Bowlers' effort and Finch's poor form among hits and misses for Australia

Ajit Vijaykumar 09:30 11/12/2018
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Mitchell Starc (r) and Pat Cummins.

Australia gave it their all in the first Test against India and almost pulled off a stunning win in Adelaide. The hosts lost the match by 31 runs, which means margins were small.

As Tim Paine’s Aussies move to Perth for the second Test, we take a look at the hits and misses for the Australian team from the opening encounter.

HITS

Bowlers lead the way

Not only were Australia’s bowlers on the money throughout the match, they showed the top order batsmen how to hang around and score ‘brave’ runs.

Quicks Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and off-spinner Nathan Lyon were exemplary with the ball and in the second innings, with the team 187-7, didn’t throw in the towel. Cummins (28), Starc (28), Lyon (38) and Hazlewood (13) almost took the hosts past the finish line, which should give Australia hope for the remaining matches.

Marsh finds form

Shaun Marsh.

Shaun Marsh.

Shaun Marsh had registered six consecutive single digit scores in Tests and patience was running thin among Australian fans. But when the chips were down, Shaun showed why the Australian management rates him so highly. He fought his way to 60 on the final day as he took the Aussies closer to the 323-run target. If Shaun had hung around for 45 minutes more, the Aussies could have won.

MISSES

Finch’s lack of confidence

Aaron Finch at the top of the order looked completely out of place. He struggled to put bat to ball against Ishant Sharma and was lucky to not bag a pair, with a no-ball allowing him to score 11 before he walked off to a caught behind decision despite not nicking it. A forgettable match and Australia will almost certainly drop him if he doesn’t fire in Perth.

Pujara reprieve

In the first innings, Cheteshwar Pujara was batting on 89 when he edged Josh Hazlewood behind. But the Aussies didn’t appeal with any conviction and the batsman was let off. He added 34 more runs, which was more than the defeat margin.

Drop catches, wickets of no-balls and DRS calls are all part of the game. But not spotting a snick can’t be excused, especially since the Adelaide Oval was not even half full on the opening day.

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