- Sinchan Saha | March 1, 2023 | 8:03 am
The delivery from Nathan Lyon stayed on the surface, turned sharply back toward Pujara, stayed a little low, and didn’t give him time to adjust. As India lost their top three for the lowest score of the series (36), he had his stumps shaken.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy’s third Test match between India and Australia in Indore was by far the most exciting and unexpected start yet. In the first over of the Test, Mitchell Starc hit Rohit Sharma twice, but on-field umpire Nitin Menon gave the India captain a not out, and Australia did not review either time. But the India captain didn’t last long as he tried to hit Matthew Kuhnemann out of the park in the sixth over and got stumped.
Shubman Gill, Rohit’s opening partner and KL Rahul’s replacement for this Test, got off to a great start against the seamers, but Kuhnemann bowled him out in his next over.
The Indore pitch made it abundantly clear that the batters would not have it easy, as evidenced by the fact that the ball turned both times. Australia was playing three finger-spinners, just like Delhi, and there was a lot of bounce and sharp turn.
Therefore, India’s No. 3 Cheteshwar Pujara’s attempt to play an offside punch through against the turn was doubly surprising.
It was the ninth over’s second ball. It was pitched short and outside off the stump by Nathan Lyon. No one would have questioned Pujara’s quick rocking back to square cut delivery through the opposite side on any other surface. However, this Indore pitch was unique. In the initial hour, it was providing the most turn, 4.8 degrees. There was at least a couple of degrees less on the other two tests in the series.
The ball caught on to the surface, turned sharply back toward Pujara, stayed a little low, and didn’t give him time to adjust. As India lost their top three for the lowest score of the series (36), he had his stumps shaken.
When Pujara returned to the hut for 1, the expression on captain Rohit Sharma’s face said it all.
Ravindra Jadeja, the man in form with both the bat and the ball, hit another short one straight to the cover fielder, giving Lyon yet another wicket.
ALSO READ: Dinesh Karthik recalls the ‘MS Dhoni-mania’ which derailed his international career
ALSO READ: IND vs AUS: Rohit gives first reaction on selector’s big decision regarding Rahul and Gill
Shreyas Iyer, one of the best spinners, returned a ball to Kuhnemann’s stumps for a duck, giving Kuhnemann yet another breakthrough as India lost half their team for 44.