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    Quite an uphill task when you take into account that this is a four-match test series.

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      Oops

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        There was an Indian journalist on one of the cricket podcasts recently saying that, if India don't win the series or at least retain the trophy, Kohli should either resign or be sacked as captain.

        When he started to justify this, I began to feel he had a point. India have a truly outstanding bowling attack and two, possibly three, world-class top-order batsmen. To lose three away series in the year would have been unacceptable given the talent they've got. And if you look at some of their defeats, questions of selection and captaincy can definitely be raised ; Pujara not starting the England series, two spinners at Lords on a green pitch, none in Southampton or Perth etc. The guy's other point was that Kohli is such a nervous, volatile presence that this can sometimes distract his own team rather than the opposition, a factor which might also have contributed to the Perth defeat.

        These questions can be put aside for now given that India have managed to defend this trophy in Australia. And, whether or not Kohli is the ideal captain for the India team, I find him possibly the most interesting sports personality in the world to listen to. He is always ready to explain the reasons for his on-field decisions, and just gives you more insight into his sport than 100 football captains combined would be able to. I liked the line today, when he was talking about how his bowlers plan for games and his role is 'just to sit and listen'. I suspect that was less about self-deprecation than about total respect and admiration for his team-mates.

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          Hmm, they can mainly do in or around the sub-continent.

          Otherwise beating an under strength Australia, is worthy of note. Nothing more

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            Stripping the captaincy from Kohli?! I sure wouldn’t like to be the one to tell him.

            Anyway, I love the intensity and commitment he brings to Test cricket. It needs it.

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              I agree. Imagine being his successor as well, and trying to lead a team with him still in it.

              Thankfully, it's all hypthetical now, and there's no decision to make.

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                So tragic that two of England's best opening batsmen and captains in recent years have such contrasting weekends.

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                  What a poignant observation. And England’s most succesful opening partnership of all time, I would guess?

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                    Blimey that came around quick. India win the toss and bat. Australia bring on Labuschange at number three and Peter Handscombe to bat anywhere for a duck off a handful of balls. They’re currently holding some kind of brief Indigenous ceremony before the start. One of the sub fielders at the SCG is one Austin Waugh.

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                      Lot of movement and KL Rahul gone already.

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                        303/4 at the close. Another good day for India and another good day for Pujara

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                          Agarwal has made his test debut , opening the batting, in Australia, against a strong bowling attack and scored 76, 42, and 77 in his three innings so far. In a position India were clearly struggling with. And yet, I've just seen him criticised (in India obviously) for not going on to make centuries. The Indian cricket commentariat and fan base appear to have such ludicrous expectations that they make football club message boards seem like reasonable places full of thoughtful and sober analysis

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                            Are Australia going to be competitive in the Ashes? Not looking likely at present unless Anderson gets injured. Even then, I wouldn't put money on them.

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                              Starc’s been expensive, and Pujara is running well. Could be a hard road for Australia to win this from here

                              The ever classy Nathan Lyon seemed to spend the press conference yesterday criticising Australia’s bowling tactics (with reason, but without diplomacy).

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                                India maintaining a run rate of 4 an over so should be well over 500 by tea if they are still in, and they won't need to declare.
                                Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 04-01-2019, 00:24.

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                                  And indeed they are not declaring. Currently flying along at 590/6.

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                                    Jadeja out for 81 and that brings on the declaration. 622/7

                                    The series win is safe. Just a question of whether India can win the match

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                                      Article on how Australia's bowling is struggling:

                                      http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/...ralia-problems

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                                        In contrast to Australia's stuttering attack, South Africa have an excellent quartet rolling over Pakistan

                                        DW Steyn 15.1 3 48 3
                                        VD Philander 11 3 36 1
                                        K Rabada 10 2 35 2
                                        D Olivier 15 3 48 4
                                        Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 05-01-2019, 01:07.

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                                          Aus go from 128-1 to 152-4 in the space of nine overs.

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                                            Been lurking on this thread for a while, and seeing the comment above about Kohli's intensity I thought I'd share this anecdote - My firm decided to do a bot of corporate hospitality last year for a client based in Chelmsford. The choice of event was left to me and another cricket mad colleague. So, the Essex v India match at Chelmsford was the obvious choice. On the day we were based in a marquee next to the pavilion steps. My colleague (also of Indian heritage like me) was getting pictures of the Indian player as they were warming up. Kohli was standing a few feet away from us slightly away from the rest of the team - clearly pondering his tactics or some such. Anyway, my colleague plucks up the courage to ask him for a selfie. Kohli was charming - smiling and accommodating. However, my colleague was so nervous it ended up looking like Kohli is photobombing the picture.

                                            The point of the story I guess is just to highlight that there is another side to the Kohli we see on the field, all burning intensity and barely able to stop himself from physically attacking the opponents.

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                                              So jealous.

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                                                All out for 300 and India enforce the follow on!

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                                                  And so they should.

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                                                    Bizarre goings on at Newlands -- home of the bizarre, it seems -- yesterday. Towards the end of Day 3, SA had Pakistan down for 9, with a 16 runs behind, and the option of the umpires adding on the half hour to possibly complete the test. Philander gets his wicket, the South Africans run off the field to prepare for their innings, and the Pakistanis are getting ready to take the field. As an afterthought, the umpires check whether Philander had overstepped.

                                                    He did. No ball. The batsmen are called back, as are the SA fielders. Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, obviously chosen to open the batting for the injured Markram, has already removed his gloves and strapping. Hurriedly he puts on the gloves, keeping without the protective strapping.

                                                    By the time SA got the last wicket, it was too late to chase down the target of 41. SA did so, for the loss of one wicket.

                                                    Philander's heel might have been costly. In SA's run chase of 41, Amla managed to injure himself -- while SA were on 23 runs. Six runs beyond those that would have been needed had Philander's foot landed a couple of inches further back...

                                                    SA have now won their seventh successive home series.

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