Day 1: Third Test: India v Australia at Nagpur, 26th - 30th Oct 2004


6:40 PM

Australia 362/7 - Michael Clarke 73*, Damien Martyn 114, Daren Lehmann 70. Murali Kartik 3/57

Martyn played with a lot of grace (shades of Mark Waugh in some of the strokeplay). Way to go Marto! Back-to-back hundreds in consecutive Test matches. Foot-work was excellent, and the way he attacked Kumble is a lesson for every batsman in this world.

Lehmann kept himself busy and scored 70 valuable runs, and in the process of keeping himself busy he pulled his hamstring. Boof knows too well that he has to score runs than seek sympathy for the lack of support he received from Cricket Australia. I feel sorry for Boof, perhaps this is his final Test match.

Clarke started very cautiously... his body was in Nagpur and mind in Singapore. The break in Singapore was not a great idea (perhaps!) The kid has the talent to succeed. Talent and good fortune makes a potent combination; Parthiv gave Clarke two big helpings of good fortune.

Amit Varma's (Wisden) idea of a long rope is 23 yards; anything more than that he will build a bridge to Colombo.

I reckon Parthiv's contact lens is failing him.... Here is a kid who has not been to school since the age of 13 or 14... playing cricket day in and day out. Won a Border-Gavaskar scholarship and all that... Parthiv needs help. He should not have been played in this Test match. He should have been to a good doctor to sort his lens problems... Why destroy a special talent? Look at what happened to Laxman Sivaramakrishnan... Or even a Sadanand Vishwanath.

My man of the day is Murali Kartik. First time a left-arm spinner has taken three wickets in a Test match after Ganguly took over as the captain of Team India.

11:14 AM

Australia 86/3 (21.2)

Katich c Chopra b Kumble 4

Tentative push... caught bat-pad at forward short leg - Chopra the fielder.

Proves a point - dustbowls not a must in Indian cricket.

This Live Report updates is do-able. More later.

11: 07 AM

Australia 79/2 (20.1)

JL Langer c Dravid b Khan 44 (73b 8x4 0x6)

Katich not out 3

Martyn is the new batsman.

Zaheer Khan strikes again! Good pressure being maintained by Kumble from the other end. Kumble forced an edge from Langer and the ball fell just short of Dravid at first slip (19.6)

Zaheer bowling a nice line and length - found the edge - Dravid took a comfortable catch at first slip. Langer was pushing at it.

10: 49 AM

Australia 67/1 (16.3)

ML Hayden c Patel b Khan 23 (39b 2x4 0x6)

JL Langer 36 not out (61b 7x4)

Simon Katich is the new man in.

Zaheer had one particulary loud shout for lbw afainst Langer (lucky to survive!) in the 15th over. Sheps ruled him not out. Hayden was out caught behind to a good delivery from Zaheer. Parthiv must be a happy boy now.

10:30 AM

Australia 61/0 (13) Overs

JL Langer 36* (49b 7x4) ML Hayden 22* (30b 2x4)

Australia are well in command at the first drinks break scoring at run-a-minute.

AB Agarkar (7-1-36-0) and Z Khan (5-0-23-0) didn't do justice to a wonderful surface to bowl on. Agarkar did manage to find the edge a few times; Hayden was lucky when the ball bounced a few inches in front of Kaif at gully. Zaheer was really disappointing with the new ball. Kumble was brought into the attack in the 11th over of the innings. Parthiv Patel has fumbled with a couple of regulation-takes.

I wonder who is writing the Live Bulletins in Wisden Cricinfo... the guy is well short of 23 yards from getting the facts right.

The injuries were a bitter blow for India. Of their four matchwinning bowlers on the tour to Pakistan, three were out through injury – Pathan, Harbhajan and L Balaji.
Harbhajan is not injured. He is down with a flu. I wonder what grass these guys are smoking in Wisden.

9:30 AM

It is a grassy wicket at Nagpur. After a lot of speculation in the morning about Ganguly's fitness (groin strain), the confirmation came through - Indian skipper is not playing in the third Test. Rahul Dravid, once again in his career, finds himself as the stand-in skipper.

Further bad news for India, Turbanator is also out. Harbhajan Singh is down with a flu. Murali Kartik gets another Test match. Kaif retains his spot thanks to Ganguly's groin injury. Akash Chopra comes in for out of form Yuvraj Singh. Ajit Agarkar gets another game - replacing the injured Irfan Pathan.

Australia have made no change to their eleven. The pitch is grassy and green - if you don't get your best fast bowler out there - then there is something terribly wrong with the selection policies. No denying that Kaspro is a good bowler in Indian conditions... Lee would have been a more than handful for the Indian batsmen on this green track. This could very well be Lehmann's last Test match.

McGrath is playing in his 100th Test match. He will have to wait to have a bowl as Australia have decided to bat first after Gilchrist called it right.


A Chopra, V Sehwag, R Dravid, (capt), S R Tendulkar, V V S Laxman, M Kaif, P A Patel, (wk), A B Agarkar, A Kumble, M Kartik, Z Khan


M L Hayden, J L Langer, S M Katich, D R Martyn, D S Lehmann, M J Clarke, A C Gilchrist, (capt), (wk), S K Warne, M S Kasprowicz, J N Gillespie, G D McGrath

Umpires: Aleem Dar, D R Shepherd

Toss: Australia won the toss and decided to bat

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