India toiled on Day Three, but were still behind by 230 runs in the first innings against Australia in the fourth Test at Sydney. While KL Rahul and Virat Kohli slammed centuries, it is Australia who continue to dominate because of the sheer number of runs on board. Devarchit Varma brings you the highlights from Day Three.
Steven Smith livid with sun or the Spidercam: When KL Rahul was unbeaten on 46, he went for a pull shot in the 53rd over off Shane Watson. Steven Smith ran back from the slips to take the catch, but he ended up spilling it. The Australian captain got up and threw the ball back with lot of anger, before which he pointed out something that came in between. There were only two possibilities — either the sun prevented him from keeping the eye on the ball or the Spidercam, which was hovering right above him, got in the way. The company later confirmed that the ball did not hit the Spidercam, but the incident gave another controversy to the India-Australia series.
Rohit Sharma does the unexpected: When Rohit Sharma walked out on Day Two evening to bat at No. 3, almost whole of India would have got a panic attack of sorts. Rohit, off-late has been squandering all chances that have come his way and to see him coming out to play at the coveted No. 3 slot was a gamble, which, certainly paid off. India’s new No. 3 batsman played more than 100 balls — in fact 133 — to score a solid 53 studded with five fours and two sixes. Rohit certainly made a statement that he can apply himself on against good bowling attacks and in tough situations. Only if he does it more often, Indian Test team could look a different unit all together!
KL Rahul makes a mark: The 22-year-old batsman had a forgettable start to his Test career, butKL Rahul’s maiden Test century on Day Three earned him rich praise from all over the world. The right-handed batsman scored an elegant century, replete with fours through a covers and a massive six into the stands off Nathan Lyon. However, he had the luck on his side as Steven Smith dropped a catch when he was on 46, wherein the Spidercam controversy surfaced.
Virat Kohli’s 10th century: This was customary, but yet another very special knock from a very special player. Kohli slammed his 10th Test ton, fourth of the series, became the only Indian after Sunil Gavaskar to score four tons in a series and also surpassed Rahul Dravid as the highest run-getter in a Border-Gavaskar series for India. The Indian captain did nothing different today — his innings had the glorious cover drives, pulls and sharp running between the wickets. He must also thank his Australian counterpart Smith for giving him a lifeline when he was batting on 59.
Shane Watson makes presence felt: There has been a lot of criticism against Shane Watson. There are questions in media reports, and then there are ridiculing comments on social media as well. After all, Watson bats at No. 3 slot and has gone without a century in his last seven Tests. He doesn’t bowl much either. But on Day Three, the star all-rounder in the Australian ranks made his presence felt when he swung the match heavily into Australia’s favour, as Watson plucked out the key wickets of an in-form Ajinkya Rahane and an unpredictable Suresh Raina. While Australia and Watson jumped in joy after getting two wickets in as many balls, the critics still kept taking digs at the cricketer.
Shane Watson is a unique talent. Who else could score 81 runs and snare two wickets and still be sledged by everyone #AUSvIND
Suresh Raina’s poor luck: Keeping aside the astonishment that is there about Suresh Raina’s selection over Cheteshwar Pujara in this Test, it was somehow disappointing to see someone getting a chance in Test cricket, without enough backing (runs in domestic circuit, if taken as parameters) and he squanders it. Raina is a strong character; there are no doubts about that. He gets in a lot of energy and positivity in the Indian camp, and Raina can change things single handedly — like he did in England — to a side coming off a 3-1 battering in Tests which went on to win the One-Day International (ODI) series. But on Wednesday, Raina chased the first ball — way outside the off-stump — and ended up nicking it. It was certainly unfortunate for him, specially waiting for so long for a chance in Tests and then wasting it like this. One can do nothing but feel sad about it, only Raina is to be blamed!