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163rd over: Australia 463-8 (Lyon 21, Murphy 37) Still no sign of India taking the second new ball. The match is meandering a little, with just a leg bye from Axar Patel’s latest over. On the face of it that suits India, who are 2-1 up in the series, but Australia are committed to playing the long game. There are still almost 300 overs to be bowled on a (theoretically) deteriorating pitch.

162nd over: Australia 462-8 (Lyon 21, Murphy 37) Murphy cracks Jadeja between extra cover and mid-off for a single, the first of three in the over. There are 18 overs remaining tonight, so Steve Smith will be thinking about a potential declaration.

Question All things being equal, and assuming an essentially flat pitch, what’s your XI for the first Ashes Test?

161st over: Australia 459-8 (Lyon 20, Murphy 35) The third new ball is available, though for now Jadeja is continuing with the old one. Murphy cuts a single to bring up a resourceful fifty partnership from 86 balls; this is also now his highest first-class score.

India look weary, both mentally and physically. Time for drinks.

160th over: Australia 458-8 (Lyon 20, Murphy 34)

159th over: Australia 458-8 (Lyon 20, Murphy 34) Axar Patel replaces Shami and starts around the wicket to the left-handed Murphy, who sweeps a poor ball firmly for four and laps two more to fine leg. He’s playing really nicely and has equalled his highest first-class ccore.

158th over: Australia 452-8 (Lyon 20, Murphy 28) Ashwin off, Jadedja on. Murphy misses one cut stroke but nails the second, albeit only for a single.

Lyon survives an appeal for a bat-pad catch, then turns one off the face of the bat that hits the left boot of Shreyas Iyer at short leg. I suppose that counts as a chance, but let’s get real.

157th over: Australia 449-8 (Lyon 18, Murphy 27) That’s how good the pitch is: Lyon has all the time in the world to cart a short ball from Shami over midwicket for four. Even Ricky Ponting rarely pulled that far in front of square.

Murphy gets four more later in the over with a square drive that is fumbled wearily by Ashwin on the boundary edge. These are handy runs for Australia.

156th over: Australia 439-8 (Lyon 13, Murphy 22) Murphy muscles Ashwin through the covers for two more. This pitch is still really good, so Australia’s best friend – certainly in the first innings – is likely to be scoreboard pressure.

155th over: Australia 436-8 (Lyon 12, Murphy 20) Mohammad Shami replaces Axar Patel and starts with a no-ball. Tremendous.

Murphy gets four bonus runs with an edge wide of second slip. One of these days, Mohammad Shami is going to make the Expected Wickets algorithm explode.

There’s a break in play, I’m not sure why. Ah, Lyon is having his arm checked after being hit by that ball from Ashwin.

154th over: Australia 429-8 (Lyon 11, Murphy 15) Lyon survives another LBW appeal after missing a sweep at Ashwin and being hit on the forearm. India have two reviews remaining but Rohit Sharma decides against using one of them. Replays show it was bouncing a long way over the top.

153rd over: Australia 429-8 (Lyon 11, Murphy 15) Lyon crashes the ball back at Axar, who can’t take a very difficult return catch low to his right. He got a touch on it as he fell but it would have been a miraculous catch.

Murphy, who has started his innings breezily, cuts Axar for four to move to 15 from 23 balls. Lyon has 11 from 54.

152nd over: Australia 422-8 (Lyon 10, Murphy 9) “So,” says Michael Barker, “where do you think this match is going?”

I change my mind every five minutes. If it was the first game of the series, I think India would be in a comfortable position, but defeat – and a 2-2 series draw after being 2-0 up – is so unthinkable that it could mess with their heads. If I was forced to bet the farm, I think I’d put it on a draw. What do you reckon?

151st over: Australia 422-8 (Lyon 10, Murphy 9) Murphy squirts Axar past backward point to make it back-to-back boundaries for Australia.

In other news, Usman Khawaja is the world’s leading runscorer in Tests since his recall during the 2021-22 Ashes, with 1608 at 69.91. It’s such a great story.

150th over: Australia 417-8 (Lyon 10, Murphy 4) Lyon misses a sweep at Ashwin, who goes up for LBW and a potential five-for. Richard Kettleborough says not out, and replays show Lyon gloved the ball onto the pad.

A rare long hop from Ashwin, which must have slipped out of the hand, is slapped to the cover boundary by Lyon.

