Australia v South Africa: third Test, day three – live | cricket

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As for players departing, there are some absurd headlines about Steve Smith this morning because he was asked how long he would go on, and he said he wasn’t sure, he would play as long as he was enjoying it. Non-answer to a non-question.

But there is the question of how well Australia can stagger the exits of Warner, Khawaja, Smith. The latter is a little younger, 33 to the 36 of the others. But if they all went within a year of one another, that means replacing half the batting in a short space of time. They’re still in a much better position than they were during the sandpaper suspensions though, with Labuschagne, Head and Carey all coming on with the bat, and Green looking as promising as he has.

“Mostly emailing you to provide entertainment and amusement,” writes Murray Henman. Bless you. “I hope Khawaja gets his double today, but it’s been a rather disappointing summer of Test cricket here. To provide some mental activity, can you perhaps try to predict when the older members of our team will retire, and who might replace them?”

Firstly, disappointing, yes. From my experience though there are two kinds of Australian summers. One, most of the time, Australia beats everyone and those of us watching grumble about the lack of competitive cricket. Two, occasionally, someone beats Australia and then everyone here loses their minds with red-hot anger and demands a full review and restructure of Australian cricket.

The radar suggests that there is clear air after this rain system, but the system is big. It’s coming from the ocean, moving northwest, but it’ll take at least a couple of hours to pass by. Might be more. I’m not a…weather…reading…guy.

There’s a little movement on the boundary line… why is Jim Maxwell down there making a presentation to Usman Khawaja. Oh! It’s the McGilvray Medal. That is the ABC broadcast’s award for the Test player of the year. They hand this out at the Sydney Test each year. So, nice to see Jim down there in front of the cameras rather than the microphone. And just as well they’ve got it done, because soon afterwards the rain becomes much heavier.

You can email me. And you might as well, considering I have nothing else to do. Try Twitter as well, if they’ve put some more petrol in the tank. Address details are at the top of the page on your phone, or the sidebar on your desktop.

What happened yesterday? We did get some rain, mostly near the end, but plenty of play to deflate the South Africans. Usman Khawaja will be the most anxious to get going again, on 195 not out.

Here’s the detail from our report.


Hello, hello, and happy Pink Day from the SCG. That’s day three of the test, when the fundraising efforts for the McGrath Foundation breast cancer charity go into overdrive. I can tell you that the spirit is strong here today. On the walk in, torrents of pink, everybody dressed in it to varying degrees. Pink tour groups, pink umbrellas, pink charity collectors at every turn.

Umbrellas, though, because of course it’s raining. The covers are on, with pink sponsor branding. The illuminated pink boundary boards glow through the morning gloom. The only thing ruining the color scheme is the sky, which is grey. Though to be fair, if the clouds went away then it would still not be pink. But pink and blue is a much more cheerful combination. And an early Mountain Goats song.

Anyway, we’ll keep you updated from here, and hopefully there will be some play before too long.

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