India v Australia, 3rd Test, Ranchi, 5th day July 20, 2017

Plot watch - The Maxwell agenda

ESPNcricinfo staff
Play ended in Ranchi with the pitch not quite living up to its promise to be a minefield

Ishant Sharma was aggressive during his morning spell © PTI

Aggression watch
Ishant Sharma was fired up in the morning session and let the verbals fly a bit, but once Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh began their grind, things quietened down. Glenn Maxwell had probably annoyed India by appearing to make light of Virat Kohli's shoulder injury on the third day, and, predictably, he was greeted with a volley of comments and appeals. Maxwell reacted, and the umpired had to have a word with him. It was all rather unnecessary, as the game was dead by then, but India seemed to want to get Maxwell out before shaking hands on a draw. Given Maxwell and Kohli's reputations, expect that subplot to continue in Dharamsala.

Pitch watch
The Ranchi pitch was like a magician who had put out an attractive flyer and got the media to hype him up without ever watching him perform. When the show began, the magician had few tricks. Today, after Ravindra Jadeja got one to turn out of the rough and across Steven Smith's front pad, bowling him, some were already writing Australia off. But Shaun Marsh showed that the much-talked-about rough outside the left-handers' off stump was a challenge but not an insurmountable one. He survived 51 balls from Jadeja before edging one to short leg. In retrospect, this pitch will be remembered as one that produced five compelling days of cricket.

India's first review was for a ball that pitched outside leg and would have missed off stump © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

DRS watch
India's first review of the day was so poor, even Virat Kohli giggled at it when he saw the replay on the big screen. Umesh Yadav's delivery to Shaun Marsh had not just pitched well outside leg stump but was missing off stump too.

India's next review was much closer. Handscomb was given not out off Umesh, and the replay showed the ball was clipping the top of the stumps, but not by enough to reverse the on-field decision.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Earl John on March 21, 2017, 21:29 GMT

    @ Robin292 : I don't believe you are aware of how the international umpiring panel works. : Umpire Gould is NOT allowed to stand as an umpire in tests involving England. So how can he produce: "howlers... in UK when India toured"?

  • Drew on March 21, 2017, 8:28 GMT

    @CRICKET_EQUALS_SACHIN You're the one talking about the pitches though! Queue Indians cry murder when presented with typical Australian wickets (albeit less lively due to drop ins at some grounds) and have to bear the slightest bit of pace and bounce.

  • cricfaninddownunder on March 21, 2017, 6:57 GMT

    CRICKET_EQUALS_SACHIN ...I would suggest you post mature comments. Pitches are prepared suited to the host country everywhere, but the way pitches are prepared in India and Srilanka are absolutely rubbish and not up to the standards. India does well in Sydney because it spins, Perth is known for its bounce, Melbourne is always two-faced pitch Regardless how the pitch has behaved. Let's appreciate what is good and criticize what's bad. Australia wouldn't have dreamt to get a draw and batting out 90 plus over's. Obviously, India in India is the toughest to beat and Australia has somehow managed to do that and have pushed India to the corner. Let's accept and start thinking ahead of Champions trophy as It would be India's turn now to crib about the Duke's ball. Lastly these cry babies have appeared in 7 world cup finals and have 5 out of them and have maintained their supremacy at home that till date no Asian country has ever won a test series down under. So grow budy.

  • laksvi5642713 on March 21, 2017, 5:49 GMT

    Am guessing the more observant amongst the serial 'lets slag that one side and its followers for all thats wrong with cricket' brigade saw that the pitch was - evenly bounced from day one -did'nt turn square from day one - did'nt have cracks for the ball to sit up or stay low -did'nt have one particular spot where the ball behaved differently to others -had any 'special/specific' instances to cause alarm to the batsmen.... if so much mirth/scorn/hype/reams of news print was poured on us/devoted to this/discussed/dissed off before even the match started.... can those who did a lot of the above on such blogs come out & say -they were wrong -the match was excellent -was unfair to diss us off in this manner - go easy on the words 'dustbowl' ' and the like... That said - am indian and no fan of them pitches on our patch, i found pune and banglore shocking and wish we prepared more 'sporting' pitches read somehting in it for all trades of bowlers instead of rank turners....

  • exelby9545231 on March 20, 2017, 15:15 GMT

    A few years and that Handscomb appeal will be brought up every other week as an excuse, don't mind Vijay being OUT along with Pujara as well

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