149th over: Australia 412-8 (Lyon 6, Murphy 3) “Here’s what I think is interesting about Test wicketkeepers,” says Pete Salmon. “Those who are terrible get found out almost immediately. But those who are just a tick below Test quality, as I think Carey is, seem to slowly unravel, the odd missed chance, the stupid shot selection… Which is my way of saying the best are very, very good, and my way of asking who is next in line in 18 months’ time?”

I think he might be around longer than that. This feels like a poor run of form with the bat rather than anything more significant, and generally he has kept well in this series, no?

148th over: Australia 409-8 (Lyon 6, Murphy 0) Now that Khawaja has gone, Australia might as well push things forward. No sign of that yet from Lyon; after another maiden from Ashwin, which includes consecutive false strokes outside off stump, he has 6 from 42 balls.

147th over: Australia 409-8 (Lyon 6, Murphy 0) That was a slightly odd dismissal, just a lapse in concentration from Khawaja at the start of the session. In essence, he missed a straight one.

That’s only Axar’s second wicket of the series by the way.

WICKET! Australia 409-8 (Khawaja LBW b Patel 180)

He’s out! Khawaja was a long way back and Hawkeye suggested the ball was hitting middle and leg. It ends a truly mighty innings: 180 from 422 balls with 21 fours.

India review for LBW against Khawaja! A lively start to the evening session. Khawaja plays around the first ball after tea, a pretty routine delivery from the new bowler Axar Patel, and is hit high on the pad. The umpire isn’t interested so India take matters upstairs. It looks high to me, impire’s call at best for India, but we’ll soon find out.

And a bit of teatime listening

A bit of teatime reading

Tea

146th over: Australia 409-7 (Khawaja 180, Lyon 6) Lyon is okay to continue, though he has a red mark above his right ear. He works another single to leg, and the ease with which he is playing Ashwin probably isn’t great news. Then again it’s not even tea on day two, so there is plenty for time for the pitch to become more malevolent.

That’s the end of a good session for India: 27 overs, three wickets, 62 runs. Cameron Green completed a charming, stylish maiden Test hundred, but Australia lost their way a little after his dismissal. Alex Carey tried to sprint before he could walk, and Mitchell Starc was soon dealt with by the excellent Ravichandran Ashwin.

Nobody could extract Usman Khawaja from his bubble, though: he will resume on 180 not out from 421 balls, the longest innings of his Test career. He’s a phenomenon.

145th over: Australia 406-7 (Khawaja 178, Lyon 5) Khawaja fiddles another single through backward point. He looks fresher than he has any right to be, although I suppose he is getting used to these epics.

Yadav, possibly out of boredom, decides to give Lyon a bit of rough stuff. One bouncer beats Lyon, then another hits the side of the helmet when he is too early on a pull. He’ll be checked for concussion.

144th over: Australia 405-7 (Khawaja 177, Lyon 5) Another quiet over from Ashwin. With tea just under 10 minutes away, there’s a whiff of stalemate about this passage of play. Khawaja has 177 from 416 balls, Lyon 5 from 29.

“Does Indian cricket have an off season?” says Peter Moller. “Or is it just play every day?”

It’s not just India – have you seen England’s schedule lately? It might be excessive cheese consumption, but I’m sure I saw Will Jacks playing in a Test in New Zealand and an ODI in Bangladesh at the same time.

143rd over: Australia 404-7 (Khawaja 176, Lyon 5) Not much is happening for Umesh Yadav. There’s a hint of reverse – a suggestion, maybe even a soupçon – but nothing more than that. Three singles from the over; in fact Khawaja has hit only one boundary in this sesssion. That’s not a criticism.

142nd over: Australia 401-7 (Khawaja 174, Lyon 4) Lyon continues to block Ashwin and now has four from 21 balls. There’s an argument that Australia should to be getting on with it, but I quite like this approach. The longer they bat, the less time India get when the pitch is at its most benign.

What they don’t want to do is bat for, say, 157.2 overs and then lose by an innings. Hypothetically I mean.

“I’m also as excited for this Ashes as the 2005 one,” says Andrew James. “It could go either way. Both sides are very evenly matched. Let’s see what the result is, but either way, we’re in for a contest! And that’s the main thing.”

A sentiment Douglas Jardine would surely have shared.

141st over: Australia 400-7 (Khawaja 173, Lyon 4) Khawaja whips a single to bring up the 400. It’s the first time in this series that Australia have scored 400 in a match, never mind an innings.

