STUMPS: A good toss to win for Australia and they have made the most of good batting conditions (and some help on the field from India). Much more intent on display from Australia too. India didn’t have the control they would have liked but, to be fair, did not let Australia run away with it either. If rain stays away for the rest of the match, we should have a slow-boiling contest. Join us at 4.30 am tomorrow for day 2.
STUMPS: Australia 166/2 after 55 overs. Smith and Labuschagne see out the final over from Saini, round the wicket and all. 73 runs in 24 overs of that session. A wicket for India in the first and last sessions, but it’s mostly been the hosts calling the shots.
Australia 165/2 after 54 overs: Turn and bounce for Ashwin in that over! Interesting.
Update: 4.30 AM START on day 2.
Australia 164/2 after 53 overs: Just a few tactical ooohs and aahs as Jadeja gets a hint of turn early on in his spell when he slows it down. But it is slow turn, not threatening.
Australia 162/2 after 52 overs: In Ashwin’s last over there was half an appeal for bat-pad and Rahane almost went for a review, good he didn’t because that wasn’t anywhere close to bat.
Australia 161/2 after 51 overs: Apologies, not the last over. Four more more to go now but shouldn’t take long if Jadeja does his thing.
Last over of the day coming up... Jadeja.
Australia 161/2 after 50 overs: The ploy to have two catchers in the midwicket region has not quite paid off yet for Ashwin as the Aussie batsmen continue to drive and keep it down. Really seems quite the belter to bat on.
Australia 159/2 after 49 overs: Jadeja slowing it down nicely in his first over as we have spin in tandem for the first time today.
On comes Jadeja for the first time today...
Australia 159/2 after 48 overs: And now Labuschagne’s turn to take on Ashwin. Down the track and lofted down the ground. This is a well-calculated tactic by Australia’s two best batsmen today. Not letting Ashwin settle but the Indian offie also seems up for the battle...
Australia 155/2 after 47 overs: Run-scoring slowed down a bit as we reach the business end of the day.
: Half a chance! Ashwin draws Smith out again but this time there is not a proper connection, the ball takes the inside edge onto the pads and rolls to slip.
Australia 152/2 after 45 overs: Out of pretty much nowhere an absolute beaut from Siraj that cuts Labuschagne in half and just misses the off stump.
Australia 152/2 after 44 overs: We are into the final few overs of the day. 150 comes up for Australia.
Australia 148/2 after 43 overs: The runs are flowing at a good clip for Australia. India have lost control of this match at the moment.
FIFTY! Marnus Labuschagne gets to his first half century off the series, has taken 108 balls. Gets there with a boundary through cover.
Australia 136/2 after 42 overs: Smith dances down the track and smashes Ashwin down the ground for another four.
Australia 130/2 after 40 overs: So much talk about Australia’s approach. Words like timid were used frequently...and boy, Steve Smith seems to have taken that to heart. Threads the needle through midwicket for a four off Ashwin.
Australia 125/2 after 39 overs: Saini completes a tidy over and now we are ready for the Smith-Ashwin battle to resume.
Australia 123/2 after 38 overs
Australia 121/2 after 37 overs: Couple of boundaries for Smith in that Saini over. Sachin Tendulkar talks about how sometimes one shot is all it takes for everything to fall in place for a batsman. That off-drive by Steve Smith off Jasprit Bumrah for his first boundary of the series could just be that
Australia 112/2 after 36 overs: Bumrah to Smith is off to an eventful start as the Aussie star hits a superb off drive for four after a probing over. That’s the first boundary Smith has hit in this series!
Australia 108/2 after 35 overs: Steve Smith is welcomed with a couple of really quick full balls but he has found his hands early, if we could say. Top over from Saini.
BREAKTHROUGH FOR INDIA! Deubtant Navdeep Saini dismisses debutant Will Pucovski. Full, fast and given out LBW. Not reviewed, but wouldn’t have helped. Umpire’s call for impact.
Australia 105/1 after 34 overs: A miscued pull shot by Pucovski off a short ball from Bumrah but there is no deep square leg.
Australia 100/1 after 33 overs: Another over where Australia seem to make it clear they are not going to allow Saini to settle down.
Australia 94/1 after 32 overs: Bumrah starts the session off with a maiden over but there is no movement on offer for the bowlers. Still the first few minutes could be when the batsmen are looking to get set again.
Tea break: Covers were back on during the break and now they are coming off again. It has been that kind of day at Sydney.
END OF SESSION: Australia 93/1 after 31 overs
HALF CENTURY! Debutant Will Pucovski welcomes debutant Navdeep Saini with back-to-back boundaries and reaches his first Test fifty. All smiles.
Australia 75/1 after 29 overs: OH DEAR! ANOTHER CHANCE! Bumrah is chasing this ball to the cover fence but slips at the last minute and under-arms the throw instead of sending it back that would have most definitely caught Pucovski short. First things first though, doesn’t look like Bumrah hurt himself there.
