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  1. #1
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    Australia vs India | 3rd Test | Melbourne | Dec 26-30, 2018 | Day 1 Thread

    Australia bounced back from a disappointing defeat in the first Test to claim an excellent 146-run victory in the second Test in Perth. The home side will now be looking to use their momentum to seal a win at the MCG, where they have not lost a Test since 2010.

    Overview

    Australia v India, 3rd Test
    Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
    Wednesday 26 December, 10.30am local, 11.30pm GMT (-1)

    It was a case of contributions all-round that saw Australia to their first Test win since March. Half-centuries from Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch and Travis Head anchored their first-innings total of 326, while Usman Khawaja showed tremendous resolve in the second innings with his 213-ball 72. Australia set India a challenging target of 287, one which proved simply too much for the visitors.

    With the ball, Nathan Lyon was superb once more, collecting eight wickets in the match. Despite talk of a fiery Perth pitch being seamer-friendly, it was the Australian spinner who wreaked havoc.

    He has developed into a man for all conditions, someone who can be relied on to tighten the scoring, break budding partnerships and run through line-ups. If India are to claim their first series win in Australia, they will have to devise a new plan to tackle the threat of the off-spinner.

    The hosts have brought in Mitchell Marsh in place of the struggling Peter Handscomb. Marsh, they believe, will help take some load off the fast bowlers.

    For India, some underlying issues from the first Test came back to haunt them in the second, which they have tackled with three changes. The opening pair of Murali Vijay and KL Rahul, who struggled with form, have been dropped for the third Test. Mayank Agarwal is set to make his India debut and likely to open with Hanuma Vihari, who is set to be promoted up the order.

    Rohit Sharma, who missed the second Test with injury, slots back in, likely in the middle order.

    Another disappointing aspect for the Indians was the crumbling of the tail across both innings, with the foursome of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah contributing 11 runs across the match.

    While they should not be relied upon to deliver match-winning totals, a few extra runs and more time spent in the field for the Australians would be beneficial to India over the next two Tests.

    With the key figure of Ravichandran Ashwin continuing to miss out as he recovers from an abdominal strain, India have brought in Ravindra Jadeja in place of Yadav. They will hope the move offers them some batting depth as well.

    Key players

    Ajinkya Rahane (India): Indias vice-captain has looked in good touch, hitting two impressive half-centuries. Nevertheless, his performances have been overshadowed by centuries from Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. Speaking to the press in preparation for this Test, Rahane was in a confident mood, stating that a ton was well on its way. Having failed to reach three-figures in Tests this year, a hundred to close 2018 would be something special.

    Marcus Harris (Australia): After a quiet debut in Adelaide, Harris looked right at home as a Test cricketer in Perth, a first-innings 70 filled with some dreamy drives. The Victoria batsman is now set to return to his home ground with a Baggy Green on, and how Australia would love for him to emulate his state achievements on the international stage. In October, Harris hit a monumental 250 against New South Wales at the MCG in the Sheffield Shield. With Aaron Finch also finding form with a half-century in the last Test, India will have to be wary of the Australian opening duo.

    Conditions

    Boxing Day is set to see a sunny event, although subsequent days are likely to be a bit cloudier, with potential showers on day four and five. The MCG pitch has a green tinge to it, and is likely to lead towards a slow-scoring game.

    Squads

    Australia: Tim Paine (c), Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain

    India: Virat Kohli (c), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/954230


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  2. #2
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    Agarwal to debut. Not my fav batsman. He will find it very difficult against a world class Aussie attack.

    Vihari has decent technique. But does not have it in him from what I have seen. Gets ruffled easily after a few play and misses. Can’t be worse than Vijay.

    India again playing with 3 batsmen. Might have as well given Dhawan another chance.

    For that matter, they could even try Gill who is much better than vihari and Agarwal.

  3. #3
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    Interesting toss to win in MCG for India

  4. #4
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    Australia XI: Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh Tim Paine (c,wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

    India XI: Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.

    India have won the toss and elected to bat.


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  5. #5
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    Will be a thrilling game. India will want some runs from the openers. Australia will be red hot to win this one. Not sure if Jadeja will give any Australian batsmen sleepless nights.

  6. #6
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    India batting deep today . Seems like a good team . Vihari can bowl and grab some wickets.

  7. #7
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    Nervous times for India. Day 1 morning, two new openers..

  8. #8
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    6 overs gone and no wickets down. Given the poor performance of Indian openers in recent times, not a bad start

    Did I just jinx it?

  9. #9
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    70-30 in India's favor. It will be really sad if India lose this test after winning the toss. What's wrong with this aussie captain. Why can't he win any toss.

  10. #10
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    These look like perfect batting conditions.. an excellent toss to win. Lyon holds the key here.


    John 3:16

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza619 View Post
    Will be a thrilling game. India will want some runs from the openers. Australia will be red hot to win this one. Not sure if Jadeja will give any Australian batsmen sleepless nights.
    Jadeja has a long record of performing better than expected... the CT being a notable exception.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainMan_ View Post
    70-30 in India's favor. It will be really sad if India lose this test after winning the toss. What's wrong with this aussie captain. Why can't he win any toss.
    Well he won it in Perth.