India’s body language suggests they aren’t too alarmed by the situation. It’s so hard to know what represents a good score, especially as we’ve no idea if/how much the pitch will deteriorate.

140th over: Australia 398-7 (Khawaja 172, Lyon 4) Ashwin almost slips a straight one through Khawaja, who gets his bat down at the last minute. A maiden. Ashwin is one away from his 32nd Test five-for, which would put him joint-sixth on the all-time list with Jimmy Anderson.

“Pleased to see that Mark has kept up the fine tradition of OBO pedantry by pointing out that polar bears would struggle to disrupt a penguins supper club at the opposite pole,” writes John Atkinson. “I am with you, though, in that it is a pretty line.

“Perhaps we could compromise and it could be seals scattering instead and then everyone would be happy. There has been some slapstick seal-like batting throughout this series so I think it is apt.”

If nothing else, this is a timely reminder that I really should read Penguins Stopped Play.

139th over: Australia 398-7 (Khawaja 172, Lyon 4) Umesh Yadav replaces Mohammad Shami. Khawaja has now faced over 400 balls, which makes this the longest innings of his career and the longest by an Australian batter in India.

Lyon gets off the mark with an outside edge that bounces between keeper and slip for four. I’m not sure it would have carried anyway.

138th over: Australia 393-7 (Khawaja 171, Lyon 0) A quiet over from Ashwin, one from it. Australia are in no hurry, which I think is the right approach despite the natural temptation to chase the game.

137th over: Australia 392-7 (Khawaja 170, Lyon 0) Khawaja flicks Shami wide of the diving Bharat for four more. Since he first opened the batting in Asia, against Pakistan in 2017-18, Khawaja has been a revelation. In fact, no regular opener in the history of the game can match his average in these conditions.

Highest Test average opening the batting in Asia (min: 10 innings)

  • 79.00 Usman Khawaja (Australia, 2018-23)

  • 69.07 Mayank Agarwal (India, 2019-22)

  • 62.62 Taslim Arif (Pakistan, 1980)

  • 62.33 Azhar Ali (Pakistan, 2014-16)

  • 61.70 Abid Ali (Pakistan, 2019-21)

The next highest overseas batsman is Geoff Boycott, who averaged 58.83 (and played a bit of golf) between 1977 and 1982.

136th over: Australia 387-7 (Khawaja 165, Lyon 0) That’s Ashwin’s fourth wicket; even on a flat deck, he has admirable figures of 36-10-77-4.

“Hi Rob, what’s your feeling for the upcoming Ashes?” writes Andrew James. “Who would you say are the big players of the tournament right now?”

Where do you start? Ben Stokes is the most important, as captain more than anything, but you can make a case for pretty much everyone on both sides. Don’t know about you but I haven’t been anywhere near as excited about an Ashes series since 2005. It’ll be fascinating to see what type of pitches England prepare – they nobbled Australia on slow seamers in 2015, and usually that suits them better, but this time I think they’ll go for flatter decks. One thing’s for sure: it’ll be testosterone cricket.

WICKET! Australia 387-7 (Starc c Iyer b Ashwin 6)

It is happening again. Starc thick-edges Ashwin straight to short leg, where Shreyas Iyer takes a smart catch, and out of nowhere Australia have lost three wickets for nine runs.

135th over: Australia 387-6 (Khawaja 165, Starc 6) Shami beats Starc with a beauty that straightens just enough. I thought it was off the seam, but the commentators – who are marginally more qualified – are saying it was the reverse swing. Starc mimicks the shape with his glove, possibly with his bowling head on, then plays down the wrong line of the next delivery as well. A typical luckless Shami over concludes with Khawaja playing and missing twice outside off stump. I

“Nope,” says Mark, “penguins and polar bears really don’t mix, what with living at different ends of the earth and that.”

Let’s not allow semantics to get in the way of a good line.

134th over: Australia 386-6 (Khawaja 165, Starc 5) Khawaja carries on serenely, driving Ashwin for a single. As Gideon Haigh and Peter Lalor pointed out today on their marvellous podcast Cricket, Et Cetera, there’s something so peaceful about watching Khawaja bat, even more so in the context of such a frenetic series.

Thanks Angus, evening everyone (says the man sitting at his best at 7.44am in the UK). It’s been a strange series for Alex Carey – largely immaculate with the gloves, frantic and increasingly desperate with the bat. That was such a needless dismissal, one that could be very costly as the match unfolds. I still think Australia’s best chance of victory is/was to bat relatively patiently, even if it meant going into day three.

