chahal the spinner has the ball. One can only assume that the Australians thought that Jadeja’s leg injury was the problem and that India were being tricky by withdrawing him from the game on concussion grounds. He wasn’t examined by the doctor on the ground. But that was four balls before the end of the innings, and he was clobbered in the head. Steve Smith of course kept batting at Lord’s after being hit last year, and was later subbed from the game.
So what does Chahal do? Takes a wicket fourth ball. Flight, dip, Finch tries to hit big down the ground, and Pandya gallops in from long-off to take a sensational catch diving forward. He’s had back injuries, his teammates have been dropping them, but he hurls himself at the ball and hits the ground hard, holding onto the catch.
7th over: Australia 54-0 (Finch 34, Short 18) Chahar returns, and he has Finch dropped second ball! A big drive, a thick outside edge, and Pandey diving across at backward point gets both hands to it and spills it.
Finch gets off strike. Short plays a slog across the line and is dropped too! This one was a sitter. Kohli the culprit, has so much time to come in under that ball, hands pointing up, has to tip backwards a bit at the last minute, and it bursts through his hands and knocks his cap off his head via the peak.
Poor Chahar! He gets savaged in his first over, bounces back to produce two wicket-taking balls, and neither is taken. The only thing in his favour is that the over only concedes one run.
6th over: Australia 53-0 (Finch 33, Short 18) T Natarajan will bowl the last of the Powerplay. (If anyone is wondering about naming conventions, he’s from Tamil Nadu so the Thangarasu in his name is his father’s name.) The left-armer goes around the wicket and angles the ball in, hitting his line well, giving away only a few singles, but then Finch gets an inside edge past the stumps for four. Everything is running in Australia’s favour so far.
5th over: Australia 45-0 (Finch 27, Short 16) Aaron Finch is in some touch against the quicks. Waits back against Shami and plays almost a late cut, but with more force than the usual, away for four. Then gets a ball on leg stump and picks it up sweetly, away over deep backward for six! Shami’s first two overs cost 21.
4th over: Australia 33-0 (Finch 16, Short 15) Finch finds the fence against Sundar this time around, going back to pull hard from the first ball. But Sundar gets right back on the spot, keeping them to three singles from the next five.
3rd over: Australia 26-0 (Finch 10, Short 14) No more Chahar, instead Kohli will go to his blue-chip option in Mohammed Shami. It doesn’t work, though. This is the best that Short has looked for Australia. Two boundaries in a row, first the cut, then the cover drive. Ping, ping.
2nd over: Australia 16-0 (Finch 10, Short 3) Where Chahar was rough, Washington Sundar is smooth. The spinner starts perfectly, giving Finch no room to move and racing through the over to keep him rushed. Finch’s only scoring shot is a drive for two, and even that is thanks to a misfield.
India’s management has confirmed the concussion sub story. We got there.
1st over: Australia 14-0 (Finch 8, Short 3) In the meantime, Australia get off to a flyer. Deepak Chahar is the opening quick, and he doesn’t open well. Too full throughout, and Finch clobbers him for a couple of driven boundaries before Short adds one of his own.
In the meantime, England’s match against South Africa has just been called off. Never a quiet moment.
Ok, here’s the latest press-box brainstorm: Jadeja while batting apparently had a ball ricochet off his helmet, the one that Henrqiues dropped. So they might have been able to take him out of the game as a concussion substitute. The rationale for this is that Yuzi Chahal is out on the field, the leg-spinner. He could be there as a like-for-like replacement, but they wouldn’t use him as a normal sub fielder because he’s far from the best available in that department. If he’s a concussion sub then Chahal will be able to bowl. And Langer might be blowing up because a player with a muscle tear has been replaced through the concussion rules.
There’s something going on here! Justin Langer down on the boundary line is getting very upset with David Boon, the match referee. Aaron Finch is sitting in the dugout with his helmet off. Is he not being allowed to open the batting? The Indians are out on the field waiting, the Australians are still by the rope. The umpires are coming out. Langer was shaking his head demonstratively in the conversation with Langer, and fairly clearly said “Duck me,” or something to that effect.
Maybe it was just a slow over-rate thing? I can’t imagine that’s worth getting that upset about though.
An email from Peter Salmon. “Sorry, I’ve missed a bit of vital information from the thousand cricket articles I read each week. Is there a reason Carey keeps in the 50 over and Wade in the T20? Need to get my Excel spreadsheet spot on.”
