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  1. #1
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Australia vs India

    Stunning start to day one of the First Test in Adelaide, with Australia reducing India to 56-4 (or rather, 4-56 since it's on Australian soil ) by lunch.

    Those wickets were spread across all three Aussie quicks including the prize wicket of Kohli.

    All credit to Pujara though, who came in at first wicket down, steadied the ship and patiently compiled a century before being run out for 123.

    India closed on 9-250 and one would imagine it won't take too long before the Australians are batting, which should prove interesting - the batting line-up was far from a straightforward decision prior to the game and the majority of the top six can't claim to be automatic picks at this stage.
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  3. #2
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    After a deserved win in the First Test, India are bowling to Australia on day one of test two.

    Good start by Finch and Harris, 45 so far, with some nice, sharp boundaries from Harris.

    Given both sides have very good bowling units, the feeling is that this series will be decided by the batsmen. That means maybe at least three of the Aussie top six have to show up, every innings. From an Australian point of view a strong opening stand here in Perth will go a long way to wrestling back some confidence after Adelaide.
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  4. #3
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Good cricket in Perth.

    Australia made a great start yesterday but India had pulled things back by the end of the day.

    Today has seen Paine and Cummins playing well and pulling Australia over the 300 mark before both were dismissed in rapid succession.

    So far, Australia passed the test I set in the previous post with three of the top six showing up. It makes a difference and however the rest of their innings pans out, they will have a total to work with.

    I'm sure I've posted before about Pat Cummins and won't hesitate again. Specialist bowlers who can bat well are a prize, probably my favourite kind of Test cricketer. I'm talking bowlers who will always be in the team on merit for their bowling skills but who could actually throw the bat around as well or play and hold down an end - they're not all-rounders as such, they just have the competence with the bat as well as the ball.

    Australia have made a thing of this over the last three decades - outstanding bowlers like McDermott, Gillespie, Lee and Johnson have all shown an ability to fire out a decent innings at bat, and it has helped them in being as successful as they have.

    There's something special about Cummins though - he's young and hopefully has years and years ahead of him in Test cricket. He's shown he can be a fiery fast bowler but he also brings something else - his 19 from 66 balls was exemplary, supporting Tim Paine and manoeuvring Australia from somewhere ambiguous to somewhere far more threatening for India.

    As I was typing this, India wrapped up the last couple of wickets! I think Australia's 326 is a good score but India rightly see themselves as the best team in the world at the moment.

    We've now got probably the best bowling foursome in the world up against a great batting side that has at least two of the ten best batsmen in the world, and in Kohli, probably the best batsman on the planet.

    Game on
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  5. #4
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Hazelwood takes Rahul with a sweet delivery, timely as it's one of the best I've seen this year.

    The stage is set - Pujara and Kohli at bat, the Australian quicks fresh, and several hours to go.
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  6. #5
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Kohli showing intent from the start, this has the makings of a great session(s).
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  7. #6
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Great cricket in the Melbourne Test so far and proper Test cricket at that.

    Some of the best batsmen in the world facing some of the best bowlers and having to work for it. Pujara and Kohli have worked for it and it's been a slog in roasting temperatures but they have made the runs, aided and abetted by Awarjal with a fine Test debut innings.

    Advantage India for sure, though Australia did well to see out their seven overs last night.

    Overall take - I want to see how India bowl today but they are in the driving seat. Next year sees Warner, Smith and Bancroft back however. If they can be assimilated into the team then Australia have a contender for best bowling unit and can compete with the best at bat. This Indian side are looking strong though and can get stronger. Pakistan are perhaps coming into a really good shape. And England, if they can resolve that team selection at bat, and transition Anderson and Broad smoothly, have tons of potential. They have a ridiculously long batting order, just need to get them in the right order and settle on the two openers.

    Fascinating year for Test cricket. With all the other changes coming in over the next few years it feels a bit like a transformational point in international cricket. Still, that's probably been said a few times over the last couple of decades.

    Hopefully the Test game survives. At its best, it is unbeatable.
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  8. #7
    @hibs.net private member weecounty hibby's Avatar
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    Test cricket is, in my opinion, the best form of the game. I think it will always continue to be the ultimate form of cricket but the other formats are drawing more people to watch the game as they are exciting and trendy. T20 in particular is a form that you can have a night out at as the match is over pretty quickly and there is a lot of big hitting with 6s aplenty. I don't watch much limited overs cricket as I have always loved watching test matches and personally find limited overs a bit boring.