133rd over: Australia 384-6 (Khawaja 163, Starc 4) Funny game, this. Not even a hint of a wicket for hours on end and then two fall in the space of a few balls. Usman Khawaja has maintained concentration for 390-odd balls. but Alex Carey can’t last four deliveries without a rush of blood to the head. Speaking of which, I need a break after all that activity. Fresh and raring to go is OBO master Rob Smyth. I thank you for your time today and wish yers all adieu. I will see you on the morrow. Good luck, Rob!

132nd over: Australia 382-6 (Khawaja 163, Starc 4) Mitchell Starc strides to the wicket to face Jadeja and clobbers a four from the get-go after a few minutes of reckless play by Australia. First, the sweep shot undoes Cameron Green on 114 then Alex Carey has a brain explosion and slogs at an Ashwin spinner on 0 trying to put it down the ground but only succeeding in putting it straight up in the air for an easy catch.

WICKET! Alex Carey c. Patel b. Ashwin 0 (Australia 378-6)

Just as we were wondering what the mindset would be for new batter Alex Carey he shows us it will be impetuous. He holes out to Axar Patel with a crazy swipe to give Ravi Ashwin two wickets in the over. That was plain dumb from Carey. He’s a better batter than that but he won’t get a chance to show it here.

WICKET! Cameron Green c. Bharat b. Ashwin 114 (Australia 378-5)

Finally a wicket! Green bent low to sweep Ashwin and the ball stayed low, grazed the bottom of the glove and wicketkeeper Bharat took the catch. Sweet relief for India.

129th over: Australia 374-4 (Khawaja 162, Green 114) As two runs trickle from the Ashwin over, it’s tempting to think things are drifting. But this is real Test cricket. For the first time in this series bat is dominating ball and, beautiful as that is, it’s also a tad unsettling in a series that will live in infamy for its doctored pitches, batting collapses and spinning massacres. After all that clamour, it’s lovely to have the zen majesty of Test cricket return and not have balls spinning at crazy angles, wickets falling in a clatter and batters coming and going from the pavilion like penguins scattering when a polar bear crashes the supper club.

128th over: Australia 374-4 (Khawaja 160, Green 112) An appeal from Jadeja from the final ball of a maiden over but it looks desperate… but India captain Rohit Sharma is bored, and shiftless so why not? Our first review of the Test is here! Khawaja thrust the pad at it but it looked way outside the line. Sure enough the review shows it pitching way outside off stump.

127th over: Australia 374-4 (Khawaja 160, Green 112) Swing and a miss! Cameron Green liked the look of that luscious lolly from Ravi Ashwin and took a huge stride down to slog sweep over square leg. But Ashwin was too cunning for him, slowing down its trajectory a fraction and leaving the big fella floundering. Still, that bodes well for some fireworks in the next hour and it’s that instinct for big hitting that has made Cameron Green the Three Million Dollar Man in this year’s IPL. Australia take two from the first over of Ashwin’s new spell.

126th over: Australia 372-4 (Khawaja 159, Green 111) Khawaja continues to bat like a man without a care in the world. All that time in the cricketing wilderness have gifted him a zen temperament that has reaped him rich rewards these past few summers, bringing mountains of runs but also a deep happiness it seems.

125th over: Australia 370-4 (Khawaja 157, Green 111) With this recent flurry of boundaries and the slow steady drip of singles all day, Australia’s run-rate is nearing three per over for the first time in the innings. And with a final single from the over, the Khawaja-Green partnership reaches 200 from 326 balls. What a union it’s been. The zen elder statesman and the raw young prodigy are grinding India into the Ahmedabad dust.

124th over: Australia 368-4 (Khawaja 156, Green 110) Over the top! Jadeja threw down the gauntlet with a fuller ball and Green picked it up with gusto, dropping to one knee and driving powerfully over the infield to find the boundary. Six runs from the over and Australia closing on a total of 400 quickly.

123rd over: Australia 362-4 (Khawaja 155, Green 105) A moment to cherish for Cameron Green in the last over. A moment to forget in this one as Usman Khawaja decides to take a risky single from the fourth ball of Shami’s over and has to really motor to beat the throw. That was too close for comfort! Three from the over.

