India vs Australia live, India vs Australia live score, IND vs AUS 3rd Test match, India vs Australia 3rd Test match live cricket score, live cricket score, live score, India vs Australia LIVE Streaming, IND vs AUS 3rd Test match, India vs Australia live online streaming, live cricket streaming, live streaming
The very idea of Glenn Maxwell playing Test cricket is bizarre IANS

It is always difficult being a limited-overs specialist thrust into Test cricket. Australia had done that with Shane Watson and Andrew Symonds, both batting all-rounders. Both men had decent Test careers, averaging more with bat than with ball. Watson even had three five-wicket hauls. Symonds used to bowl as third seamer. And yet, none of the two was ever taken seriously as a threat in Test cricket probably because they had already been branded as limited-overs all-rounders. For some mysterious reason, aggressive batting and accurate bowling are scoffed at by purists. They will let you know how bighitting cannot win Tests. They will remind you that these men can merely stop the flow of runs. They are not all-rounders. Full cricket scorecard: India vs Australia, 3rd Test at Ranchi

The same has been the case for Glenn Maxwell, only 4 of whose 114 international outings have been in whites. Interestingly, Maxwell returned to Test cricket the same day JP Duminy yet another man with a similar label took 4 for 47against New Zealand in a continent far, far away.

The very idea of Maxwell playing Test cricket is bizarre. The newsroom was sent scurrying in frantic search for images of Maxwell in white attire. Yellow is fine, as is the red of Kings XI Punjab, but white?

Australia were reluctant to recall Maxwell. He had played 3 Tests so far, and had never gone past 37 with bat. The Tests at Pune and Bengaluru were played on the kind of pitches he had once referred to as diabolical . He was not in his comfort zone.

Of course, he has 7 Test wickets at a strike rate of 48.8, comfortably better than Nathan Lyon s 62.4, but that was not enough to earn him a spot.

But they were probably keen on a man who could bat at No. 6. While that made perfect sense (India have done the same, sacrificing the extra bowler for Karun Nair), Australia were perfectly happy to continue with Mitchell Marsh, whose only achievement on the trip has been a tour-ending injury.

No, Australia did not want to bolster their line-up with Usman Khawaja. They wanted Marsh, a man with 2 fifties and 29 wickets from 21 Tests. Remember, these pitches were not supposed to help his brand of bowling. As expected, Marsh did not bowl at Pune and sent down 5 innocuous overs at Bengaluru.

Contrast this with the 2015 Ashes, where he used to take out those odd wickets every now and then. No, playing Marsh ahead of Maxwell on these pitches was almost certainly an error. A more potent fast bowler might have made sense. In seam-friendly conditions Marsh would have made a competent fourth seamer. But he is certainly not a first-change bowler on unhelpful tracks.

Maxwell had been left out in the cold for three years. He knew he might not get a second chance if he failed. Ashton Agar was around, while Marcus Stoinis had been called up. Worse, his season had started with his state side Victoria dropping him. While Marsh, teenage prodigy that he was, had always been backed by selectors, the same was not true for Maxwell.

Make no mistake: Maxwell averages 40.77 in First-Class cricket at stumps on Day One, less than and Matt Renshaw (43.37)and a shade below Peter Handscomb (41.50). He averages more than Shaun Marsh (40.49), and reasonably more than Matthew Wade (37.90).

In other words, he can bat. He came into the side with batting credentials as good as anyone in the batting line-up, a fact not many were aware of when Virat Kohli and Steven Smith had walked out to toss. He can also get his runs at an excellent pace, for that is his forte.

Today, however, was different. Maxwell walked out to join Smith at 140 for 4. The momentum had shifted towards India after a solid opening stand. It was going to be challenging, since he had never faced a hundred balls in an international innings. Only 8 times in 106 outings had he made it past the 50-ball mark; and we are talking across formats here.

Umesh Yadav was bowling his customary afternoon spell fast, hostile, and probing. Maxwell saw the rest of the over. He got off the mark with an on-drive off Ravichandran Ashwin.

Umesh rapped Maxwell on the left pad. They all went up in unison. Not out.

Ashwin tossed one up. Maxwell groped for it. The ball turned past the bat and hit him on the pad. Once again they appealed, this time more voraciously. Not out.

Two overs later he was facing Ashwin again. Once again Ashwin tossed up. Once again Maxwell did not commit. Once again it turned past the bat well, almost; the inside-edge rolled along the ground.

Maxwell had taken IPL by storm (never more than in 2014). Maxwell was the apple of the eyes of Punjab. Glendeep Singh Maxwell, they call him affectionately. They have even made him captain for the upcoming season ahead of Eoin Morgan, Darren Sammy, Hashim Amla, and Murali Vijay.

But this was different. Handling quality finger-spin and reverse-swing on the toughest place to tour on a ground hosting its first Test match was a completely different proposition from sending them soaring above cheerleaders into frenzied crowds.

This required patience. But this also required scoring. Dead-batting would not solve it but then, neither would logic-defying slogging.

Ashwin and Umesh had meanwhile given way to Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma. Ishant hit Maxwell on the pad again. Not out. India reviewed. Ishant had overstepped.

Maxwell struggled, but somehow ambled his way to a 56-ball 23. It was not much, but if he survived one more ball it would be his seventh-longest international cricket. He had also lasted longer and scored more than David Warner, Shaun Marsh and Handscomb.

Then came the boundary, straight out of his IPL summers. Down came the bat in an almost audible whoosh. The ball went over Jadeja s head, straight.

He went into a shell again. The next 32 balls fetched him 17. This was not Maxwell, no way.

The cover-driveoff Ashwin that fetched him four seemed almost an aberration. The brutal pull off Jadeja for six that brought up his fifty was, on the other hand, completely in tune with the Glendeep Singh who lights up Mohali on summer nights.

Then Maxwell took charge, allowing Smith to take his time to reach his hundred. He brutally pulled Umesh for four. Ajinkya Rahane standing in for Kohli introduced Murali Vijay into the attack. He bowled a long-hop first ball. It was duly dispatched.

There was reprieve when Jadeja got him caught at bat-pad but the Indians did not review. He moved away almost before Jadeja delivered the next ball. Jadeja tried to follow him, but Maxwell, now in T20 mode, swished hard.

Had this been in coloured attire Punjab would have erupted in response to Glendeep s Yes Bank Maximum. This was a near-alien ground where people were near-stunned to watch him in whites, so there was barely a response.

But amidst all that, Glendeep Singh had somehow graduated to Glenn James Maxwell who bats at four-down for Australia.

Whatever happens in the Test cannot take this away, not even the ugly reverse-sweep he attempted in the dying stages of the day s play off Ashwin and missed.