India vs Australia 4th Test: A Day of Attrition and Application at Narendra Modi Stadium

How can anyone not love Test cricket? Don’t appreciate the battle between bat and ball when the player, not the pitch, is the hero? Especially short periods of play where a sudden lapse in concentration can cost a wicket, break a solid stand and find the opposition’s way back into the contest.

The session after tea had everything that keeps Test cricket alive and active. Tight lines, the odd loose delivery going over the ropes, application by the batsmen and all in all, plenty of charm from both the teams.

For Australia, it was about getting things done after a few early wickets and for India, it was more about playing the waiting game and keeping the flow of runs under control with tight lines, mostly fourth and middle-stump. nearby. Strange boundaries were hit but there is nothing to panic.

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For more than 40 overs, Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja held the fort and frustrated India. The pair were not batting in ‘beat the opposition mode’ and displayed impeccable application on a true sub-continent pitch. A pitch that kept everyone interested throughout the day. You bat well, you score. You bowl well, you get wickets. as simple as that. It is a very simple surface that requires an even approach and the Australian pair did just that in the post-lunch session which saw a great fight.

He added a little more than two runs per over, was not a consideration for the photographers, but ensured the first wicketless session of the series. The way he applied himself could have spelled trouble for India in the final session but a slight lapse in concentration from Smith saw the hosts pull things back a bit.

Not a wicket-taking delivery, but Smith flicked Ravindra Jadeja’s delivery tentatively, perhaps trying to take a single, and the ball took his inside edge and hit the pads on the stumps. The Australian captain could not believe it. He was in complete control till 134 balls but a loose stroke brought an end to his solid innings. The right-handed batsman slammed his bat on the ground before taking the very long ladder to reach the pavilion.

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fire after tea

India, who had taken the same staircase back to the changing rooms for the tea break, now had a spring in their stride. The early Smith wicket injected fresh energy, which must have fizzled out under the Ahmedabad sun.

Peter Handscomb joined Usman Khawaja in the middle, hit some delightful fours but was uprooted by the pacer from Mohammed Shami. Shami attacked the stumps from a good length spot but Handscomb stayed leg-side, stuck to the crease and probably missed the line expecting the ball to come inside.

Two quick wickets and the fans were ready to face the sun again. Most stepped out of the shadows and were near the ropes, cheering for the home side.

Rohit rotated his bowlers well after the tea break. There were no long spells as India operated with a seam-spin combination for most of the session. It was Umesh Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja who started the proceedings and then Mohammed Shami replaced Umesh before Ashwin replaced Jadeja.

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Even Akshar Patel was not overlooked as Rohit followed a very proactive approach and did not predict things for the batsmen. Unlike the last three Tests, it was not a surface where things happen, it was a strip where you got things done.

Usman Khawaja, Rock!

The opposition camp were on it from ball 1. Trying to build things up, trying to induce a false stroke and testing the batsmen’s patience with playing long stretches where the quick runs didn’t come. The Khwaja was undeterred. He didn’t change the way he batted. Relied on back-foot play, relied on his defense and was more in the box-approach mode which could look boring at times but is mighty effective.

Granted there was no devil in the pitch but batting with so much control against five quality bowlers was no mean feat. Smith had said before things started that if the wicket behaves the way he expects it to, this could be a Test where more batsmen will rely on their defence. Khwaja clearly did.

Most of his runs came down the leg-side and the whip from his hips, something he was adept at in the nets, was a rewarding shot as he squandered scoring opportunities whenever the bowlers erred with their lines. Did not let go After 81 in Delhi and 60 in Indore, there was no way of missing the right wing in Ahmedabad.

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He didn’t and helped Australia retain Stevenage on a very entertaining day of Test cricket. Neither session followed a template and every period of play brought the day alive and kicking. Travis Head and Khawaja put on 56 runs in just 14 overs. Back-foot punches and free-flow of runs lasted only till the prime minister Narendra Modi And Anthony Albanese was in the stands.

India’s bowlers made a mark in the beginning, but to be honest, it is understandable. They played on fiery-turners in the last three matches where the pitch was the hero and Ahmedabad the strip in the typical sub-continental mould.

The new ball could be another reason as the bowlers went for a lot with the second new ball when Cameron Green played a lot of shots and scored 49 off 64 balls. He hit eight fours and looked to be in control of the proceedings to a great extent. This could be a small hint on the opening day – the best time to bat and score is against the new ball.

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Love the pitch or hate it, there’s no way one can appreciate an entertaining day of Test cricket, with both teams playing in front of a fine crowd that braved the blistering heat for most of the day.

Brief scores: Australia 255/4 (Usman Khawaja 104*, Cameron Green 49*, Steve Smith 38; Mohammed Shami 2/65)

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