  9. #8
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weecounty hibby View Post
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    Test cricket is, in my opinion, the best form of the game. I think it will always continue to be the ultimate form of cricket but the other formats are drawing more people to watch the game as they are exciting and trendy. T20 in particular is a form that you can have a night out at as the match is over pretty quickly and there is a lot of big hitting with 6s aplenty. I don't watch much limited overs cricket as I have always loved watching test matches and personally find limited overs a bit boring.


    It's difficult because the shorter versions draw people in but if folk can find the time and patience then Test cricket is incredibly rewarding. All the different factors that contribute to the final result can be utterly sublime.

    I was at Headingley in 2017 for England vs Windies, where all four results seemed possible on the final session of the fifth day. That's as good as sport gets IMO.

    Back to Melbourne though, India have been magnificent in their bowling, tons of movement and Bumrah simply outstanding.

    The Australians must have been shattered physically and mentally, especially the bowlers who have had little respite and are facing the Sydney Test within a short turnaround.

    Despite that, Pat Cummins has bowled his heart out. I really like this guy. He has struggled with injuries but appears to have overcome them and is young enough to have years ahead of him. He has that capacity to own batsmen as well as just producing a few overs that skittle the opposition, combined with an ability to produce runs with the bat. Most importantly, he is really eager, perhaps a consequence of his delayed introduction to the national team.

    That notwithstanding, Australia still have to knock off the remaining Indian wickets. They then have to produce a big, big score to win which is nearly impossible. The weather suggests the possibility of a draw but the odds are definitely with India, especially given how their bowling unit has coped with Australian pitches. What will be interesting is how they compete when Australia reinstate their suspended batsmen. Next series should be a cracker.

    Probably overlooked, but the South Africa - Pakistan series has been a good watch. Duanne Olivier took a six-for and a five-for at Centurion in only his sixth Test. Rabada continued to show well and is establishing himself as the best quick on the planet. Three in both innings with the three in Pakistan's second innings in rapid succession, blasting out their middle order.
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  10. #9
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Day Five due to start shortly and India are poised for a handsome victory.

    Plaudits to Paddy Cummins though. Bowled well in India's first innings, bowled superbly in India's second innings and has led the batting for Australia in their second innings and is currently the only thing stopping India tying up the match.
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  11. #10
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Fun and games on the first day of the Fourth and final Test at the SCG.

    Pujara has had a tremendous tour, notching up his third century so far and they’ve all been about patience at the wicket. It’s Test cricket in its purest form and delightfully rewarding to watch.

    Agarwal had another very good knock and has made a great start to his Test career. India now have the problem of what to do when the scintillating Prithvi Shaw is fit again. One suspects Rahul’s days are numbered and that Agarwal and Shaw will open the batting for years to come (certainly in Shaw’s case, he could play for another twenty years at a push and certainly fifteen).

    It all adds up to a very positive story for India. They have a solid batting line-up, with the best batsman in the world in Kohli, even though he hasn’t had his strongest series. The bowling unit look formidable and have done well on Australian soil and it’s hard to overstate the difference the Indians will have faced from the condition of home pitches.

    For Australia, it’s all about the batting and to what degree they reintegrate the suspended players this year. They can’t afford not to bring Smith back in, Warner is more of a question mark given he has been tagged as the most culpable in their wrongdoings.

    With two genuine world-class players back in the batting line-up, suddenly Australia are transformed. They have a bowling attack that’s as good as anything in the world but they are a bit like England in the eighties at bat, not sure who to play in what position. Smith and Warner provide a solid base from which to build. One of the outlying positives for Australia IMO was Marcus Harris. He didn’t score the runs he would have wanted to, but he looked decent and was very effective in the field. Worth persevering with, I think.
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 03-01-2019 at 06:37 PM.
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  12. #11
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    I know no one else is commentating on this

    Won't stop me

    Pujara is on 155, he really is the player.

    I'm not sure there's enough enthusiasm on this forum for this but for a 2018 World Test XI then Pujjara wins third spot by a mile.

    If I get the slightest bit of interest back then I'll post mine.
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  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    I know no one else is commentating on this

    Won't stop me

    Pujara is on 155, he really is the player.

    I'm not sure there's enough enthusiasm on this forum for this but for a 2018 World Test XI then Pujjara wins third spot by a mile.

    If I get the slightest bit of interest back then I'll post mine.
    I've been reading. Thanks for ploughing the lonely furrow.

    Series won for India, it'll be very interesting to see if the return of Smith can really revive the Australians or whether the malaise will go deeper.

