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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

How accurate is Bureau of Meteorology ~ gripping final day at Gabba !!

How accurate are the predictions of Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Government ?

How will the Indian tour of Australia 2020-21 end ? – it was 1-2 in ODI; 2-1 in T20I and LWD thus far in Tests.   On 12 November 2020, the Indian squad arrived in Sydney to begin a two-week long quarantine period.  On 24 Nov 2020, BCCI confirmed that Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma were  ruled out of the first two Test matches.  Couple of days later, T. Natarajan was added to India's squad for the ODI series.  .. .. .. now Nattu has donned India colours in all 3 forms !

Tropical Cyclone Kimi is a currently active tropical cyclone which is threatening Queensland in Australia. The tenth tropical low and third tropical cyclone of the 2020–21 Australian region cyclone season, Kimi originated from a weak tropical low which formed northeast of Queensland on 16 January. The low strengthened into Tropical Cyclone Kimi early the next day, as it slowly moved towards the coastline of northeastern Australia.   Impacts are anticipated to be significant, with the effects of the previous storm to hit the state, Cyclone Imogen, to be exacerbated from the heavy rainfall.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is an Executive Agency of the Australian Government responsible for providing weather services to Australia and surrounding areas. It was established in 1906 under the Meteorology Act, and brought together the state meteorological services that existed before then.  The report reads :  Cloudy. High (80%) chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm, possibly severe. Light winds.  Tropical monsoon activity continues to be visible in the north of the country with convective cloud and thunderstorms. This particularly visible around Cyclone Kimi off the coast near Cairns in QLD with visible cyclonic rotation. Brisbane is the capital of  the Australian state of Queensland. Woolloongabba is a suburb of the City of Brisbane,  and contains the Brisbane Cricket Ground ('the Gabba')  where the 4th and final test is underway !

He may be a great run accumulator but there are enough reasons to dislike him. Mohammed Siraj bowled a snorter of a delivery to send Steve Smith packing. A length ball bowled by him hit the crack and took off the pitch. It ended up hitting Steve Smith on the glove, as the Australian tried to fend it away. The ball looped to Ajinkya Rahane at gully, who completed the catch. .. .. earlier Labuschagne got almost a similar delivery, edged and walked shaking his head but .. Smith gesticulated that the ball hit the glove and .. .. and he had taken the glove off the bat ?  - reviewed .. .. it was clear that glove was certainly on the handle at the point of impact !

At close of play on day 4 India chasing 328 were 4 without loss .. .. on a day of much happening Indians could feel happy that Australians did not set the target but were bowled out with 2 Indian bowlers hunting for the last wicket to conclude a five for !  eventually both were involved – it was Caught Sharadul Thakur bowled Mohammad Siraj  [Siraj 5-73, Thakur 4-61]

Rain wiped out nearly all of the last session of day four soon after Australia had set India 328 to win the Gabba Test. India's openers had only faced 11 balls, and still had a possible 23.1 overs left to negotiate before stumps, when rain sent the players hurrying into their dressing rooms for the second and final time on the day. On a pitch where inconsistent bounce has grown into a frequent menace, Australia probably have enough time left  in theory, to bowl India out and wrap up a 2-1 series win, but the weather forecast for day five isn't encouraging for them.

First India bowled  Australia out. This hadn't seemed likely when David Warner and Marcus Harris had extended their opening partnership to 89 and left Australia effectively 122 for no loss some 40 minutes into the day's play. But India regrouped, with Shardul Thakur breaking the partnership on his way to an impressive four-wicket haul and Mohammed Siraj capping off a stellar debut series with a maiden Test-match five-for.  Now day 5 is going to dawn more intriguing and challenging for   Tim Paine, whose place in Australian cricket history may hinge on the events of the final day of this landmark series.  The most unlikely of Australian captains has achieved all that could be reasonably asked of him since taking over after the trauma of Cape Town - but the halo has slipped.Winning is not enough for cricket fans in this country. The manner in which the game is played matters as well. Lose or draw on Tuesday and, in the eyes of many Australians, Paine will have failed on both counts.

Hopefully his  prized bowlers would not  summon one last effort and get the job done, Tim Paine  will go down in history as the only Australian captain to lose back-to-back series at home against India. So pressure is on Paine and not on stand-in Indian Captain Ajinkya Rahane.  Australia have enjoyed every possible advantage. They've played at home, won every toss and had the deciding Test played at their Gabba fortress, where they have not lost since 1988.  Tasked with bowling out India on the final day of the series to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia were on Monday night facing the prospect of being a paceman down after Mitchell Starc walked away clutching his hamstring at the Gabba. After 16 days of oscillating, absorbing theatre, it has come down to three sessions. Ninety-eight overs. Six-and-a-bit hours of play, weather permitting of course. At stake is not only custody of the trophy but possibly a place in the World Test Championship final, and even the legacy of Tim Paine's captaincy.

Australia, needing to win the fourth and final Test to clinch the series 2-1, have a day to complete the assignment. India, set an ambitious 328 to achieve victory, don't need to go for it to retain the silverware and could hang on for a draw like they ultimately did in Sydney.   Test Cricket at its captivating best !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
18.1.2021 @ 10.26 pm.


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