Shane Warne has taken the Aussies to task after they failed to make a move “a park cricketer could figure out.”
Speaking on Fox Cricket’s coverage before the start of Day 4 in Adelaide, Warne revealed how he’d sought out Nathan Lyon for a chat.
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Warne expressed his frustration that the Aussies hadn’t put a man at bat-pad on the off side while Lyon was bowling on Saturday.
“It’s absolutely staggering — a park cricketer could figure it out,” Warne said.
“I don’t understand why there isn’t a fielder on the off side.”
With a massive rough patch outside the right-hander’s off stump, Lyon was getting a number of Indian batters to pop the ball up to that spot.
Former Australian skipper Allan Border expressed similar sentiments on ABC Radio, while Simon Katich was also frustrated by it.
“As soon as Australia put that silly mid-off to Pujara it’s been a different ball game,” he told SEN Radio.
“They probably missed a trick with that yesterday.”
When skipper Tim Paine finally decided to put a man there on Sunday, Peter Handscomb took a catch straight away.
Rohit Sharma popped up a simple catch to on the off-side to give Lyon one of his six wickets.
Aussies must make history to win first Test
Shaun Marsh shapes as his side’s best hope of winning the first Test against India which history – and conventional wisdom – suggests is near-impossible.
Australia, set an imposing target of 323 at Adelaide Oval, reached 4-104 at stumps on Day 4.
Marsh is unbeaten on 31 from 92 balls, having occupied the crease for more time than any other batsman in Australia’s second innings, while Travis Head is 11 not out.
Marsh has history when it comes to resisting India, having batted out 62 overs on day five to help secure a draw last year in Ranchi.
The 35-year-old is also likely to draw confidence from negotiating Sunday’s final session, plus last month’s Sheffield Shield knock of 163 not out in Adelaide, where he helped Western Australia to overhaul a target of 313.
But the mountain confronting the much-maligned veteran on Monday is significantly more confronting for several reasons, with Australia still 219 runs away from a record-breaking victory after yet another concerning collapse of 4-56.
The highest-successful run chase in an Adelaide Test is Australia’s 6-315, achieved in 1902 against England, while no side has hunted down more than 236 at the venue since West Indies in 1982.
“We definitely believe we can win this,” Nathan Lyon said, having grabbed 6-122 to help bowl India out for 307.
“It’s just about winning the first ball, first over, first hour. Breaking it down and making it simple.
“I can guarantee you he (Marsh) is very confident and has that belief that he will be that hero, who stands up tomorrow and wins this game.”
HIGHEST SUCCESSFUL RUN CHASES IN ADELAIDE OVAL TESTS:
6-315 by Australia to beat England, 1902
5-239 by West Indies to beat Australia, 1982
4-233 by West Indies to defeat Australia, 1951
6-233 by India to defeat Australia, 2003
HIGHEST SUCCESSFUL RUN CHASES IN TEST CRICKET:
7-418 by West Indies to beat Australia at St John’s, 2003
4-414 by South Africa against Australia at WACA Ground, 2008
4-406 by India to beat West Indies at Port of Spain, 1976
3-404 by Australia to beat England at Headingly, 1948
HIGHEST SUCCESSFUL RUN CHASES IN AUSTRALIA:
6-369 by Australia to beat Pakistan at Bellerive Oval, 1999
8-342 by Australia to beat India at WACA Ground, 1977
7-332 by England to beat Australia at MCG, 1928
6-315 by Australia to beat England at Adelaide Oval, 1902