  14. #13
    @hibs.net private member weecounty hibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    I know no one else is commentating on this

    Won't stop me

    Pujara is on 155, he really is the player.

    I'm not sure there's enough enthusiasm on this forum for this but for a 2018 World Test XI then Pujjara wins third spot by a mile.

    If I get the slightest bit of interest back then I'll post mine.
    I'm jealous that you are able to watch test matches. Not sure if you are retired, work from home, work shifts or what but I would love to watch as much test cricket as you do. Thanks for the updates and it's always good to have the odd chat with someone enlightened enough to be a Hibby and also love cricket

  15. #14
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    I've been reading. Thanks for ploughing the lonely furrow.

    Series won for India, it'll be very interesting to see if the return of Smith can really revive the Australians or whether the malaise will go deeper.
    Thank you, that's nice. I'm assured that it's worth it because the thread has over five hundred views and only three hundred are me reading my own posts back.

    I'm fascinated to see what happens with Australia. They have the strongest bowling unit (not as good, but the strongest) since they had McGrath, Gillespie, Lee and Warne and a decent keeper (though any Aussie keeper has hard boots to fill), but their batting line-up is all over the place, though you get the sense it could just click under the right circumstances.

    Smith is genuinely world-class and capable of winning matches by himself. If he has retained that then Australia are back in the game and you can imagine they can fashion a top order involving Harris, Renshaw, Handscomb or whatever.
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  16. #15
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weecounty hibby View Post
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    I'm jealous that you are able to watch test matches. Not sure if you are retired, work from home, work shifts or what but I would love to watch as much test cricket as you do. Thanks for the updates and it's always good to have the odd chat with someone enlightened enough to be a Hibby and also love cricket
    I have an understanding partner and I have a bit of freedom with how I work. They both help

    Glad to post updates and comment. I think those of us (you, me, JMS, HutchyHibby et al) who like Test cricket appreciate the game and also the ability to discuss it without it descending into something really partisan or divisive.

    It's utterly enjoyable to watch and offers so much pleasure that I couldn't commend it enough.
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  17. #16
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Marcus Harris just hit the cleanest stroke I've seen in a long time, for a boundary.

    Best four I've seen this year

    Actually won't be astonished if that's still my view come Dec 31.
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  18. #17
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Marcus Harris just hit the cleanest stroke I've seen in a long time, for a boundary.

    Best four I've seen this year

    Actually won't be astonished if that's still my view come Dec 31.
    I'm watching this on delayed play and Khawaja has just gone for a soft stroke.

    I've criticised him on here before and I get massively agitated when posters gang up on a Hibs player but Usman Khawaja is simply not a Test player!

    Feel like Donald Trump when he attacks a Democratic opponent

    Khawaja NOT GOOD ENOUGH, make Australia great again!!!

    Shame because he has soft hands and can turn the ball well.. He lost a load of weight in the last season to make him competitive and that's improved his game immeasurably.
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  19. #18
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Harris makes his half-century.

    Tidy batsman and efficient fielder.

    One for the future for Australia.
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  20. #19
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Got tickets for the Ashes - First Test at Edgbaston and the Fourth Test at Old Trafford next year.

    Eddbaston is a bit rowdy but we are only there for the day and doing hospitality. OT we are there for four days in amongst it, but the sightlines seem great.

    Looking forward to both trips massively. Test cricket, let alone any form of cricket, is a joy to attend.
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  21. #20
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    India in for the kill now, great delivery to get rid of Paine.
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  22. #21
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Rain stopped play.

    Best Test player on the planet. If anyone wants to contradict me by citing Virat Kohli, then all I can say is Pat Cummins has just played a lionheart innings, only 25 runs from 41 balls but six of them boundaries against one of the very best bowling attacks on the planet.

    He has scored seven scoring shots from 41 balls and six of the seven have reached the rope and got four runs apiece.

    He is paid to bowl not bat, and he bowls very well. Turns out he bats very well too.

    Love this guy.
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  23. #22
    resident moaning git DaveF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Rain stopped play.

    Best Test player on the planet. If anyone wants to contradict me by citing Virat Kohli, then all I can say is Pat Cummins has just played a lionheart innings, only 25 runs from 41 balls but six of them boundaries against one of the very best bowling attacks on the planet.

    He has scored seven scoring shots from 41 balls and six of the seven have reached the rope and got four runs apiece.

    He is paid to bowl not bat, and he bowls very well. Turns out he bats very well too.

    Love this guy.
    Cummins is a fantastic player and deservedly won the Australian cricketer of the year award (though not too much competition in all honesty) but better than Kohli?