A closer look at the Pant drop:
Australia 68/1 after 28 overs: The shackles are getting loose. Back to back boundaries for Labuschagne in that Ashwin over.
Australia 59/1 after 27 overs: Will Pucovski cash in on the luck?
ANOTHER LIFE! Will Pucovski is living a charmed life at the moment and Rishabh Pant is giving him a helping hand. Fumbled a diving catch and third umpire thinks it’s been dropped. Pant doesn’t look pleased.
Australia 56/1 after 24 overs: As it often happens, an expensive over (relatively) after a dropped chance. Pucovski hits a four off Ashwin.
Australia 49/1 after 23 overs: Maiden over from Siraj. Pressure being built but it doesn’t help if chances are not taken.
Australia 49/1 after 22 overs: Oh dear. DROPPED! Not for the first time, Pant puts down a chance off Ashwin. Brilliant delivery to lure Pucovski out and beat him on flight. (We haven’t seen a ultraedge yet but looks like there was an edge)
Australia 47/1 after 21 overs: Time for a drinks break after another tidy over.
Siraj back into the attack...
Australia 46/1 after 20 overs: Another maiden over. Ashwin vs Labuschagne is like a chess match right now. One trying to outthink the other.
Australia 46/1 after 19 overs: Another bouncer from Bumrah in that over, ducked well by Pucovski. The Indian pacer is keeping things tight from his end, no easy runs even if the pitch seems to be a belter.
Australia 46/1 after 18 overs: Labuschagne acknowledges a clever change of pace from Ashwin. Good battle in that over again, the batsman and bowler trying to work each other out.
Australia 44/1 after 17 overs: Bumrah beats Pucovski with a superb length ball...wobble seam bringing in some natural variation.
Australia 43/1 after 16 overs: Ashwin gets a full over at Pucovski and the youngster plays it out well. Going legside of the ball to open the off-side up, given there is plenty of protection on the leg-side. Good battle.
Australia 41/1 after *15 overs: Hello! A rare appearance of a swinging ball in that over. Bumrah beats Labuschagne’s outside edge. When he did find the edge, it fell short. But the over finishes with a four for the Aussie No 3.
Australia 41/1 after 14 overs: Hello! A rare appearance of a swinging ball in that over. Bumrah beats Labuschagne’s outside edge. When he did find the edge, it fell short. But the over finishes with a four for the Aussie No 3.
Australia 37/1 after 14 overs: Ashwin might want to bowl more at Pucovski to see if he is reading him well. Got just one shot at him in the first over.
Time for Ashwin...
Australia 36/1 after 13 overs: Tidy over from Bumrah that saw more good running between the wickets. Definite plan, that. Early days but looks like if Ashwin or Jadeja don’t find something on this pitch when they come on to bowl, India are going to be bowling for a while.
Australia 34/1 after 12 overs: We have seen quite a few threes already. Not the quickest of outfields but both these batsmen are looking quite well-set already. Very little on offer for the bowlers at the moment.
Australia 31/1 after 11 overs: Labuschagne content to leave Bumrah’s deliveries on length in that over. An attempted bouncer doesn’t rise as much and it is pulled handsomely for four. Great technique.
Australia 27/1 after 10 overs: Three short balls from Siraj to finish that over but Pucovski largely untroubled. Tennis ball bounce on the pitch it feels like. Not rising up sharply enough to bother the batsman.
Australia 27/1 after 9 overs: Maiden over from Bumrah to Labuschagne. The Indian pacer shortened his length a tad bit in that over.
Australia 27/1 after 8 overs: Carbon-copy off-drives from Pucovski and Labuschagne down the ground for three runs each in that Siraj over. The pacer was going full to see if there is any swing, nothing discernible.
9.30 am: We. Have. Cricket! Pucovski and Labuschagne are back in the middle. Siraj will continue his over.
UPDATE FROM BCCI: The play is set to resume at 3:00pm (9:30am IST). If there is no further rain. Tea will be taken one hour and 40 minutes afterwards. Scheduled close of play will be extended to 6.30pm (with extra 30 mins permitted to ensure minimum overs). 33 overs have been lost.
9.15 am: Why not more content about Sachin’s 241*?
9.04 am: Inspection at SCG underway.
8.59 am: In case you missed it yesterday, this is how the WTC table looks like after NZ’s 2-0 winb against Pakistan (and their ascent to the top of the world rankings):
ICC World Test C'ship table
|Team||% points||Points||Series Played||Matches||Won||Drawn||Lost|
8.51 am: Get your hopes up, if you wish to:
8.42 am: A weather update plus cricket trivia.
8.18 am: Continues to rain...
8.03 am: This is... frustrating.
Update via cricketcomau: Umpires will inspect the field at 1.30pm local time (8am IST). Decision on resumption of play will follow that inspection.
7.47 am: Covers seem to be coming off again but we have been here before already today.
7.30 am: Play should have restarted by now, but it isn’t. Pictures shown on Sony Six indicate it is still raining, covers are still on.