122nd over: Australia 355-4 (Khawaja 153, Green 101) What a lovely moment for Cameron Green. He’s toiled hard throughout his 20 Tests, those broad shoulders bearing the weight of a nation’s hopes that he might be the allrounder the nation has craved since the heady days of Keith Miller in the 1940s and ‘50s. He has made runs and taken wickets, and proven the best fielder in this Australian side. He has fought back from injury countless times – stress fractures in his back as a teenager and a broken finger over the home summer – but until now a Test century had eluded him. No more. He’s part of the ‘100 Club’ now.

A CENTURY FOR CAMERON GREEN! (Australia 355-4)

A great moment for the young man and a great shot to bring up his maiden Test century. Jadeja tossed it up and the big 200cm West Australian leaned back and square cut it to the boundary with the mix of beauty and brutality that has made him the wunderkind of Australian cricket. His 100 comes from 144 balls.

Green gets a hug from Khawaja. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

121st over: Australia 350-4 (Khawaja 152, Green 96) India in trouble. Can Mohammed Shami dig them out of strife with an inspired spell of fast bowling? The 32-year-old quick from Amroha has been the most willing of India’s warriors so far. With 223 Test wickets at 27 he’s shown he can be the spark his side need but he’s up against two batters who have looked imperious so far. But Cameron Green is one stroke away from a maiden century – surely that adds some pressure? Can India exploit the young man’s nerves and strike?

120th over: Australia 348-4 (Khawaja 150, Green 96) And we’re back. Cameron Green has the strike to Ravi Jadeja and after three dots he moseys a single to get within four runs of that tantalising ton. The wonderboy allrounder is in his 20th Test and averaging 34 but a Test century has thus far remained out of reach. Is today the day?

LUNCH: Australia 347 for 4 (Khawaja 150*, Green 95*)

Fantastic session for Australia! They have added 92 runs to the 255 they scored yesterday and done it without risk – and without losing a wicket. The Cameron Green-Usman Khawaja partnership has blossomed to 177 from 290 balls – the biggest of the series so far – and looks unbreakable. Usman has his eyes on a double-century and Cam Green is chasing the first ton of his Test career.

India are rattled and it’s starting to show. Lose this Test and they lose face in the eyes of their adoring fans and risk missing out on the World Test Championship final berth that seemed set in stone when they destroyed Australia in the first two Tests. Without talismanic captain Pat Cummins, the Australians have shown huge character to fight back when all seemed lost, calmly changing their team and cleverly adapting their batting to the conditions.

After shocking India in Indore to get the ledger back to 2-1, Australia now have India on the rack in this final Test. Can they roll on here and bat the home side out of contention? Or will India’s master spinners rediscover their mojo to clean up this innings and unleash Virat Kohli and co for a little batting carnage of their own?

Rejoin us in a hot half-hour and we’ll find out!

119th over: Australia 347-4 (Khawaja 150, Green 95) A bouncer? A boundary! Mohammed Shami tested the youngster and Cameron Green answered in style, swiping that attempted lip-tickler to the deep square leg boundary in a flash. How will Shami respond? He bangs it in again and Green edges… but it flies wide of Virat Kohli at slip and runs away to the third man boundary. Green takes a single and a breather, content to go to lunch with his highest score banked and a first Test ton in sight. That’s nine runs from the over and we will go to Lunch.

118th over: Australia 338-4 (Khawaja 150, Green 86) Cameron Green takes an easy run from the first ball of Axar Patel’s 20th over. Patel has just one wicket for the series so far albeit at an economy rate of 2.18 – a far stretch from the 27 he took in the series against England in 2021. He’s gone from feast to famine here.

117th over: Australia 337-4 (Khawaja 150, Green 85) Fifteen minutes until lunch. Will Cameron Green go better than run-a minute to notch his ton? Or will senior man Khawaja urge caution? Mohammed Shami has returned to the fray to stop either eventuality and it is a bouncer first ball. Khawaja calmly veers away and watches it pass under his chin but that’s better intent from Shami and India. They need to shake Australia up and a little chin music might do the trick. Neither batter appears remotely fazed, running easy singles before Khawaja swivels on another attempted short ball to steer it to the fine leg boundary. That’s Usman Khawaja’s 150! It came from 346 deliveries at a strike rate of 42.

116th over: Australia 331-4 (Khawaja 145, Green 84) Axar Patel is back in the attack. He hasn’t taken a wicket but he’s been the Scrooge McDuck of spinners so far, with just 21 taken from his 18 overs. Khawaja and Green add another three singles though to make it 0-23. That gets Green to 84 – his highest Test score.




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#India #Australia #fourth #Test #day #live

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