Over a month later, in Ranchi yesterday, Maxwell used all that willpower and application to score an uncharacteristic unbeaten 82. “Australia have walked into an India-endorsed stitch up as suspicion grows the hosts have been delivered a tailor-made wicket created to blunt Australia’s pace weapons and tiresome the effect of Nathan Lyon”, writes Andrew Wu of the Sydney Morning Herald. Smith reached his 100 in 187 balls and Maxwell displayed that there is more to him than a limited overs batsman.
The loss stung the top-ranked India, and they reacted with a heightened level of aggression in the second Test, which they came back to win by 79 runs on a tense fourth day despite giving up a first-innings lead.
Making a Test comeback after two years, Glenn Maxwell registered his maiden ton in the format to become the second Australian to score a ton in all formats.
He accelerated and scored freely while Smith was more watchful. It was placidly done by the Australian captain.
In doing so, he brought up the 150-mark of his partnership with Maxwell off 266 balls. Four for 300, we’ll take that.
The only moment of nervousness for Smith also came off Ishant, when he inside edged a length ball outside off.
The extent of the injury is not known at this point and it is unclear if Kohli will be able to bat once Australia complete their innings.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli didn’t take the field again, despite scans on Thursday night showing no major damage to his right shoulder, which he injured while fielding.
The wicket played true for most of the morning, with sporadic hints of low bounce. With the track not offering any turn, Renshaw and Smith negotiated the Indian spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja well. If that was not enough, Jadeja ran out Josh Hazlewood in a style which reminded everyone of MS Dhoni – hurling the ball on to the wickets without even looking at them. “There were a few good spells from Umesh (Yadav), he was coming in hard and giving it his all, getting the ball to reverse a bit”.
Under the DRS, players can consult with a team-mate on the field about whether to review an umpire’s call, but the decision needs to be made on the field.
Steve Smith (117*) and Glenn Maxwell (82*) combined to lift the Aussies from a troubling 140 for four to a more secure 299 without the loss of another wicket on the opening day of the third Test.
Smith admitted to a “brain fade” immediately after he was dismissed at Bangalore and apologized, avoiding any sanction.
Curator SB Singh banned Australian players from taking photographs of the wicket on Tuesday, but the latest conspiracy was as clear as rolled mud with Steve Smith’s bemused team now bracing themselves for the dodgiest deck of the series so far. The India captain has not backed away from the comments.
The series is now levelled at 1-1 with both Australia and India winning a game apiece.