    Can't agree with that at all. He's a very decent lower order batsmen but that SCG pitch is a road and if the top order was in any kind of nick they should have made a bigger dent into India's score.

  24. #23
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveF View Post
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    Cummins is a fantastic player and deservedly won the Australian cricketer of the year award (though not too much competition in all honesty) but better than Kohli?

    Can't agree with that at all. He's a very decent lower order batsmen but that SCG pitch is a road and if the top order was in any kind of nick they should have made a bigger dent into India's score.
    In terms of impact and utility Paddy Cummins would be the first name on my team sheet, if I had a free hand.

    Thatís just my view though and Iím probably a bit biased by his back story, plus it was travelling in Australia that got me into cricket so I have probably an underlying affinity to the national side and players.

    Kohli has been a bit of a curiousity. No problem on Aussie pitches it would seem, he has two decent knocks under his belt and has also played himself in a couple of other times before falling. Likewise no one bowler is working him. Cummins has taken his wicket three times but at least one was after a big score. Just not quite himself with the bat at the moment but thatís okay as it doesnít detract from Pujara who has had a great tour.
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  25. #24
    resident moaning git DaveF's Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong, I really like Cummins as a player. I remember him when he first appeared and his pace was fearsome. 5 or 6 years of injury takes some coming back from so he has to be commended for not only claiming a test place again but for cementing his place in the aussie attack for years to come.

    Out of interest, the chat on the radio commentary last night was of how the team dynamic will change significantly when Warner and Smith are available again. Are they stick ons for selection in your opinion? Smith probably but I thought Warner was still carrying the can for it all in terms of being the villan.

  26. #25
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveF View Post
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    Don't get me wrong, I really like Cummins as a player. I remember him when he first appeared and his pace was fearsome. 5 or 6 years of injury takes some coming back from so he has to be commended for not only claiming a test place again but for cementing his place in the aussie attack for years to come.

    Out of interest, the chat on the radio commentary last night was of how the team dynamic will change significantly when Warner and Smith are available again. Are they stick ons for selection in your opinion? Smith probably but I thought Warner was still carrying the can for it all in terms of being the villan.
    I think youíre right, Warner has been represented as the miscreant-in-chief. I suspect he will get a return though, as will Smith.

    Warner is 32 so heís not at the start of his career but Australia have struggled to get players with his explosiveness in either the Test side or the shorter versions and simply donít have options to go with. If Iím an Aussie selector Iím thinking Warner back to nurse Marcus Harris in as the other opener and then be looking for a long-term replacement.

    Canít imagine the circumstances in which Smith doesnít return. He, Kohli and Kane Williamson were simply on a different level prior to his suspension. With an Ashes and a World Cup approaching and a batting line-up that is so far from settled, I fully expect Australia to be utterly pragmatic.

    What will be interesting is what that does to the team dynamic. Two very strong personalities returning, possibly chastened, possibly not. Tim Paine sounds a pretty calm and laid-back bloke and Iím sure he can deal with things but the impact on the rest of the side, especially the batting order, might be different.

    I thought 2018 was a great year for Test cricket with the prospect of India really being challenged, touring South Africa, England and Australia. I donít think the outcomes were what I would have predicted but thereís been some great cricket along the way. 2019 offers a lot too, with only an Ashes series and a World Cup to look forward to!
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  27. #26
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Play back on at the SCG after a delayed start and the Indian quicks are giving the Australian mid to tail order a torrid time with the new ball.

    My hero Cummins went for a decent 25 off 44 but was undone by a corker that took his off stump with a very low delivery from Shami.

    The Indian pacers should have a bit of fun with the bottom order. Big decision about the follow-on. I have no idea what India's approach is, if indeed they have a tailored approach but given what time is left I suspect they would make Australia bat again.

    And as I was typing Handscomb just went. India to wrap it up soonish and put Australia back in, were I a betting man.
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  28. #27
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    I know I've bigged up Pujara in previous posts but none of that should undersell Bumrah.

    Bowlers win matches, not batsmen, and Bumrah has been fantastic, to build on really good tours in England and South Africa.

    Nearly as good as Cummins
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  29. #28
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Aussies all out though Hazlewood and Starc put on a defiant last stand.

    India bowled beautifully and were able to vary things. More importantly they didn't have to work too hard and Kuldeep will be fresh for the final session, let alone the ten or so overs they will have before tea.
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  30. #29
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Into the first ODI and India have lost three for four runs within four overs , Kohli included!

    Remarkable stuff Geoff.
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  31. #30
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Bowled Gazza.
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