I think it’s simply that there’s a big white-ball squad and they’re giving everyone a run. Carey has nailed down the 50-over spot since the World Cup last year, and Wade’s most emphatic run-scoring has come in T20 cricket the past couple of years, so he has more claim in that format. And they don’t need two keepers in one XI.
Australia must chase 162 to win
What a performance at the end from Jadeja, and what a loss he’ll be if that injury keeps him out of future matches. He made 44 not out from 23 balls, and saved the day again. India have something to bowl at now, and D’Arcy Short has a history of being pretty nervous when he takes the step up to play for Australia.
20th over: India 161-7 (Jadeja 44, Chahar 0) Sundar is out from the third ball of the over. Jadeja drills the fourth, lofted and straight, and Abbott sprinting across from long-on dives but can’t quite reach it with his straining outstretched fingers. You can see his knuckles popping up white on the replay as he tries to get there.
Fifth ball, short, hooked for four. Flat, long, and that very nearly carried for six while barely getting more than a few metres of height.
From the final ball, Jadeja can only get a single, but he has more than done enough.
WICKET! Sundar c Abbott b Starc 7 (5), India 152-7
Starc with the last over. Sundar gets a run pushing straight, and that’s all he needs to do. Jadeja swings lustily to the leg side, gets a thick outside edge, and leaping back at short third is Henriques, trying to catch the ball but only able to parry it back with one reverse-cupped hand. Then Sundar swings down the ground and is caught by Abbott. No celebrations from Australia, and Sundar at least gets Jadeja back on strike.
19th over: India 150-6 (Jadeja 34, Sundar 6) Hazlewood from the Manuka Shops end of the ground, and Jadeja creams the first one! Loves that shot, front leg cleared, the bat swinging sabre-like through the ball, splitting mid-off and cover inside the circle. He then moves across outside off stump and goes leg side, hitting the gap between long-on and deep mid, but Smith gets there just in time to palm the ball back after it has bounced inside the rope. Saves two. Jadeja scores another couple with a soft top-edge on a pull shot that limps down the ground, but this time Smith being so far back means they get the second run.
But it looks like Jadeja has done his hamstring here. I think it happened as he played the shot, he flinched, then ran through for the double, but has spent a long time in the hands of the trainers afterwards. He’s had his leg taped up and will continue. Washington Sundar spent the whole break shadow-batting. He going to smoke some shadow balls now.
Jadeja resumes strike at last. Hazlewood bowls, and he smokes it over the leg side for six! He should get injured more often. A length ball, the pick-up shot, and that really was immense. It went up over the Spidercam wires, and landed near where the Glenn Maxwell switch hit landed, up near the very back of the Bradman Stand.
Good grief. He camps back to the next ball and lifts the pull barely over backward square leg for four! Over the fingers of the man in the circle.
Last ball of the over? Expects the full ball, gets forward, and drives through cover for four more! Perfect placement between long-off and deep cover.
My word. The injury, the delay, then 6, 4, 4.
That makes 23 off the over, which included a no-ball earlier.
18th over: India 127-6 (Jadeja 12, Sundar 6) Starc comes back and wants to clean up, but it doesn’t go his way at first. A couple of wides, a draw shot from Sundar – edged between the left-hander’s legs and away to the fine leg fence. A dozen from the over.
17th over: India 115-6 (Jadeja 8, Sundar 0) First ball of the next over is the one that goes for six! Henriques’ night of parsimony comes to an end, as he bowls a length ball that Pandya leans back on and smokes over wide long-on. The next ball is similarly well hit, a cut shot, but the one player within a mile of it at cover on the circle is lined up by the shot directly. It’s still hit so hard that they run a single by the time Swepson recovers to throw the ball back in. Jadeja, a left-hander now, cuts in the same direction and Swepson can’t stop it, but deep cover will.
Pandya back on strike goes long down the ground and Abbott pulls off a ridiculous save. All the way back on the rope, at long-off, the ball looks like it’ll clear him but he gets up and taps it back into the field of play before landing, and keeps the scoring to two.
Next ball is when Pandya goes again and gets out.
WICKET! Pandya c Smith b Henriques 16 (15), India 114-6
Has to go for it, Pandya, and gets more height than distance as he tries to hit Henriques over long-off. Smith comes in from the boundary to take the high ball securely.
16th over: India 104-5 (Pandya 7, Jadeja 6) Pandya walks across to try to glance Hazlewood and misses, and the ball soars over his middle stump. That’s the second ball of the over, and it makes five overs without a boundary for India. Pandya is content to nudge a single. They’ll have to take on somebody at some point. Not Hazlewood. Jadeja drives a run, Pandya another. Then two from a fumble, seven from the over.
