The Third Test: Some thoughts
The third India vs Australia test has come to the second day of play, but the third day of the test (the first day was rain-washed). I had been thinking about whom the Ozzies would bring in, after the homework incident, which resulted in the axing of Mitchell Johnson,James Pattinson, Shane Watson, and Usman Khawaja. After a rain-soaked first day, I finally got my news in the second day. Predictably, Mitchell Starc was brought in for Pattinson. This was obvious, as Starc – despite looking like a pussy cat compared to his show against South Africa at home – was the last pacer left in the squad. The more curious changes were Nathan Lyon for Maxwell, and Steve Smith in for Watson. What I had expected was that Ozz would have tried to replicate India’s 3-spinner ploy, using Lyon, Doherty, and Maxwell. Steve Smith’s inclusion was not expected either. Of course, Steve’s heroics in the field and with the bat for Pune in IPL 2012 made him quiet popular in India as a T20 player, but as a test player, not so much. However, Smith played a rebuilding half-century after the advantage the assault by David Warner and Ed Cowan provided appeared to be slipping away with Micheal Clarke’s first-ball duck, and a collapse in Australia’s lineup. With Mitchell Starc for company, he fought hard for his 92, until he was dismissed by Ojha two minutes before I finished this post. For India, some exciting stuff came in as well. Shikhar Dhawan and Praghyan Ojha came in for Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh. Seeing Sehwag’s poor form, it was only a matter of time before he was dropped. As for Bhajji, I really don’t know, as he bowled pretty decently. Ojha has already come to the party,with the wickets of Smith and Philip Hughes. Thenext innings, however, promises to be very interesting as Dhawan and Murali Vijay play against the spin duo of Doherty and Lyon. However, this one is still in progress, so let’s enjoy this one!