  13. #13
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    Agarwal is looking really good and positive

    How do the Indian posters rate him?

    First time im watching him


    #MPGA

  14. #14
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    Pluck a random batsman out of Pakistan and a random one out of India and it doesnt matter who will be better but the Indian will look more assured


    #MPGA

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    Agarwal is looking really good and positive

    How do the Indian posters rate him?

    First time im watching him
    Always thought of him as a bit of a hack but a very positive player. Really hard to judge how such players go on internationally.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalin View Post
    Well he won it in Perth.
    Hmm that's correct. Hence, won the match as well. Luck is favoring India big time in this series. Let's see if they can capitalise on it.

  17. #17
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    Pitch looks dead atm.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Napa View Post
    6 overs gone and no wickets down. Given the poor performance of Indian openers in recent times, not a bad start

    Did I just jinx it?
    13 overs gone, openers still there... fingers crossed.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Napa View Post
    13 overs gone, openers still there... fingers crossed.
    Soon a wicket will fall. Hopefully. :p

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainMan_ View Post
    Soon a wicket will fall. Hopefully. :p
    Root for your fellow South Asians brother

  21. #21
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    Gold stat - India has never lost a Test when Virat Kohli has won the toss; 17 wins and 3 draws


    John 3:16

  22. #22
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    Vihari's S/R is 6. Fine with me as long as he can wear out the Aussie bowlers and protect the remaining batsmen.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Napa View Post
    Root for your fellow South Asians brother
    Please don't. He is more entertaining supporting the greatest team ever (TM)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Napa View Post
    Vihari's S/R is 6. Fine with me as long as he can wear out the Aussie bowlers and protect the remaining batsmen.
    Bat, bat, bat. This pitch will break on day 4 and 5.

  25. #25
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    Pacers are bowling a touch short here. They need to pitch it up.

    Lyon went defensive just after 2 shots. That's the reason he is rated a bit lower. He needs to bowl normally.

    If openers bat for too long then India can put up a big total because bowlers can get tired.

    Good toss for India to win here.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Napa View Post
    Vihari's S/R is 6. Fine with me as long as he can wear out the Aussie bowlers and protect the remaining batsmen.
    He is doing a fine job. As long as they bat another 15-20 overs, runs don't matter much.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    He is doing a fine job. As long as they bat another 15-20 overs, runs don't matter much.
    They are displaying the correct approach for a Test match. Their approach is a contrast to other players who often lack patience due to their T20 experience.

  28. #28
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    Very good start by India here

  29. #29
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    That is why you don't play makeshift openers. Terrible technique against the short ball.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    That is why you don't play makeshift openers. Terrible technique against the short ball.
    The makeshift opener played 65 balls and played out the new ball. Better than Rahul and Vijay who would flash and be dismissed within 5 overs.

  31. #31
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    Vihari gone

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    That is why you don't play makeshift openers. Terrible technique against the short ball.
    He did a very good job , New ball has been blunted out , Middle order now can grind the bowling

  33. #33
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    If India go into lunch one down they have excellent job

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sin Nombre View Post
    The makeshift opener played 65 balls and played out the new ball. Better than Rahul and Vijay who would flash and be dismissed within 5 overs.
    Maybe select better openers then...

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainMan_ View Post
    Hmm that's correct. Hence, won the match as well. Luck is favoring India big time in this series. Let's see if they can capitalise on it.
    Expected this. Thank you for not disappointing.

  36. #36
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    If India gets to 300 here , they will win the game.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    Maybe select better openers then...
    There are none except Shaw and he's injured.

  38. #38
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    Marsh bowling harmless spell here

  39. #39
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    Starc back before lunch


    Fear the Creator ..... not the created.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    Maybe select better openers then...
    If you have Mitch Marsh bowling in the first session of a test, you have done your job.


  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalin View Post
    There are none except Shaw and he's injured.
    Hard to believe in a country of 1.3 billion, but okay.

    IMO 8 (66) on this track isn't a great innings. MCG is one of the most batting friendly tracks in the world in recent years, and there has been next to no movement. Not sure having a dot ball percentage of 90% is the right approach.

    Also whose decision was it for Rohit to play in the middle order (as opposed to opening)?

  42. #42
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    Very good start for IND, if they reach lunch at most 2 down, should score 350 ish score in 1st innings, which should be daunting for this Australia lineup.

  43. #43
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    80K spectators in the stadium!


    Tazimi Sirdar

  44. #44
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    for India , just one down .

  45. #45
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    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Last year&#39;s Ashes Test at the MCG (widely criticised as a result of the docile pitch) saw 9.3% false shots in the first 25 overs of the match. So far today, we&#39;ve seen 8.5%. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AUSvIND?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AUSvIND </a></p>&mdash; The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) <a href="https://twitter.com/CricProf/status/1077734150545833984?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 26, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

  46. #46
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    India's session. Aus needs to quickly pick wicket after lunch here.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  47. #47
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    Lunch

    57 . 1

    Slow but steady start by India

  48. #48
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    Can't curators do their job even a little?

