Australia let themselves down in search of victory over India | Geoff Lemon


Tim Paine’s sniping as the third Test was heading for a draw is merely part of a long, sorry tradition

There is nothing like a Test on the line going deep into its fifth day. It’s a slow-growing excitement that spreads through you into grandly hidden proportions, like a citadel of underground fungus beneath a forest. Fifth days are special because they’re tough. After all the strain and heat and effort, four nights of easing sore bodies into bed, the game asks for its denouement.

Those batting find the pitch at its worst, chance at its most capricious. Those bowling have their weariness consume their skill. We too readily conflate sporting achievement with courage, but here it applies.

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