Border-Gavaskar Trophy, 2020-21
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Sydney
Date: 07 January-11 January, 2021
RR: 2.55 | Australia drew with India
Right then. Australia have ended with 338 on the board. India will want a good start and will look to scale the lead and get some good runs before the end of the day. The hosts, on the other hand, will be looking to not allow the openers to settle and will want to impose themselves early on. Join us for the first innings of the Indian batting shortly.
The bowling by India on Day 1 was not the best as they could only scalp 2 wickets but they have done well to bounce back on Day 2 to wrap up the first Australian innings for below 350. Jadeja was the pick of the lot, with his 4 wickets. Bumrah and Saini were good too, scalping 2 wickets to their name while Siraj took one. Ashwin, surprisingly, took no wickets. But all in all, a very good show with the ball for the Men in Blue.
The Aussies started off really well with the bat in hand. A blot on their performance would be Warner, who went back without doing anything substantial. The debutant, Pucovski reached his half-century, and so did Labuschagne who holed out at 91. But their man of the moment, like he is for so many of their moments, Steven Smith reached his 27th Test century and was absolutely class throughout their batting show and ended up with 131 to his name. He is the reason that the Kangaroos have ended up with a really good total.
A very good bowling performance by India with the ball has seen them bundle the Australians for 338. They have bowled really well in the last two sessions and have done well to pick the wickets at regular intervals and they will be pleased at how this day has gone for them so far.
Josh Hazlewood is the last man in for the Aussies.
Australia review! Lyon wants this out decision for LBW taken upstairs. Looks dead-on.
Who comes in now? Nathan Lyon, it is.
DRINKS. A good passage of play for the Indians. They have picked up eight wickets and need just two more wickets now to wrap up the Australian batting innings. The hosts, on the other hand, will want Smith to help them cross the 350-run mark and probably even some more.
Who is in now? Mitchell Starc, it is.
Navdeep Saini is into the attack. 7-0-32-1 are his numbers so far.
Pat Cummins is the new batter in.
Who will partner Bumrah with the ball? It will be Mohammed Siraj. 22-3-63-1 are his figures so far.
We are back for Session 2 on Day 2. Indian players have taken their position in the field. So have the two Aussie batsmen, Steve Smith and captain Tim Paine. Bumrah to finish off his remaining over. Here we go...
... Day 2, Session 2 ...
Right then. Another session which was interrupted by rain. India, will come back after the Lunch break and will want to get the big fish, Steven Smith. The hosts, on the other hand, will be banking on Smith to score a ton and help them reach a good total of around 350. Join us for the second session after the Lunch break.
This session has deservedly gone the way of the visitors. Even though, they conceded 83 runs in this session but with the 3 wickets that they have scalped, this session goes their way. Jadeja was their star as he broke the valuable stand between Smith and Marnus as he sent the latter packing and also got the better of Wade. Bumrah then, with the new ball, got Green plumb in front and Cameron was back for a 21-ball duck.
Australia started off the Day really well with Smith and Labuschagne dictating the tempo and picking up from where they left off and they also reached their 100-run stand but just as Labuschagne was on 91 and was looking to get to his ton, he lost his wicket to Jadeja. It was Jaddu, again, who struck when he got rid of Wade, who played a very loose shot. Smith kept motoring along on the other end but his new partner could not keep accompany him for long as just the the stroke of Lunch, Bumrah sent him packing.
A good first session of play comes to an end. You would definitely say that this is India's session as they have scalped three wickets on a surface which has not been offering a lot to the bowlers. Still, they have the big threat out there in the form of Smith. Australia, on the other hand, have done well to add the runs on the board but no one has been able to partner Smith from the opposite end and that will be a sign of worry for them.
The Aussie skipper, Tim Paine, was walking out to bat but the umpires have decided that it will be LUNCH ON DAY 2!
Mohammed Siraj is back into the attack as well. 20-3-60-1 are his numbers so far.
Right. The Indians now have the option to take the new ball. Will they take it or will they stick with the old ball? And yes, India have decided to take the new cherry now. Jasprit Bumrah has come back into the attack as well.
Who walks in now? Cameron Green is the man in.
The physio is also out in the middle now to have a look at Vihari, who got struck hard on this body. Wade hit it with some power and so that would have hurt him. Should be alright to continue, though.
Right. The match resumes now as the Indian players walk out into the middle, followed by Steven Smith and Matthew Wade, who will continue batting for the hosts. Jadeja to bowl.
