2020-21 Test Cricket Report, Day 1 & 2 of the 4th Test: Australia v India Series

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I do apologise for not doing Day 1 yesterday. All because of me committed to my day job. As well as looking after the customers. Plus it was hot in Sydney too.

But this is a match we all should look at closely. This is the decider of the 2020-21 Australia v India Test Series. As we are finally able to get it going at The Gabba. 

They are the centrepiece of the 2020 AFL Grand Final. Having unable to usually host at the Melbourne Cricket Ground due to COVID. And glad to see India settle their differences about the Brisbane border bubble. When the away side initially refused to travel there beforehand.

Australia fired off to a slow start after they won the toss with the bat. The Opening partnership was easy for the Indian quicks to remove. Dave Warner still not showing any improvements with his groin. While Marcus Harris unable to find any middle ground. After he replaced the injured Will Pucovski. But finally got things going when Marnus Labuschagne came in. 

Before Steve Smith follow exactly similar with Marnus in the middle. As Australia 65-2 ahead of lunch. Smith unfortunately unable to get his 50. When Washington Sundar took his first Test scalp. But Australia still won the 2nd session. All thanks to Marnus who scored another half-ton. Matthew Wade replaced Smith immediately. And he also fired off after he filled in as Opener in the first two Matches. Then returned to his No.5 spot last week. Australia 154-3 at tea break.

Both Labuschagne and Wade held on as long as they can. They both made the 100 run stand for Australia. Where Marnus able to convert his test 100. While Wade scored some much needed runs going into the 40s. But this partnership was broken when Wade was out on 45. Before India got Marnus finally on 108. It might have been a relief to get both dangermen out.

But it still was not enough to compensate a difficult 1st session. When Tim Paine & Cam Green scored plenty of safe shots down the ground. And able to fire off quickly. As Day 1 closed on Australia 274-5. Paine will pick up on 38 going in the 40s while Green remains 28 not out.

Tim Paine and Cam Green did not change the batting approach that worked better. And it has to be. When Paine reached another Test match 50. A genuine traditional wicketkeeper who can fulfill all of the above. Even at age 36. Despite criticism with the dropped catches last week. But his time was ended immediately by Shardul Thankur. Having reached out for the ball out wide. Before it edged straight to Rohit Sharma at 2nd slip. 

Before Cam gutted to fell short just 3 runs off a half-ton. As he could not believe getting bowled out by debutant quickie Washington Sundar. Australia nonetheless enjoyed a opening batting spell. The home team are bowled out on 369 runs. With lunch taken right away. And India will get the first chance to respond with the bat.

Pat Cummins did not waste time removing Shubman Gill on just 4. Bowled a good area out wide. And Gill unable to get away with the jump. Where he edged straight to Steve Smith at slip. Rohit Sharma did the best to hold on alone. But timed it early when he did not add enough towards the rope. As it landed straight to Mitchell Starc at midwicket. And Rohit left on 44.

Then rain began to show up at the ground. As play immediately went to halt for the rest of today. India are 65-2 by the tea break & trails by 307 runs. Ajinkya Rahane stays on 2. While Cheteshwar Pujara will come back tomorrow on eight.

Well the bowling went sub par when India bowled against the Aussies. There is no secret to say about that. When you have Marnus scoring a 100. As well as 3-4 guys piling extra runs between the 30-50 run mark. In which does not bode well having to chase back 450-500. But they need Pujara blocking every ball tomorrow morning. While Rahane should look to score runs. Do not worry about the scoreboard. But worry about partnerships.

Australia is off to a great start with the bat all day. Despite the early fall of both openers. The top to middle order strength has the ability to change the game. And use those red ball equipped shots to make up a total of 369. I cannot judge too much about their bowling/fielding. When rain stopped play for the rest of Day 2. But safe to say they are also building a nice base there. And should come back with the right tactics to get India all out ASAP.

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