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India vs Australia | Takeaways: Australia finding solution to the Finch issue and the problem of umpiring hints

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India vs Australia | Takeaways: Australia finding solution to the Finch issue and the problem of umpiring hints

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Bastab K Parida


Ashton Turner's century today not only made its way into folklore lore but also confirmed that the series would go to the decider, reminding the fans about the 2013 series. The visitors have also found a solution for how to tackle Aaron Finch conundrum and the ways to use him in the side.

Can umpires stop giving the hints?

Ever since DRS came into effect in cricket, the game has become more interesting and thanks to the cutting-edge technology, to decide when to go for the DRS has also become an art in itself. While MS Dhoni is leading the way when it comes to perfect judgement, many skippers get carried away by the bowlers’ slight insistence, only to be left red-faced later. However, the fact of the matter still lies with the understanding of the technology and how that can be used for the benefit of the team at the right time, and not when they want it. Rafael Nadal has been a clever user of the HawkEye technology right in his favour while other tennis stars have not been as successful as him in that regard.

In the context of it, many umpires have actually taken that factor out of the equation with their subtle signals after appeal. For example, when Adam Zampa hit a ball on Shikhar Dhawan’s pads, which was slightly going down the leg, umpire Anil Chaudhary instantly turned down the appeal, but to go with that, he gestured that it was going down the leg. Okay, it is not an effort to bring any controversy rather just an effort to put things into perspective.

If a team is bad in DRS calls, then they might go for the review on such instances, but after getting the insight from the umpire on such occasions might put a doubt in their head and they may opt against it. It works against the batting side. I am not saying DRS call entirely get fair if the umpires will stop doing it, but at least, there will be a level playing field to operate which is a fair way, if you look at it.

In Finch’s despondency, Australia find solution to their long-standing problem

One of the many worries that Australia are carrying in their ODI jigsaw last October, Aaron Finch was of course not one among them. A top-order batsman of enormous capacity - at least in modern Australian batting standard - Finch had four centuries in his the 11 ODIs prior to being named as the skipper of the team in October, dethroning Tim Paine as the skipper. However, very little has gone right for Finch - at least with the bat - even though he was at the helm of Melbourne Renegades winning BBL title by beating the city rivals in the final. He scored a well-crafted 93 in the Ranchi ODI, but in Mohali, it was clearly evident that he is not in the right headspace to make that count.

Considering the fact that Australia are contemplating hard to find a partner for David Warner, would Finch fit the bill in the World Cup? Ahead of the series, despite Finch’s form, Australia had zeroed in with the duo and the search of their third-choice opener among Alex Carey and D'Arcy Short. Both Short and Carey had earlier failed in the pursuit, and taking the benefit of that, Khawaja has cemented his position, solely on the basis of the last performances against India. It has thrown a conundrum of sorts because now it is almost certain that the Queenslander will open with the banned opener. 

The question is how much more rope will Finch be given as an opener and now he must be feeling fortunate that there is no obvious man to replace him as skipper, and while many believe, Glenn Maxwell could take over, it is not something that is in CA’s radar. But with the way, Usman Khawaja performed well, Australia might contemplate dropping Finch to the one-drop position, hoping that pacers would be out of the equation for a while. That meant D'Arcy Short will be out of the squad, but it will give a certain sense of stability to the team.

Mohammed Shami is secretly smiling now

Mohammed Shami is a terrific bloke with a ball in his hand. When he carries it with him, he never cared about the fact that whether he is in the top of the pecking order or his daughter is in the ICU. He bowls with a big heart and always ready to do the dirty work for the team, under pressure and otherwise. It was that ambition that helped India come close to another World Cup win last time. And this time, especially ever since his comeback to India’s limited-overs plans, he has made himself a strong contender to be Jasprit Bumrah’s partner and after Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s forgettable death bowling, he has almost cemented that position now.

Despite conceding only 30 runs in the first seven overs, Bhuvneshwar fell for a new ball length and gave away 37 runs in three overs. The breathtaking audacity with which Ashton Turner was batting, it needed him to keep his calm and bowl a couple of yorkers each over to disrupt the momentum. Instead of doing that, the ball was releasing with a full seam exposed to the surface and that resulted in Turner smashing them over mid-wicket and long-on boundary.

Of course, it is not right to judge Bhuvneshwar on the basis of that innings, but it is a fact worth-noting that while Bhuvneshwar has that cutting edge of restricting run-flow in the middle overs, Shami is a regular wicket-taker in the middle-overs, which is a very enticing option to have, primarily because the spinners are not always the best bet in the middle-overs in England where rain may play a huge role. Shami, by bringing that sense of novelty factor to his bowling, goes ahead of the UP pacer at the moment and now, it seems that he is delivering the first ball in Southampton for India on June 5.

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