15th over: India 97-5 (Pandya 3, Jadeja 3) Zampa isn’t letting the brakes off. He gives them four singles, driven down the ground, and finishes his bowling for the night with figures of 1 for 20.
14th over: India 93-5 (Pandya 1, Jadeja 1) A leg bye, a single and a wicket. That’s the Henriques over. He’s got 2 for 11 from three. India have Pandya and Jadeja together, the two who saved the day on Wednesday. They put on 150 from 108 balls there. They’ve got a lot less time to do something here.
WICKET! Rahul c Abbott b Henriques 51 (40), India 92-5
Another simple wicket goes down. Rahul feels the need to up the ante, tries to lift Henriques down the ground, but the cutter doesn’t give him good enough purchase and Abbott runs in from long-on to take the catch.
13th over: India 91-4 (Rahul 51, Pandya 1) What an over, Adam Zampa. Dives across to field the last ball and keep it scoreless, and all up the over cost two singles and returned the wicket.
WICKET! Pandey c Hazlewood b Zampa 2 (8), India 90-4
They’re falling with the soft pitter-patter of summer rain, now. The Mullet strikes with a shortish ball outside off, Pandey’s cut shot loops off the top edge, and Hazlewood uses his long reach at short third on the circle to lunge forward and take it low about the ground. Cheers as Hardik Pandya comes to the middle.
12th over: India 89-3 (Rahul 50, Pandey 2) First ball of the over when the wicket falls, which lets Henriques get through a quiet one to new man Manish Pandey. A brace down the ground and a wide are the only scores.
WICKET! Samson c Swepson b Henqriques 23 (15), India 86-3
Swepson into the act with his fielding now too. A straightforward one, Samson trying to power a cover drive, instead lofting it flat to the edge of the circle. Henriques vindicates the decision to bowl him.
Fifty! KL Rahul 50 from 37 balls
11th over: India 86-2 (Rahul 50, Samson 23) Abbott just can’t stop being clobbered. Bowls a short ball, maybe the chance of pace, that sits up outside off. Samson leaps like a salmon and makes good contact while mid-air, cutting over cover for four. KL gets strike and turns a single for his fifty. Abbott bowls Samson a wide, then a ball on the pads that lets Samson hare back and dive into his ground for a second run after playing it square.
“So what do we think about the switch-hit controversy?” emails Dave Langlois. “To me it seems as though the batter is taking a considerable risk in changing his or her stance at the last moment, and this probably offsets the advantage of outwitting fields. And it’s so exciting and counter-intuitive to watch. The curmudgeonly complaints have quite surprised me.”
Dave, just for you I have prepared this treatise on the very topic.
10th over: India 75-2 (Rahul 48, Samson 15) Moises Henriques with the ball. Underused during Wednesday’s ODI when others were being clobbered. Starts well with his seamers, hitting a length and keeping them to three singles, then two runs nudged square. A couple more singles, seven from the over, you’ll take that.
9th over: India 68-2 (Rahul 45, Samson 11) Swepson for his second, and gets dealt an absolute monster by Samson! It’s that top-spinner again, but Samson is much more decisively back on his stumps, pulling ferociously. The ball carries all the way to the concrete pedestrian concourse that circles Manuka, where it hits the ground, half-volleys into the wall, and does that so hard that carries all the way back onto the field of play. That’s a rebound of probably… 20 metres? Travelling. A few balls later, Rahul gets a ball short enough to pull for four, despite two outfielders in front of square on the leg side.
8th over: India 56-2 (Rahul 40, Samson 4) Double leg-spin in this game, that’s a treat. Adam Zampa backs up Swepson with an over conceding five singles. A triumph in T20 cricket.
7th over: India 51-2 (Rahul 38, Samson 1) It’s been all on Rahul tonight, and it still is as Sanju Samson joins him.
WICKET! Kohli c & b Swepson 9 (9), India 48-2
Swepson, back in the team and gets the biggest prize of all! His first over, having played a solitary T20 for Australia at Edgbaston back in mid-2018. He bowls flat and fast and gets bounce, looks like a top-spinner. Kohli sees the length and tries to pull but the ball is through him too fast and bounces too much, hitting high on the cross-bat and looping back to the bowler. Quite the moment.
6th over: India 42-1 (Rahul 31, Kohli 8) Sean Abbott on for his first bowl of the day… and India will pick up where they left off against him on Wednesday. He went for 49 from three overs at the back end of that ODI. Tonight, after a couple of singles, Rahul aims a big loft over midwicket, gets a thick outside edge and it flies up and just over short third man for four. Undeterred, Rahul goes for the same shot next ball and completely nails it over deep midwicket for six! That’s more like it. Abbott pulls it back at the end with a couple of dot balls, jamming up Rahul for room.