UPDATE 1135 local (0035 GMT) - GOOD NEWS! The rain has stopped and the covers are coming off. The play is scheduled to resume at 1140 local (0040 GMT). Let's hope that the rain does not decide to visit again.
UPDATE 1117 local (0017 GMT) - OH NO! Looks like the rain gods have decided to pay another visit and and players are walking off now. The covers are back on as well. Let's hope that this will not be a long delay.
Who comes in now? Matthew Wade, it is.
Ravichandran Ashwin is on now.
The players are back out on the field now. Let's hope that we do not have any more rain delays. Smith and Labuschagne to continue. Jadeja with the ball in hand.
UPDATE 10.52 am local (11.52 pm GMT) - Well, some good news already coming our way. The covers are off and the umpires are out, having a look. Play should resume soon.
UPDATE 10.45 am local (11.45 pm GMT) - The rain seems to have started getting heavier and now the umpires deem that the game has to wait and they have asked the players to walk back. The groundstaff come out and the covers are on as well. Does not look too heavy. Also, the forecast predicted said that there would be a few showers in the morning session. Let's hope that this is nothing, but just a short delay.
India review! Smith is the man in question, for this LBW appeal. No says the umpire and Rahane wants this checked. Looks to be close. Let's see what the replays have to say.
Ravindra Jadeja is on.
Who will partner Siraj with the ball from the other end? Will it be Bumrah or Saini? It will be the former as Bumrah is handed the ball.
Right then! We are all set for the action to get underway in Day 2. The Indian team walk out and look to spread out to their respective positions out on the field. They are followed by the Australian overnight batters, Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, who will want to build on their partnership. Mohammed Siraj to speed in first up for the visitors. He has one slip in place along with a gully. Here he comes...
Pitch report - Glenn McGrath says that it was a good pitch yesterday and there was not a lot of pace out there. Further adds that it will get a little quicker today and the batters will really enjoy their time out there. Also adds that it is an extremely good batting track at the moment.
Will Pucovski is in for a chat! He starts off by saying that it was a special day and it was also the best day of cricket that he has ever had and that the team is in a good position, which is good. Feels that it was special to receive the baggy green and that yesterday was really awesome and also getting his cap from his former Victorian coach was special. In regard to his long hair, he laughs and says that he will keep his hair the way it is.
Hello and welcome to Day 2 of this intriguing battle between Australia and India. Day 1 saw rain play spoilsport but we still managed to get in 55 overs of play and Australia were in the driver's seat, through most of the Day. A good day for the debutants as Pucovski scored his maiden half-century and Saini scalped his maiden Test wicket as well. Labuschagne also reached his half-century and will be looking to turn this into a ton. Australia will be looking for a total upwards of 300 whereas the Indians, will be hoping to land a few early blows and turn the tide in their favour. Which side grabs Day 2? Will Smith and Labuschagne continue on their merry way or do Bumrah and co. have a different script planned in mind? Join us as we find out all the answers...
... DAY 2, SESSION 1 ...
Right then. Australia take the first Day. They will be very happy with how proceedings have unfolded for them. But now, they will want to build on this on Day 2 and amass a big total on the board. Whereas, the Indians have not had the best day out there and will want to redeem themselves and apply the pressure on the hosts. Join us for Day 2 on Friday, 08th January 2021 at 1000 local (2300 GMT, THE PREVIOUS DAY). We hope to have your company. Until then, take care and cheers.
Steven Smith is down for an interview. He says that he is happy with the way he played today. Adds that the rain hampered the momentum but they have slowly got back on track. Mentions that during Christmas, he was practicing his batting and that helped him a bit.
The bowling by India was not the worst but they let the batters of Australia to set the tempo, which hurt them. They got off to a good start, as Siraj got rid of the dangerous Warner early on. But after the spell of rain, it was all Australia. They attacked the bowling of India and dispatched all the loose deliveries. Saini, who was making his debut, also scalped his maiden Test wicket, but in the end, not the best show with the ball for the visitors.
After the rain had decided to leave, the duo of Labuschagne and Pucovski went out and dominated proceedings in the second session. It has to be said though that Pucovski was gifted two lives as Pant dropped him twice but he still played well and went onto reach his maiden half-century in the process. They also reached their 100-run stand before Saini, trapped Pucovski for a LBW and broke that stand. And then, it was all about the partnership stitched between Smith and Labuschagne as they too, joined hands and added a 50-run partnership and Marnus also reached his ninth half-century in the process.
