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Australia vs India, 2nd Test: Australia beat India by 4 wickets

Brisbane: A magical early spell from Mitchell Johnson and Chris Rogers’ brilliant half-century in the fourth innings fired Australia to win on the fourth day of the second Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on Saturday.

Needing 128 runs to win the Test and take 2-0 lead in the series, Australia lost two quick wickets before tea with Ishant Sharma bowling a hostile spell after bowling few loose balls in his first over.

First, he dismissed David Warner with a beauty of a delivery. Bowled from around the wicket, the ball straightened after pitching and found an edge of Warner's bat as Dhoni took an easy catch.

Then, Watson was next to follow when he misjudged a short ball and mistimed a pull off Ishant Sharma. Australia went into tea losing two wickets for 25. India though could not manage to contain Australian batsmen; especially Chris Rogers, who launhed into attack. The left-hander brought up his fifty in quick time to take Australia closer to victory.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli dropped an easy catch to send Steve Smith back to the dressing room. Smith edeged off Varun Aaron's bowling, but Kohli standing in slips, made an absolute mess of it. While he has been a fine fielder in the outfield, his catching in slips continues to be a cause of concern.

Australia lost three wickets as the fininshing line was closer but that was a tad too late for India to pull off a heist and stop the hosts from taking unassailable lead in the fourt match series.

Shikhar Dhawan though, did not face any such issues, when he took a fine catch to end Rogers' inning off Ishant Sharma's bowling. The Australian had cut hard but Dhawan kept his composure to take a smart catch in the slips.

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan managed to hold fort and guide India to 100-plus lead with a fifty run partnership with Umesh Yadav. However, the adventurous streak in the left-hander got him out off Lyon's bowling after scoring 81.

Varun Aaron who joined Yadav in the middle, could not last long when he tried to loft Lyon. Umesh Yadav, meanwhile, continued his good work with the bat as he smashed two sixes in Lyon's over. But soon, his vigil and Indian inning came to an end when Mitchell Johnson got Yadav out.

The ICC Cricketer of the Year, Mitchell Johnson reprised the onslaught that drove his country to victory in the opening Ashes test at the same ground last year to help leave India with a lead of just 60 over Australia's first innings tally of 505.

India resumed on 71-1 without opener Shikhar Dhawan, who was injured warming up in the nets which prompted the India team to complain about the state of the practice pitches, looking to erase the last 26 runs off their first innings deficit and build another imposing tally to match their first innings 408.

They lost Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the first 20 minutes, however, and crept into credit just before Ravi Ashwin joined his team mates in the dressing room.

Dhawan's trip to the hospital for X-rays on his injured right wrist was hurriedly cancelled and he rejoined Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle to see out the session with 41 runs on the board.

Pujara had brought the only solidity to the innings but he too departed just before the break for 43, giving debutant Josh Hazlewood his second victim of the day and bringing in tailender Umesh Yadav (seven not out).

Backing up the pugnacious innings of 88 that brought Australia back into the match on Friday, paceman Johnson came out firing and blitzed the tourists with three wickets for 10 runs in 11 balls.

Kohli, who had come out in place of Dhawan despite also being hit in the nets before play, chopped on for one with the first ball of Johnson's second over with Rahane (10) popping the ball up for Nathan Lyon at backward point and Rohit Sharma caught behind for a duck in his third.

Debutant paceman Josh Hazlewood, who took five for 68 in the first innings, pitched in on the second ball of the following over to trap Dhoni leg before for a duck. Ashwin lasted 29 balls and made 19 runs when he followed caught behind off left-arm quick Mitchell Starc, a decision that looked unfortunate with television replays suggesting there had been no contact with the bat.
  • Published in Cricket

New-look Australian pace attack set to take on India at Gabba

Brisbane: Debutant Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc were Tuesday named in a new-look Australian pace attack for the second Test against India in Brisbane.

New skipper Steve Smith said Hazlewood and left-armer Starc will play in the game beginning Wednesday, with Ryan Harris suffering a quad strain and Peter Siddle omitted from the team that won the opening Test by 48 runs in Adelaide on Saturday.

Shaun Marsh will come into the Australian batting line-up at number five for the injured Test skipper Michael Clarke. Clarke underwent surgery on Tuesday for a torn right hamstring and will be out for the rest of the four-match India series.

Shaun Marsh and younger brother Mitchell will play together in the Australia Test side for the first time. Smith, who was anointed as the 45th Australia Test captain on Monday, will promote himself to four in the batting order to take over Clarke's regular position.