5th over: India 30-1 (Rahul 20, Kohli 7) Adam Zampa comes on. Leg-spin in the Powerplay. Two fielders out at long-on and deep mid. Everybody up on the off side. Zampa bowls a nice curling leg-break, teasing just outside off. KL Rahul scorches it along the carpet for four.
What a start.
Two more runs to that deep mid, as Kohli hustles back to the non-striker’s for the second. The repeats the dose, identically.
4th over: India 21-1 (Rahul 11, Kohli 7) That’s the definition of dismissive. Hazlewood bowls a decent length ball, fast, a touch straight, and Kohli just wafts it off his pads over midwicket for four. Poetry. Hazlewood has got Kohli out the last four times they’ve played an ODI, but India collect eight runs comfortably from that over.
3rd over: India 13-1 (Rahul 9, Kohli 1) Well, Rahul got that over going with the first boundary of the day, slashed over backward point, but Starc comes back with the first wicket of the day. Kohli is at the crease early, and off the mark first ball guiding a run to deep third.
WICKET! Dhawan b Starc 1 (6), India 11-1
There’s Mitchell Starc back! Full, swinging, lighting up the stumps. That thing he does better than anyone. This ball is left-arm over to a left-hander, angling in at middle stump, Dhawan plays an unconvincing waft across the line, and it swings away to evade his bat and clip the outside of off stump, still going fast enough to knock it out of the ground. Some delivery.
2nd over: India 6-0 (Rahul 4, Dhawan 1) Josh Hazlewood at the other end, Australia’s Test set-up continuing in the shortest form. How well did he bowl in the one-dayers? Such a good operator now. He’s starting off perfectly here, almost a full over at the left-handed Dhawan, just the right angle across him, back of a length so it’s hard to hit, drawing some missed shots and some outside edges, conceding a nicked single and a leg bye.
1st over: India 4-0 (Rahul 4, Dhawan 0) Mitch Starc to bowl after missing the third ODI the other night. Starts pretty nicely. Full, swinging, pitched up outside the off stump. Four balls in similar fashion, which isn’t always his go. Rahul drives at a few but can only beat the field for a couple of runs. Finally gets a straighter ball and flicks two more to fine leg.
The Australian team and extended squad come out onto the field without their shoes and stand around the Walkabout Wickets artwork, in a display of solidarity with Indigenous Australians. They’re also wearing their new Indigenous art uniforms tonight, which look excellent. It’s quite the picture with the late sun over the ground and the long shadows of the light towers stretching from one side to the other. If you want some trivia, Cameron Green is out there wearing AJ Tye’s shirt.
While we’re waiting, feel free to read this terrific, insightful, brave, incisive essay on the switch-hit, authored by… yeah, it was me.
Interesting for Australia with D’Arcy Short opening now that Warner is out injured. Finch there with him, Matthew Wade keeping and batting at three. Swepson the leg-spinner comes into the team from outside the white-ball squad, which is interesting. Ashton Agar hurt his calf muscle the other night and left them short on spin. Swepson was in the Australia A squad to play the red-ball warm-ups before the Test series.
Aaron Finch *
Matthew Wade +
Kohli says, “It’s a great chance to have a look at a few players. Pretty excited for them.” Lots of changes from the ODI side. Jasprit Bumrah rested after a tough couple of games. T Natarajan bowled well on ODI debut and keeps his spot. The IPL boys in Chahar and Sundar get a run. KL Rahul to the top of the order, Samson into the middle. The form players remain: Dhawan, Kohli, Pandya, Jadeja.
KL Rahul +
Virat Kohli *
Australia win the toss
And the hosts will bowl first, says captain Aaron Finch. So they’ll take the common approach and chase. Didn’t quite work for them in the last ODI here on Wednesday but they should have won that one, really.
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A change of pace today, as we move from the 50-over game to the 20-over game. The first of three Twenty20 Internationals between Australia and India, this one in Canberra before the next two in Sydney. The home team was playing the 50-over games as though they were 20 overs a lot of the time, so perhaps that won’t make much difference. The Indians have just come off months of IPL, so they should be well attuned to the demands of this format. They won the ODI in Canberra on Wednesday so they’ll be feeling a bit more cheerful about playing again at this ground. It’s a warm sunny late afternoon at the moment, so we’ll look forward to a mild evening with the cricket on. What better?