Paine unimpressed after Rahul breaks etiquette by handling ball

Australia avoided a potential flare-up with India after KL Rahul breached etiquette by handling the ball on Saturday.

Sound-effect mics captured captain and wicketkeeper Tim Paine issuing Rahul a friendly reminder not to pick up the ball but this was not heeded by the opener, who tossed the ball back to the bowler, Nathan Lyon.

Spotlight: Criticism comes with the territory for coach and selector Justin Langer.Credit:AAP

Ponting has questioned selectors' thinking in picking Finch to open for the series against Pakistan in October. The Victorian has forged his reputation in world cricket in the one-day game but there remain strong doubts over his ability to open in the longer formats.

Finch's dismissal in the first innings would have done little to change those perceptions.

"What was the long-term objective to open the batting with him over there?" Ponting said on

"Everyone knows he struggles a little bit against the moving red ball and we have a series here and an Ashes series not too far away, and the ball's going to move around a lot when we're over in England."

Langer is backing Finch in, as he has to, using former Indian dynamo Virender Sehwag as an example of a player who bucked convention as an opener.

The jabs also came from Indian royalty with Sachin Tendulkar surprised by Australia's "defensive mindset", saying it was "something I’ve not seen before in my experience".

"That said, every time Sachin played Australia he had Allan Border or David Boon, guys who had played 300 or 400 Tests between them," Langer said on SEN. "We've literally got kids when it comes to Test cricket."

Langer had his first taste of the strong feedback selectors can receive from the public after omitting Glenn Maxwell from the UAE Test tour. The only certainty this season is more will come.

Star media recruit

There's been plenty of movement in Australian cricket's new broadcast era but there's a strong chance you won't know much about one of the contenders for recruit of the season.

Stats man Andy Sampson is already proving a cult hero among listeners on SEN with his total recall of some of the more obscure statistics in the game.

Caller Gerard Whateley describes Sampson, who hails from South Africa and is a member of the BBC's Test Match Special team, as the best cricket stats man in the world – and he's living up to the big rap.

The highlight has been his revelation that Shaun Marsh was the first Australian top-five batsman to make six single-figure scores in a row since 1888, which was widely referenced by scribes. There's been others.

Aaron Finch was the fifth player to be dismissed for a duck in his debut Test at home. After India were dismissed with the first ball of play on day two, he revealed Jimmy Anderson was the first player to face the first ball of the day and bowl the second.

When India reached 0-44, he told listeners the last time all bowlers had conceded 11 runs each.

Though Samson knows a lot off the top of his head, the key to his success, The Tonk has been told, is his ability to manoeuvre his extensive database.

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