Tim Paine won the toss early on and decided that they would want to start with the bat. They had a new opening pair out in the middle as Warner was back from his injury and Pucovski made his Test debut. This stand started off nicely but they could not continue as Siraj dangled a thread and Warner fell for it and lost his wicket. We had just 7.1 overs on the board and the showers decided to play spoilsport and there was a lot of hope of stop-starts as the rain kept coming and going. Finally, an early Lunch was taken.
A fine day of cricket comes to a close. If you are an Australian fan, you will be happy with how this day has turned out, even with all the showers that came along the way. For India, they will be pondering on their missed chances that came their way to pick up a couple of wickets and will want to reflect on this when they head back.
Ravindra Jadeja is on.
DRINKS. Even though India did well to break this partnership that Labuschagne and Pucovski built, as Saini grabbed his maiden wicket of his Test career, the Australians are still ahead at the moment and they are turning up the ante with the aggressive approach of Labuschagne and his new partner, Steven Smith. India will be hoping to grab a couple more wickets before the end of the Day, mainly of Smith, who is looking very good out there.
Mohammed Siraj is back on.
Ravichandran Ashwin is back on.
Steven Smith is the new batsman in.
Who will partner Bumrah with the ball? It will be Navdeep Saini.
We are back to resume. The Indian players are out in the middle. Marnus Labuschagne and Will Pucovski will resume their innings for Australia. Jasprit Bumrah will start the proceedings for this session.
... Day 1, Session 3 ...
UPDATE 1700 local (0600 GMT) - Bad news coming our way. The Tea break had to be done by now but it seems that the rain has started pouring down again and the covers are on. Fingers crossed that this is just a passing shower and nothing more. The good news is that the rain has stopped and the covers are coming off.
Right then. The first session of the Day has gone the way of India, whereas, the second session has been all Aussies. Which team grabs the final session of the Day? Will Labuschagne and Pucovski continue where they have left off or will Rahane inspire his bowlers to turn it all around? All the answers on the other side of the Tea break.
Not what Rahane would have been hoping for. They have not been at their best with the ball in hand. Yes, they have bowled testing lines and lengths but that has not resulted in anything for the visitors. The batting duo of Marnus and Will have dictated terms and some poor work by Pant in the field has also ensured that the chance to break this partnership has gone by. Rahane will be hoping for a better show and a couple of wickets in the final session of the day.
After a lot of delay due to rain, the players finally stepped out and Labuschagne and Pucovski have not looked back since. They have been batting really well and have also sttiched a 87-run partnership. Even though, Pucovski has been lucky as he has had two catches dropped, he has continued to impress and has also reached his maiden half-century in the process. Both of them will be looking to do more of the same in the final session of the day.
An interesting session of play comes to a close. Even though, India have bowled decent and have not bowled a lot of loose deliveries, the Aussies will be the happier side heading into this break.
Finally. Rahane decides that it is time to hand the ball to the debutant, Navdeep Saini. A proud moment for the youngster.
The umpires are checking if Pant has taken a clean catch. The third umpire wants to confirm. Looks like he hasn't.
DRINKS. Time for a refreshment. The Aussies will be very happy with how Labuschagne and Pucovski have dealt with the Indian bowling ever since the resumption of play. They have added some good runs to the board and are close to the 50-run mark now as well. India, on the other hand, have bowled testing lines and lengths but they have not been able to grab another wicket, since Warner fell. Some more wickets is what they will be thinking of before the Tea break.
Mohammed Siraj is back on. 6-1-23-1 are his numbers so far. Looks like Rahane is going to make Saini wait slightly more, before handing him the ball.
Ravichandran Ashwin is into the attack.
We are back for resumption. The Indian players are out in the middle. Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne will resume their batting for Australia. Mohammed Siraj will finish his over.
UPDATE 1450 local (0350 GMT) - Finally, the best news that we could hope for! PLAY WILL RESUME AT 1500 local (0400 GMT). The Indian players are slowly trotting out and are looking to warm up before the resumption of play as well. Tea will be taken at 1640 local (0540 GMT) and stumps are scheduled at 1830 local (0730 GMT) with 30 minutes extra permitted to make sure that the minimum overs are bowled.
UPDATE 1440 local (0340 GMT) - There seems to be an issue with the areas next to the pitch and the umpires are concerned about the same. The groundstaff are hard at work and are doing all they can to dry that area. The good news is that the sun is shining brightly. Stay tuned for further updates.
UPDATE 1420 local (0320 GMT) - Some more good news coming our way. It looks like all the covers have been taken off. An inspection is due 10 minutes from now. Hopefully, some cricket is just around the corner.
