India vs Australia | Talking points from first Day of the third Test

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© BCCI Twitter

India vs Australia | Talking points from first Day of the third Test

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SportsCafe Desk


Despite losing three wickets in the first session of the day, Australia managed to make up for it through the strong defiant partnership between Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell that helped Australia finish the day at 299/4. En-route to his hundred, Smith also crossed 5,000 runs in his Test career.

Brief scores: Australia 299/4 (Steve Smith 117*, Glenn Maxwell 82; Umesh Yadav 2/63) after 90 overs.

Kohli and Yadav’s clever trick to trap Renshaw

Australia picked Matthew Renshaw to open the batting alongside David Warner ahead of Usman Khawaja after some deliberation by Steve Smith at the start of the series. He has been rewarded for that decision and how. For someone playing only his third Test in Indian conditions, Renshaw has batted with the poise of a veteran but his inexperience has meant that the youngster has failed to convert any of the starts to a big score.

The Ranchi wicket is unlike the previous two pitches used in the series, where the pacers had something to work with. Umesh Yadav, who has been a revelation for India in this home season, was, yet again, on the money from the outset. He swung the ball away in the first session and constantly moved it from the outside the off stump to trouble Australian openers. While Warner’s lack of footwork was clearly visible, the way Yadav and Kohli managed to get rid of Renshaw was fascinating.

Kohli saw the signs of reverse swing as early as the 20th over and quickly called upon Yadav as he knew that he has the ability to gets some purchase from the pitch. Renshaw, too, fell for the trap as Yadav’s swinging delivery took the outside edge of the Aussie's bat and straight into Kohli’s hands at first slip.     

India finally get the review right in the Australia series

In last seven Tests, 63% of Kohli’s reviews in the field haven’t even come close for a doubt. Nineteen of his 31 LBW reviews have failed to change an umpire's call. But in Dhoni's hometown, Kohli, pretty much like his former skipper, used the DRS with aplomb to send Shaun Marsh packing.  

In the 25th over, an Ashwin’s delivery took the inside edge of the bat and after hitting the pad was duly collected by Cheteshwar Pujara at the short-leg region. The umpire at the business end didn't spot the edge as he ruled in the batsman's favour. The Indians, however, were confident to go upstairs and it was proved to be nothing like the confidence that they had shown during the previous embarrassing review calls.

Third umpire Nigel Llong checked the replay and spotted a huge spike on the UltraEdge and told the on-field umpire to change his decision. As Marsh departed, scoring only two runs, one gets the feeling that India might finally have understood how to use DRS.

Australia gamble with Pat Cummins

The dramatic second Test match between Australia and South Africa in 2011 at Wanderers, was one to remember for the New South Wales pacer, who made a debut in that match. And what a debut it was as the Aussie picked up seven wickets to present his country a two-wicket victory. But after that, he quietly disappeared from Test cricket, making a name as an ODI specialist due to a few injury niggles. But after claiming eight wickets for New South Wales last week - in his first Sheffield Shield appearance since March 2011, Cummins was recalled to the national team. 

Despite already having Jackson Bird in the ranks, the Aussie selectors gambled and chose Cummins to share the new ball with Josh Hazlewood in Ranchi as the replacement for the injured Mitchell Starc. As to how successful the decision will be remained to be seen but based on Day 1, Cummins is in for a difficult time.

Test cricket- Maxwell has it in him

One of the fastest scorers in world cricket, Glenn Maxwell has been a star in limited-overs cricket for quite a while now. But somewhere, in between, hitting those unconventional shots, his caliber to play Test cricket has been hidden. Ahead of the pivotal Test, the Aussie selectors seemed to be pondering, whom to pick between two Victorians- Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell. 

Maxwell got the nod and he repaid the faith of the selectors with his calculated play on Day 1. He proved to be a perfect ally for Steve Smith, while coming into his own. He showed his composure and built the innings around his partner. He ended the Day with a score of 82 and looks really menacing on the flat track of Ranchi.

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