7.20 am: Some interesting behind-the-scenes look here.
7.10 am: When Pucovski was presented with his Test cap...
UPDATE (via BCCI): Lunch has been taken at 12.20pm local time. Earliest play may resume is 1.00pm (7:30am IST) if there is no rain.
6.49 am: Lovely little clip.
Not-so-good update: A tweet from a fan at the venue doesn’t bode well for a restart.
STAT: In the last seven possible sessions for a Australia-vs-India at SCG, there have been a total of 32.3 overs bowled.
06.15 am: Looks like the covers are back on. Sigh.
BCCI: If there is no further rain, play will commence at 11.45am (6:15am). Scheduled close of play will be extended to 6.10pm. No overs have been lost.
RAIN DELAY: How about some classic old footage to fill up this rain break?
RAIN DELAY: Claire Polosak was seen out in the middle with the covers on. It’s a little bit of history being created in Test cricket today.
RAIN DELAY: An India-Australia Test at SCG with rain making an appearance, hopefully it is not anywhere close to as frustrating as it was in 2019. Right, off to get some coffee.
RAIN STOPS PLAY: Australia 21/1 after 7.1 overs
Australia 21/1 after 7 overs: Not quite a bouncer there, but the more challenging rising delivery from Bumrah. That’s going to be the bigger challenge to face for Pucovski, than the ones that fly over his head.
Australia 18/1 after 6 overs: A bouncer from Siraj in the 6th over and it is pulled for four, but didn’t seem fully in control of that shot as the debutant gets his first four. Pucovski certainly showing he is going to take on the short-balls, no ducking yet. Plays a solid straight drive too.
Australia 11/1 after 5 overs: Labuschagne and Pucovski both move across the off-stump to face the balls on the fourth stump line. Smithesque.
AUSTRALIA 8/1: WICKET! Mohammed Siraj gets David Warner driving and the outside edge flies to Cheteshwar Pujara. Sharp catch, important wicket for India early on. The Aussie opener threw his hands at that wide one. Waited an entire session to bowl in his debut match, has struck with the new ball in his 2nd over in his 2nd match.
Australia 6/0 after 3 overs: Warner with another quick run in that over (not 100% pace still but intent there)
Australia 5/0 after 2 overs: Despite seemingly wincing David Warner is typically off with quick running between the wickets. Pucovski also off the mark. Siraj not found his radar yet.
Ashish Magotra: Great to see Rohit Sharma back but what pressure on Mohd Siraj and Navdeep Saini – the load they have to shoulder on what looks like a good batting track.
Siraj with the new ball...
Australia 0/0 after 1 over: It was interesting to see if India would test Pucovski with a bouncer early on and it happened in the fifth ball of the first over. Otherwise, a warm-up of a first over by Bumrah.
Bumrah to Pucovski...
5.00 am: RIGHT, HERE WE GO!
This is, incidentally, Australia’s 15th different opening pair since 2015 Ashes.
Here’s an interesting symmetry:
2018-’19: India had a completely new opening pair for the third Test.
2020-’21: Australia have a completely new opening pair for the third Test.
Replug: Jasprit Bumrah is already a leader of this bowling attack and he will need to be at his best at SCG. Read more here.
Here’s a look at the pitch: Glenn McGrath had said that there will be some help in it early for the bowlers. India really do need to start well here, like they did at MCG.
CONFIRMED TEAM XIs:
India XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Australia XI: David Warner, Will Pucovski, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
TOSS: Tim Paine wins the toss, Australia will be batting first. David Warner is back and Will Pucovski makes his debut. Travis Head misses out.
04.20 am: Hello all and welcome to the live coverage of the third Test between Australia and India that begins at the Sydney Cricket Ground today. It’s the curtain-raiser for both sides in the new year (delayed than usual) and there is plenty of excitement around this match given how eventful the series has been so far.
The big news from India’s perspective is that Rohit Sharma will open the innings for India in the third Test against Australia with Mayank Agarwal axed, while Navdeep Saini will debut as their third seamer, it was announced Wednesday.
Rohit, who has played 32 Tests, injured his hamstring during an Indian Premier League game in October and only joined the squad last week after coming out of 14 days’ quarantine on arrival in Australia.
He has been getting up to speed in the nets and will open alongside youngster Shubman Gill, who keeps his spot after an impressive debut in the second Test at Melbourne.
Agarwal, who played the first two Tests but hasn’t scored higher than 17, misses out.
The four-Test series stands at 1-1 and the pressure right now would be on Australia, who are set to bring David Warner back into the XI.
(With AFP inputs and statistics courtesy ESPNCricinfo Statsguru)
India's Test record in Australia
|Melbourne Cricket Ground||14||4||8||0||2||0.500|
|Sydney Cricket Ground||12||1||5||0||6||0.200|
|W.A.C.A. Ground, Perth||4||1||3||0||0||0.333|
|Brisbane Cricket Ground||6||0||5||0||1||0.000|