UPDATE 1409 local (0309 GMT) - Alright, some movement by the groundstaff as the covers are being taken off. The rain seems to have stopped for now. Let's hope that the rain does not pay another visit.
UPDATE 1355 local (0255 GMT) - It is still raining heavily and we need to wait longer for the game to resume. Fingers crossed. Stay tuned for the updates.
UPDATE 1334 local (0234 GMT) - Another bout of bad news coming our way. The umpires were supposed to inspect the field right now but it seems that the rain has not had it's final say and has returned. The covers are back on as well. All we can do is hope now.
UPDATE 1312 local (0212 GMT) - Well, finally some good news as it seems that the covers are coming back off. There is no confirmation as to what the start time would be but the rain seems to have stopped, which is a positive sign. The scheduled close of play now will be at 1830 local (0730 GMT) with 30 minutes extra so as to ensure that the minimum overs are bowled. Right, the news coming out is that the umpires will inspect the field at 1330 local (0230 GMT). Fingers crossed!
UPDATE 1300 local (0200 GMT) - Nothing new to update as it is still raining in Sydney. It seems that we will be in for a long delay as it looks to be heavy. Let's hope that we get some cricket on Day 1.
After winning the toss, Tim Paine decided that they were going to bat first. They had new openers for this Test as Warner and Pucovski walked out into the middle. Warner was showing some good intent and Will was looking solid out there, on his Test debut. But Siraj had other plans when he dangled a bait to Warner and David took it and lost his wicket in the process. Labuschagne walked out and with just 7.1 overs on the board, rain decided to play spoilsport and brought the first session to an early close. Hopefully, we see some cricket after the Lunch break.
UPDATE 1220 local (0120 GMT) - Well, early Lunch was on the cards and it has been taken now as the rain has been pretty persistent. It just seems to be that kind of a day. Let's hope that we have clear skies after the Lunch break.
UPDATE 1200 local (0100 GMT) - There are 30 minutes remaining for the scheduled Lunch break but the rain has gotten heavier. Early lunch is on the cards. But stick around for the official confirmation.
UPDATE 1145 local (0045 GMT) - Well, we hate to be the bearers of bad news but play should have been underway now. It seems that the rain has decided to pay yet another visit and the covers come back on. Sigh! Guess we'll just have to play the waiting game.
UPDATE 1133 local (0033 GMT) - Good news coming our way! It seems that the covers are coming off now. Let's hope that the rain does not decide to pay another visit and play can get underway shortly. We are getting an update that play will resume at 1145 local (0045 GMT). Also, the scheduled close of play will be extended to 1810 local (0710 GMT). No overs have been lost so far, provided the rain stays away.
UPDATE 1123 local (0023 GMT) - Well, good news as the covers seem to be coming off. Oh wait...Scratch that last update. The rain has started to pour down again and the covers come back on. Ahh..slightly frustating but rain was predicted on Day 1 and it could well be a start-stop sort of day.
UPDATE 1105 local (0005 GMT) - Seems that the rain has got slightly heavier and so the umpires have asked the players to go back and the covers are also on at the moment. The players walk off and the rain does not look too heavy and it should be just a short delay. Let's hope that it is just a passing shower.
Marnus Labuschagne is the new batsman in.
Mohammed Siraj to bowl from the other end.
Right then! We are done with all the pre-match formalities as the action for the 'Pink Test' is all set to begin. The players of India are in a huddle and Ajinkya Rahane is imparting some final words of wisdom before the players spread out on the field. The openers of Australia, David Warner and Will Pucovski stride out into the middle. A change in the openers for the hosts and it will be interesting to see how they fare. Jasprit Bumrah to speed in. Pucovski to face. Here he comes...
The players are out in the middle and are standing in respect of their respective National Anthems. First, it will be India's National Anthem, followed by Australia's.
PITCH REPORT - Glenn McGrath says that there is a slight tinge of grass but it still should be a very good surface to bat on. Goes onto say that there could be a lot of runs on offer. Also adds that both the captains would look to bat first.
Australia (Playing XI) - David Warner (IN PLACE OF JOE BURNS), Will Pucovski (IN PLACE OF TRAVIS HEAD), Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (C/WK), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
India (Playing XI) - Rohit Sharma (IN PLACE OF MAYANK AGARWAL), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (C), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini (IN PLACE OF UMESH YADAV).
Ajinkya Rahane, the skipper of India, starts off by saying that he is happy that Rohit Sharma is back and he has looked good in the nets. Feels that he is happy for Saini and that he has been good in domestic cricket. Feels that they are just focusing on this Test match and it is all about giving your best out there.