Starc's inclusion will mean there are two left-armers in the Australian new-ball attack alongside Mitchell Johnson. Starc has taken 43 wickets in 13 Tests at 35.34, while Hazlewood forces his way into the Australian eleven on the back of strong performances in one-day internationals against South Africa last month. The Gabba pitch is expected to be far livelier than last week's Adelaide Oval strip with high humidity expected to give assistance to fast bowlers.

  • Published in Cricket

Australian TV anchor wears the same blue suit every day for a year and nobody noticed until he went public

Sydney: The male co-host of an Australian TV program is finally getting some attention for his fashion sense. And that's his point. Karl Stefanovic wore the same blue suit every day for a year on Channel Nine's "Today" program. And no one noticed until he went public with his hidden-in-plain-sight experiment.

He told Australia's Fairfax Media that while no one asked about his suit, people regularly commented about and criticized the outfits worn by co-host Lisa Wilkinson. Stefanovic says, "I'm judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humor - on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they're wearing or how their hair is."

The Age newspaper says he's still wearing the same blue suit, and only Wilkinson and another "Today" colleague knew about his experiment. "They often remark that it's getting a bit stinky," he said in the paper's weekend edition. "I'm hoping to get it into the dry cleaners at the end of the year."

  • Published in World

I still have a lot to offer as captain, says Michael Clarke

Australian captain Michael Clarke on Wednesday said he still had plenty to offer to the team as he was grilled over his captaincy after the side's comprehensive 2-0 Test loss to Pakistan. Clarke arrived home in Sydney in the wake of the team's sixth straight defeat on the sub-continent to be faced with a barrage of questions over whether he remained the best man for the job. "No, I would hope not," he told reporters at the airport when asked if he was worried about no longer being the right man to lead the Test team.

 "You know, obviously we didn't perform as well as we would have liked in this series, but we did pretty well to beat the number one team in the world in their own conditions -- South Africa -- (in March). "We did pretty well to win the Ashes 5-0. I hope I'm doing the team justice as their leader, as captain. "But I guess the selectors make that decision and the Cricket Australia board make that decision."

Clarke has averaged just 27.46 in his last 16 innings and managed just 2, 3, 47 and 5 in his four innings during Australia's series loss to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. But his captaincy has not come into question until now. "If they (Cricket Australia) think there's someone better for the job, if they think my time is up as captain, then I'm sure they'll let me know," he added. "But, from my perspective, I feel like I've still got a lot to offer the team.

"I think my performances over the past five years have been pretty consistent and I think my captaincy's been pretty consistent over that period as well. So hopefully I'm not judged just on two Test matches." Earlier this week Clarke admitted his team had not learnt their lesson against spin after a 4-0 rout in India early last year and their mauling at the hands of Pakistan.

But he said his focus was now on the bumper Australian summer beginning, for him, with a five-match one-day series against South Africa starting on Friday week. "I'll be at the physio this afternoon. I'll be training tomorrow morning. I'm keen to make some runs," he said.

"In a week's time, we've got a really important one-day series against South Africa so I see that as a positive; there's a quick turnaround. We're back on the field shortly."I know it's a different format but Australian cricket winning in any format of the game is what's important.

"As disappointed as I am, I think we need to put two Test matches into perspective. "We've had a pretty good 12 months as a Test-playing team. If anything, this gives you more hunger to be successful." Australia, minus Clarke, face South Africa in a Twenty20 in Adelaide later Wednesday.



  • Published in Cricket

Australian Richard Flanagan wins 2014 Man Booker prize

London: The first Man Booker prize to allow American nominees was Tuesday night won by an Australian, with Richard Flanagan triumphing for a novel of love and war that tells the harrowing stories of prisoners and captors on the infamous Burma railway. Flanagan won for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, with philosopher AC Grayling, who chaired the judges, describing the book as 'an absolutely superb novel, a really outstanding work of literature', the Guardian reported.

The book, at its heart, narrates the excoriating, horrific story of what it was like to be a prisoner of war forced to work on what has become known as the Death Railway between Thailand and Burma (Myanmar). This is also the first time in the British prestigious literary award's 46-year history that it was opened to writers of any nationality, writing in English and having their work published in Britain. It had hitherto been confined to writers from Commonwealth countries, Ireland, and Zimbabwe.

 British-Indian writer Neel Mukherjee, who was being stated as favourite to win this year's Man Booker Prize, could not make it possible. The Kolkata-born writer was considered to be the frontrunner to clinch the 50,000 pounds award. The other contestants for the award were US authors Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, and British authors Howard Jacobson and Ali Smith.

  • Published in World
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