Steve Smith played another superb innings for Australia to lead his team to a substantial first innings total of 451 in the Ranchi Test.
One thing was certain, he wasn't going to declare.
He wanted every run on the board that the team could muster. When Steve O'Keefe was caught in the deep from a pull shot off Umesh Yadav for 25 he had added 51 runs for the eighth wicket with his captain and had taken Australia to 8-441.
O'Keefe was annoyed with himself probably for getting out to a loose shot after battling so hard. What he may not have noticed as he walked off was that Smith had thrown back his head in disappointment. Only five more runs were added by the last two wickets and Smith was already off the ground when Josh Hazlewood was given run out by the third umpire.
Glenn Maxwell provided excellent support for Smith while scoring his maiden Test century. He was finally out for 104 having added 191 with his captain for the fifth wicket but he implied that Australia was looking for a bigger total once they'd seen how the pitch played, "It was unfortunate when I did (get out) because we could have made it a 200-250 partnership that could have really driven the game a long way forward for us. In saying that we would've take 450 at the start."
It's likely that Australia's captain had done his homework. Australia have made over 400 runs in the first innings in India on 8 previous occasions. They have only ended up winning one of those Tests. In four of them they have gone on to lose and even when they scored their highest score of 7-574 declared in Chennai in 1986 the match ended in a famous tie.
He will also have taken notice of England's problems on their recent tour. They managed to score 400 in Mumbai and 477 in Chennai but ended up losing both games. Only their 537 in Rajkot earned them a draw, the best result they achieved in the five Test series.
Those were the statistics that he probably had in his mind but it wouldn't have been the only thing troubling him. For a start, he is without Mitchell Starc who's pace and late swinging yorkers will always cause batsmen problems no matter what the conditions. In Ranchi both sides have been able to get the ball reversing after only around twenty overs far earlier than would normally be expected. Good quality reverse swing bowling in India is a crucial weapon and Starc was the bowler who was expected to exploit it the most.
Pat Cummins was rushed in as Australia looked to substitute pace with pace. Smith will have been pleased that the injury-prone Cummins got through a recent Sheffield Shield match taking eight wickets in the process. The problem could be that, astonishingly, it is the only first class match that Cummins has played in during the last six years. His previous one was his Test debut at Centurion in South Africa in October 2011 when he took six wickets in the second innings. During the Shield match he bowled 18 overs in each innings. This was far more than the 10 overs that he had got used to bowling in One Day Internationals. The more overs he bowls the tougher it must be on his body that isn't accustomed to the workload. He has already bowled 10 overs and in Australia's innings Umesh Yadav sent down 31. Smith must be wondering how hard he can push his paceman. James Pattinson is another Australian fast bowler that has struggled with injuries and been in and out of the Test side. He told cricket.com.au that he had asked the selectors to let him play a sequence of Sheffield Shield matches, "They've given me the best possible chance of getting back and playing three, four, five Shield games and getting confidence in my body this way." This would seem a sensible approach to handling the injuries but not a luxury that has been afforded to Cummins. Another concern for Smith is that the absence of Starc means that there is no rough being generated outside the off-stump for a right handed batsman. When Starc bowls left arm over the wicket it isn't long before he's roughing up the area that causes these batsmen problems and one that Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe have been able to exploit in the previous Tests.
Cummins, being a right arm bowler, roughs up the other side of the wicket one that makes things more difficult for left-handers. Unfortunately for Smith, the first left-handed batsman in India's batting order is Ravi Jadeja and he's likely to bat at number eight. Australia has four left-handers in their top seven.
Neither of Australia's spinners made much impression as India accumulated 1-120 in the 39 overs that they faced. Nathan Lyon beat the bat a couple of times but there was no consistent turn for them.
In an impressive effort it was Cummins that took the only wicket to fall when he got KL Rahul to glove a short-pitched delivery to be caught behind for 67. Maxwell spoke of the moment after the day's play, "That was pretty exciting. It was a pretty quick and exciting spell. It just gave us something to get out of that last session. I think it was starting to peter off a little bit and he just brought that little bit of life almost a little bit like Starcy was doing for us."
Smith and Cummins will both know that day three could be a long one in the field unless things go well for them.