The captain of Australia, Tim Paine, starts off by saying that they discussed in areas that they need to improve. Says that Warner is back and Pucovski is making their debut and they are excited. Feels that they will try and play their best cricket in Sydney and they'll go about their business in this Test. States that Travis Head misses out and that he has not done a lot wrong but they had to shuffle things around.
TOSS - The men who matter, Tim Paine and Ajinkya Rahane are out in the middle for the all important toss. Up goes the coin and it lands in Australia's favour. THEY WILL BAT FIRST!
Another interesting Day of Test cricket is what this is building up to be. Which team looks to take the day? Will the hosts start this day and take control or will India make another statement and push the Kangaroos on the back foot? A lot will depend on the toss as well. So join us as we bring you the toss and all the relevant updates...
India, on the other hand, will be in high spirits heading into this game. Their last victory will not be something that they will forget so easily. Without Kohli, Ishant, Rohit, Bhuvneshwar and also Umesh Yadav, they won the last game very solidly and they proved everyone who doubted them wrong. With the same mindset and form, they can take a huge leap in this game by winning and taking a 2-1 lead, with the final Test to go. Just like Australia, they have also received a boost as Rohit Sharma has been included in the Playing XI and a Test debut is also being handed to Navdeep Saini.
A wounded lion is more dangerous than a hungry one. This is the definition of the Australian team right now. They proved their talents in the first Test and bundled this Indian side to a humbling defeat, but in the next game, they were outplayed all over the field and they let India come back in the series, to make it level and that would have hurt them. Losing a Test match at home would have hurt them and that is why a comprehensive show is what they will be hoping for and their attempts to do this were boosted as their star opener, David Warner is back into the squad and this is something that they desperately needed. Steven Smith has not fared well so far and the Kangaroos will be hoping for him to fire.
Two Tests done. Series level at 1-1. Talking about the series so far, A humiliation dished to India by Australia in the first Test and without the able aid of Virat Kohli, Rahane has shown his mettle and his leadership skills as he has led this Indian side to a memorable victory in the second Test of the series to get them level. And now the third Test looms upon us.
India Team Squad -Ajinkya Rahane,Cheteshwar Pujara,Hanuma Vihari,Mayank Agarwal,Prithvi Shaw,Rohit Sharma,Shubman Gill,Ravichandran Ashwin,Ravindra Jadeja,Rishabh Pant,Wriddhiman Saha,Jasprit Bumrah,Kuldeep Yadav,Mohammed Siraj,Navdeep Saini,Shardul Thakur,T Natarajan
Australia Team Squad -David Warner,Marcus Harris,Marnus Labuschagne,Steven Smith,Travis Head,Will Pucovski,Cameron Green,Michael Neser,Moises Henriques,Matthew Wade,Tim Paine,James Pattinson,Josh Hazlewood,Mitchell Starc,Mitchell Swepson,Nathan Lyon,Pat Cummins,Sean Abbott
No Australia-India game is without controversy! This time it is the off-field issues which took centre stage but that is all sorted as India gear up to face the hosts at Sydney for the third Test. A few days before the start saw few Indian players reportedly breaking Covid-19 protocols and they have been placed in isolation and there have been reports of India not wanting to travel to Brisbane for the fourth Test but that is for later. Coming back to the series, India made a wonderful comeback in the second Test after being annihilated in the first one. The captaincy of Ajinkya Rahane was praised by everyone and he led from the front with the bat as well. But credit has to be given to the bowlers as they managed to bowl out Australia for a cheap score not only once but twice which was pleasing to see. Jasprit Bumrah was the star while Mohammad Siraj impressed on debut. The batting was led by Rahane while the likes of Jadeja and Gill were brilliant as well. They would hope that they can continue their performance. India have received a boost in their batting as Rohit Sharma is all set to play the third Test. India have announced their playing XI and it has been confirmed that Rohit Sharma will open the innings along with Shubman Gill while Navdeep Saini will make his debut in place of the injured Umesh Yadav. Australia, on the other hand, have plenty of questions left to be answered. Their batting has faltered big time and they need to improve massively in that aspect. Steven Smith has been a failure so far in this series while only Tim Paine has looked assured at the crease. The return of David Warner might be the tonic that they need. The question is going to be who will open with David Warner? Will it be Will Pucovski or will they persist with Matthew Wade? We will have to wait and see. The bowling has done well in both the games but has not been backed by their batsmen so far. They will hope that they can better their show and go 2-1 up in the series. An exciting contest coming up.