    You had one job and you ducked it up. All those people come to watch cricket and this is the pitch you give?

    Recent opening for us. Legendary if you compare it to Murali-Rahul-Jatt starts.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by JattMaula View Post
    Can't curators do their job even a little?

    You had one job and you ducked it up. All those people come to watch cricket and this is the pitch you give?

    Recent opening for us. Legendary if you compare it to Murali-Rahul-Jatt starts.
    How the pitch is behaving?

  50. #50
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    Aussies need couple of quick wickets here to be back in the game.

  51. #51
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    Maiden over , Indians blunting out the ball here .

  52. #52
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    Mayank looking good , he looks like good prospect.

  53. #53
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    Runs have dried up , India taking time.

  54. #54
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    India slowly gaining advantage here

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    This pitch is awful.


    Quote Originally Posted by Convict View Post
    Don't worry bro. Your other thread allows for rain. Maybe it will save you?

  56. #56
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    :ffity

    Agarwal showing he belongs to this

  57. #57
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    This pair is taking time but now they are settled , India will cash on it in final session.

  58. #58
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    Pathetic pitch.Looks the same pitch as last year ashes.If this series was in India locked at 1-1 Shastri would have humiliated the curated just like he did to the Wankhede pitch curater in 2015 SA Odi series

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gullycricket View Post
    Pathetic pitch.Looks the same pitch as last year ashes.If this series was in India locked at 1-1 Shastri would have humiliated the curated just like he did to the Wankhede pitch curater in 2015 SA Odi series
    Duh. This is a drop-in pitch just like Adelaide and Perth pitch. So it is not the same. Just because these batsmen didn't bat like morons Rahul and Vijay India is in a decent position.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justcrazy View Post
    If India gets to 300 here , they will win the game.
    Nah, 300 will still keep Aus in this game.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  61. #61
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    Marsh is bad choice in Test , he is not good enough with bat or ball.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justcrazy View Post
    Marsh is bad choice in Test , he is not good enough with bat or ball.
    He is in because they have back to back to Tests. Fast bowlers need some relief. Besides Handscomb was not exactly setting the series ablaze

  63. #63
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    India doing really well here

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnaveen1980 View Post
    He is in because they have back to back to Tests. Fast bowlers need some relief. Besides Handscomb was not exactly setting the series ablaze
    Marsh playing as bowling allrounder here , he needs to perform with both.

  65. #65
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    Mississauga
    Runs
    90,404
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    866 Post(s)
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    5 Thread(s)
    Indian middle order will have fun here

  66. #66
    Debut
    Mar 2016
    Runs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justcrazy View Post
    Marsh playing as bowling allrounder here , he needs to perform with both.
    Handscomb was not doing anything. Atleast Marsh can chip in a few overs to give a break to their bowlers. One or two wickets bonus. He just hsa to keep it tight.

  67. #67
    Debut
    Mar 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    Nah, 300 will still keep Aus in this game.
    Agreed. Aim should be to make 400.

    This pitch will crack and be very hard to play sometime during day 4.

  68. #68
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    Jun 2015
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    Srinagar
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    India should aim to get 450 to make the game safe

  69. #69
    Debut
    Dec 2010
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    up for India

  70. #70
    Debut
    Sep 2017
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    Honestly, Marsh's test stats make Pandya look like Gary Sobers, why is he selected so often? His brother Shaun Marsh too. I am not convinced he is good enough to be a regular test player.

    Australia must really be down on talent these days

  71. #71
    Debut
    Aug 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adijazz1706 View Post
    India should aim to get 450 to make the game safe
    Aus just need to bat out time then. Aus can't force a win if Ind scores 450 here. Ind will take lots of time away the way they are going.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  72. #72
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    Dec 2010
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    Australia can only hope for draw here now.

  73. #73
    Debut
    Sep 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    Aus just need to bat out time then. Aus can't force a win if Ind scores 450 here. Ind will take lots of time away the way they are going.
    They will pick up pace later, many aggressive batters down the order..

  74. #74
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    Aug 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justcrazy View Post
    Australia can only hope for draw here now.
    Nah, if they keep Ind around 300 they are in the game.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  75. #75
    Debut
    Aug 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oligochaetes View Post
    They will pick up pace later, many aggressive batters down the order..
    True, but still they will take lots of time here to get to 450. Aus then just need to bat for long time without worrying too much about runs.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  76. #76
    Debut
    Dec 2010
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    Mississauga
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    Mayank can get a debut hundred here

  77. #77
    Debut
    Aug 2011
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    1981 the year India won here last time. Aus was chasing 140 odd runs in 4th inning. Kapil Dev took 5/28 to win the test.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  78. #78
    Debut
    Sep 2018
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    Our Pakistani batsmen will show these Indian batsmen how to bat against world class bowling attack and still keep the run rate up. Vihari was 3 from 52, thats just shameful

  79. #79
    Debut
    Sep 2017
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    So hapy to see Agarwal continuing his domestics form.

    And, we were running behind VI & RA

  80. #80
    Debut
    Sep 2018
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    Pitch seems to part of China's Belt and Road initiative


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