West Indian no.3 Darren Bravo batted for more than six hours for 81 in the first innings in Melbourne, and that kind of application will be needed again in the second innings. Image: ABC Grandstand
The Roar: He’s at it again in the second innings, and it’s a welcome sight in an otherwise disappointing series.
In all likelihood, Darren Bravo’s 81 in the West Indies’ first innings score of 271 in Melbourne will be absorbed into the annals of history as just another handy score in just another Test innings scorecard.
But in the immediate term, it should be viewed on repeat by every young batsman in the Caribbean and set as a standard. ‘If you want to be a Test batsman, and if you want to be a part of the West Indies resurrection, this is what you’ll need to show us you’re capable of’ should be the accompanying message..
Update: Further to my point about Darren Bravo’s application, it was pointed out to me today that he has the best record away from the Caribbean of all West Indies batsmen! It’s an extraordinary record when viewed alongside the names listed below..
West Indian batsmen, in Tests away from home (Source: CricInfo StatsGuru)
“There was some late criticism in the match being called off with four overs left to bowl in the day. Memories must be so short that Michael Clarke’s three wickets in five balls to win in Sydney in 2008 didn’t even register…” Image: ABC Grandstand
Indian Captain MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket immediately after the Test, but didn’t think to mention it in the press conference. Image: ABC Grandstand
The New Daily: It threatened to finish in a thriller, but in the end Australia and India conceded the stalemate late on Day 5, with the Boxing Day Test finishing in a draw for the first time since South Africa held out on the last day back in 1997.
It would be very easy to conclude that Australia batting for all of the morning session was the major reason the Test finished in the anticlimax that it did. Shaun Marsh and Ryan Harris had added just 40 runs in the 18 overs before Harris was out for 21, less than five overs before lunch.
But by batting on, Steven Smith removed any risk of losing the Test and keeping the series alive heading into the Fourth Test next week, with a draw also ensuring Australia could not lose, or have India draw the series and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Day 5: Australia resumed 7/261, leading by 326.
AUSTRALIA 9 dec/318 (S.Marsh 99; Mohammed Shami 2/92)
INDIA 6/174 (V.Kohli 54, A.Rahane 48; R.Harris 2/30, M.Johnson 2/38, J.Hazlewood 2/40)
Ryan Harris was 8* and batting well at Stumps on Day 4. Image: ABC Grandstand
ABC Grandstand Digital: Another appearance on the Cricket Council on Grandstand Breakfast this morning, where host Andrew Mayes, ABC commentator and former Test leggie Bryce McGain, and myself attempted to get to the bottom of what might happen on the final day of the Boxing Day Test.
With Australia leading by 326, and with more than 90 overs available, we’re all set for a thrilling conclusion..
Shaun Marsh finished 62 not out, his first Test fifty in Australia and nearly doubling his previous highest score at home. Image: ABC Grandstand
The New Daily: An interesting discussion popped up on social media during the lengthy second session rain break on Day 4, and it provided a very interesting snapshot of an Indian team that may well be improving its batting in parts, but still has a nagging issue.
With India already needing 327 to win, and more than 90 overs available to make them, the Third Test is set up beautifully.
But with such a history of Indian collapse in 2014 – they’ve collapsed in some shape or form in nine of the ten Tests they’ve played – Australia will have a real feeling of confidence tomorrow that taking the top five wickets will see the tail again offering little resistance.
STUMPS, Day 4: India resumed 8/462, trailing by 68.
INDIA 465 (M.Johnson 3/135)
AUSTRALIA 7/261 (C.Rogers 69, S.Marsh 62*; I.Sharma 2/49, R.Ashwin 2/56), and lead by 326 runs.