Australia left frustrated as rain cuts day two short in Brisbane

By Sports Desk January 16, 2021

Australia were left frustrated as day two of the fourth Test against India was cut short after rain in Brisbane.

Only 54.2 overs were bowled at the Gabba on Saturday as India reached 62-2 in response to Australia's first-innings 369.

Heavy rain delayed the start of the final session before a wet outfield meant play was abandoned.

Tim Paine scored a half-century for Australia as T Natarajan (3-78), Washington Sundar (3-89) and Shardul Thakur (3-94) took three wickets each for India.

Rohit Sharma (44) wasted his start as he tried to attack Nathan Lyon (1-10) after Pat Cummins (1-22) had Shubman Gill (7) caught at second slip by Steve Smith.

Cheteshwar Pujara (8) and Ajinkya Rahane (2) were unbeaten when stumps were called, with India 307 runs adrift in the final Test of a series that is locked at 1-1.

Injury-hit India continued to fight and they only need a draw to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Australia, though, will also lament some of their batting that could have put India under more pressure.

Starts squandered as tail wags for Australia

Marnus Labuschagne made a century on Friday, but four other batsmen made more than 36 but failed to go on for Australia.

Paine (50) and Cameron Green (47) joined that group on day two as they squandered promising starts, with Lyon (24) – playing his 100th Test – and Mitchell Starc (20 not out) lifting Australia beyond 350.

Reckless Rohit hurts India

Like many in the Australia line-up, Rohit wasted another opportunity to put together a big score in Brisbane.

He looked in control before attempting to take on Lyon one too many times, and a running Starc took a good catch. The 33-year-old is one of India's more experienced players and his dismissal left the tourists at 60-2. It comes after he made scores of 26 and 52 in Sydney.

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    However, a volatile surface offered assistance to spinners from the very start, with England bundled out for 112 and 81 as they lost by 10 wickets.

    India only managed 145 in their first innings and England skipper Joe Root claimed career-best figures of 5-8 with his part time off-spin.

    Despite being a far more respected practitioner of that particular craft, Lyon insisted he had no qualms over a surface that drew criticism from former England captains Michael Vaughan, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook.

    "The best thing about this Test match that just passed is that England went in with four seamers," Lyon said, as quoted by cricket.com.au.

    "That will do me. I don't need to say any more.

    "I was up all night watching it. It was absolutely brilliant. I'm thinking about bringing that curator out to the SCG."

    Lyon made a pointed reference to Australia's humiliating dismissals for 47 and 60 against South Africa and England in 2012 and 2015 respectively, when conditions favoured seam bowling.

    "We play on seaming wickets around the world and get bowled out for 47, 60. Nobody ever says a thing [about the pitch]," he said.

    "But as soon as it starts spinning, everyone in the world seems to start crying about it. I don't get it. I'm all for it, it was entertaining."

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    Only an England win in the final game can edge Tim Paine's side into the inaugural one-off showpiece against New Zealand at India's expense.

    That would leave Australia out of action in the longest format until the start of their domestic season at the end of this year – an unhelpfully long time for speculation over ructions between coach Justin Langer and members of his team to fester.

    "Me personally, if I had a problem with JL I'd go straight to him," Lyon added, casting doubt upon the rumours that emerged in the aftermath of Australia's humbling 2-1 home loss to an injury-ravaged India.

    "But I don't have a problem with him. I don't understand where it's all coming from.

    "I'd like to think anyone in that changing room or anyone at Cricket Australia or outside - if anyone has a problem with anyone, we're about being honest with each other."

  • Bumrah pulls out of India-England Test series closer Bumrah pulls out of India-England Test series closer

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    His standout numbers with the ball in the Test arena since making his debut versus West Indies in November 2011 make for impressive reading.


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    Ashwin has taken 29 five-wicket Test hauls, a tally only six players have bettered: Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Richard Hadlee, Kumble, Rangana Herath and James Anderson. 

    The in-form Ashwin is just one shy of England seamer Anderson's total of 30, having taken 6-61 in the second innings of the first Test and 5-43 in the first innings of a second match India won emphatically to level the series. 

    While not quite able to add to the collection in Ahmedabad, he still finished the game with impressive match figures of 7-74. 

    Ashwin has taken six five-wicket hauls in as many Tests against New Zealand - more than any other side.  He has claimed 10 scalps in a Test on seven occasions and seven in an innings five times.


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    Ashwin has racked up 89 of his wickets against Australia, more than any other side.

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    Ashwin has 39 Test wickets in Australia, more than any nation other than his homeland.

    His best performance came in October 2016 against New Zealand in Indore, helping himself to match figures of 13-140 - including 7-59 in the second innings of a crushing 321-run win.


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    Ashwin has had great success bowling at left-handers over the years. 

    He has dismissed a left-hander on 205 occasions, with his average against them at 19.5 compared to 31.2 against right-handers before play began in the third Test.

    Ben Stokes is among the batsmen who has suffered at the hands of Ashwin the most; he has dismissed the England all-rounder 11 times in total.

    Only Muralitharan managed to make it to 400 in fewer Tests and while Kumble's final total of 619 may be an ambitious target, it seems certain that by the time Ashwin decides to retire, India's newest member of the prestigious club will occupy at least second place on their all-time list for wickets.

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