The highly anticipated Test series of the year between Australia and India finally got underway on Thursday in Adelaide and with it, Virat Kohli‘s luck at the toss also changed as he won toss and chose to bat first, but the Indian batsmen failed again as the openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay went back to the pavilion in the first hour of play itself.
Rahul was looking in some hurry as he started off well by flicking one of the Mitchell Starc’s delivery but Josh Hazlewood hit the straps from the word go as he forced Rahul to waft at a harmless ball outside the off-stump only to edge it to the third slip where Aaron Finch took a comfortable catch. Hazlewood swung it beautifully in the air but definitely, it wasn’t the wicket-taking delivery and Rahul gifted him a wicket by scoring just two runs.
With the early wickets, Team India was on the backfoot with the onus, for the umpteenth time, on their captain Virat Kohli, but he couldn’t also manage to survive for long at Pat Cummins got the better of him. Even India’s deputy skipper tried to give some resistance but couldn’t hold for much longer and Team India was reduced to 41/1 before the lunch on the first day.
Coming in to bat at 41/4 in the first session, Rohit Sharma, who was preferred over Hanuma Vihari got off the blocks quickly and for a moment it felt that the decision to back him would work. While he ducked under a few short deliveries, Rohit also smashed one into the stands making a statement.
In the 38th over, Rohit Sharma decided to take on Nathan Lyon and swept one in the air which just went past the ropes. But, for some inexplicable reasons, the Hitman came down the track off the very next delivery. Lyon smartly pulled his length back to cramp the batsman for room and Rohit went through with the shot in the same area. It was evident to the naked eye that he didn’t time it at all and Harris took the catch this time easily and didn’t have to move an inch at all.
After batting so well for his 37 runs and almost had the opposition on the backfoot with a promising partnership building, Rohit Sharma once again threw away his wicket to leave his fans bewildered not for the first time in his “Test” career.
After crumbling of middle-order including Virat Kohli, then came Rishabh Pant who seriously didn’t have any idea what was going on. He The youngster went tried to go after the bowling but he failed to mix caution with aggression. Mitchell Starc was all over him bowling those tempting fuller length deliveries, even Cummins also did the same even as the southpaw attempted an ugly hoick which left even the commentators surprised.
Rishabh Pant, after getting lucky early on in his innings, was undone by a beautiful drift from Nathan Lyon. The off-spinner is the master of these conditions and the front-foot defense from Pant led to the ball taking his bat’s faintest of edges. Tim Paine comfortably pouched the catch and Pant’s ‘IPL’-style innings came to an end of 25 off 38 balls.
Things aren’t looking good for the visitors in the third session as they are 192/7 after 76 overs with Cheteshwar Pujara alone fighting it out with a proper Test knock. He has scored 75 runs off 200 deliveries with four fours. Meanwhile, Twitterati was not at all impressed with Rishabh Pant who batted in T20 mode and thrashed him for his approach.
Here’s how they reacted:
— S Shah (@SonalSh40302959) December 6, 2018
— A (@leosamit) December 6, 2018
— Keval Chaudhari (@keval_c) December 6, 2018
Just as he is about to go out to bat, someone must whisper into Pant’s ear “Test cricket, not IPL”.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) December 6, 2018
Rohit Sharma just dismissed himself! A player playing as a pure batsman in a three day school level game wouldn't get out to such an ugly hoick! Let alone get out he wouldn't dare to play such a shot!
— Left Arm Chinaman (@leftarmchinamen) December 6, 2018
— Gajender Singh (@gajender00) December 6, 2018
At this stage of his career, Rohit Sharma must look at every Test match opportunity as a rare privilege. Can’t be squandering opportunities like this. #AUSvIND
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) December 6, 2018
What was @ImRo45 thinking.. Is India playing a T20 or is India 350/4.absolutely appalling shot by such a mature player. He shouldn't have played in the first place in my books simply cos Vihari had done no wrong. How can the shorter format be the basis for his selection #AUSvIND
— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) December 6, 2018
— Mitul (@Eme2ul) December 6, 2018
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) December 6, 2018
Countries change, continents change, but KL Rahul and his mischiefs outside the off stump are always there and thereabout. Not the greatest of starts this. Rocked early!#AUSvIND
— North Stand Gang – Wankhede (@NorthStandGang) December 6, 2018
Nothing to say about KL Rahul. Time to show him the door!
— Sohini (@Mittermaniac) December 6, 2018
Failure for KL Rahul. No point chasing the ball wide in the second over of the match. Bad shot to play. Australia draw first blood. They will want to get to Virat asap. Pujara now.
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) December 6, 2018
What's the necessity of going fishing outside the off stump? Have never understood KL Rahul the Test batsman in the last year or so. He was such a fine Test batsman when he first arrived. #AUSvIND #AUSvsIND
— Prasenjit Dey (@CricPrasen) December 6, 2018
KL Rahul and M Vijay average 11.22 as an opening partnership in away Tests. On the day they fall well short of even that low mark. Rahul flashes outside off and is caught easily by Aaron Finch in the slip cordon. That is a poor shot. #AUSvIND
— Anand Vasu (@anandvasu) December 6, 2018