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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sydney stands between famous Indian win !!

Had to search for Sydney ! ~ and read .. .. that Australian model Annalise Braakensiek was found dead in her Sydney apartment on Sunday afternoon. Police and ambulance crews attended her Potts Point apartment around 3.30pm after friends and family became concerned about her whereabouts. Close friends have told the jewellery creator, lingerie designer and health guru hadn’t been heard from for a few days. There were no suspicious circumstances, police said, and they will prepare a report for the coroner. The Australian model split from her stockbroker husband Danny Goldberg in April after 16 years together. At the time, in a deleted Instagram post, she wrote: “I don’t know if a broken heart mends or learns to live in pieces”.

.. .. most searches perhaps were on Sydney Weather – more specifically on whether it would rain at Sydney tomorrow.  A weather forecast for Jan 7, Monday reads that the temperature would be min 20 max 24 ~ chance of rain 20% - how would you read that ? – a positive sign, good for India !!

Another news report states that a  Sydney man electrocuted when he stepped on a fallen power line outside his home has been remembered as a “great humanitarian” by the charity he chaired.  The person died after coming into contact with the 11,000-volt power line in his driveway in Punchbowl about 10.30pm on Saturday. Emergency personnel had to wait at least 30 minutes before the power was turned off and his body could be reached.  A Fire & Rescue New South Wales spokesman said the line was brought down by a lightning strike.

Sydneysiders have enjoyed a much cooler night’s sleep after the mercury plummeted dramatically yesterday afternoon following a constant span of sweltering days since the end of last year. Temperatures at Mascot cooled by 11 degrees in 10 minutes at 12pm, with other sites experiencing similar drops. Observatory Hill dropped by five degrees in 15 minutes at the same time. The change occurred later out west, with Penrith and Richmond plunging by seven and six degrees respectively after 3pm. In the Illawarra region to the south, a severe thunderstorm brought a wet start for Kiama, with rainfall reaching 65mm – the highest 24-hour total since November 2017.  Rain and easing wind conditions have allowed crews to get the upper hand on several bushfires burning across New South Wales.

"It’s your Test," said the Cricket Australia marketing slogans around the SCG, selling fans the message that the game, apparently, belongs to them. By keeping the players off the field for most of a frustrating day, the umpires issued a reminder that no, it is their Test.  Cricket faces many threats from contemporary culture. But we mustn’t forget the old-fashioned threats, officialdom steeped in bureaucratic customs dictating that while the British Empire is gone, due process is the once and future king. In Melbourne last week, fans sat through an hour of dry, bright weather while the umpires ordered, and then ate, lunch. In Sydney, Kerry Packer’s floodlights at full power were decreed, and remained, ‘bad light’. India had three spin bowlers available, and wanted to play. With careers to save, some of the Australian batsmen ought to have wanted to play, too. So much for putting the fans first.

Twenty-five overs were played, just enough for Cricket Australia not to have to issue refunds to 18,000 mostly good-natured but also baffled spectators. It was also enough time for Australia to display more signs of their alarming onfield decline and to become the first home team to follow on in this country since the Bicentennial Test match of 1988.

In many ways, India is sitting pretty ~ and with no showers tomorrow, a win could be an easy reality .. .. .. the last time Aussies were asked to follow-on at home was in 1988 and Indians have now done it again at Sydney.  At SCG in 1988, England had enforced follow-on and Australia played 172 consecutive home tests without that ignominy.  This is the 4th time, India had asked Australia to bat again (they could have asked at Melbourne) – earlier instance was 1986 New Year test at Sydney and in 1979-80, tests at Delhi and Mumbai when Kim Hughes led the visitors.

The brief scorecard reads at stumps on day 4 : Australia 300 (Harris 79, Kuldeep 5-99) and 0 for 6 trail India 7 for 622 dec. (Pujara 193, Pant 159*, Lyon 4-178) by 316 runs. 

After rain took away three hours, India nipped out three lower order wickets when play resumed this morning at  Sydney. Then, the last-wicket pair of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood held on for an hour before wristspinner - Kuldeep Yadav - playing his first Test of the tour, and only his sixth overall, picked his second five-for by removing a stodgy Hazlewood, who could have been out much earlier had Hanuma Vihari held a top-edged slog sweep at midwicket. India quickly enforced the follow-on, Australia's first at home in 31 years after securing a 322-run lead.

India's first-ever series win in Australia is all but sealed. Kohli can lay his hands on the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, but he will be aching for a 3-1 scoreline. For that, India would need 10 wickets on the final day, but with a forecast similar to Saturday's and the rule book that calls for play to stop at the slightest hint of rain or play to hinge on a light reading - despite having quality, state-of-the-art floodlights - it seems possible the Sydney Test could end in a draw.  Indian fans are hoping that 10 wickets would fall making India clinch a famous 3-1 series win.  More clouds are forecast today but with minimal rain, meaning Australia will have to produce something special when they resume 316 runs from even forcing India to bat again.

“We’ve obviously got a really good chance to shift some momentum back into our camp and not just for the one-dayers coming up but also there’s the World Cup and the Ashes,” said Handscomb, who made 37 before playing on to Jasprit Bumrah.  Before a 42-run last wicket stand between Mitchell Starc (28) and Josh Hazlewood (21),  pundit Ponting said No.10 Lyon’s decision not to review his dismissal gave a concerning insight. Replays suggested the ball may have been missing the stumps, leaving Ponting flabbergasted. ‘‘That dismissal actually says a lot to me about the mindset of this Australian team ... There’s no desperation there whatsoever,’’ Ponting said. ‘‘Why wouldn’t they have had a look at that?”

Pressed on the decision after play last night, Handscomb quickly came to the defence of the pair out in the middle. “DRS is random with stuff like that,” Handscomb said. “You ask Gazza [Lyon], he thinks [it hit him] on the full and on his big toe. It’s not often anyone in the world thinks they are going to review that.’’

~ hoping for play tomorrow morning and .. .. another big Indian win !

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
6th Jan 2019.

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