Virat Kohli’s poor run with the bat in the series against Australia continued and the visitors made sure to remind him
The third Test between India and Australia in Ranchi test was always going to be a tale of the two captains – Steven Smith and Virat Kohli. In the second Test at Bangalore, India’s Kohli came up trumps, not necessarily with the bat, but with his captaincy and leadership skills.
Virat Kohli came into the Australia Test series in quite possibly the form of his life. Whenever he took to the middle, big runs were expected and delivered. Four double tons in back-to-back series and highest aggregate score in a domestic season were achieved as the top statistical highlight. But that has all but fizzled out and can be a forgotten achievement. Ever since Australia descended on India, the skipper’s Midas Touch has gone missing if you will. He had scored 40 runs in the first two Tests and that statistic didn’t improve all that much after the third day’s play in Ranchi.
As Virat Kohli tried to drive forward to a Pat Cummins delivery, he got a thick outside edge which flew to his counterpart Steve Smith at second slip who clung on to it. A wide half-volley drive attempt by Kohli without any foot movement hurt him and he was made to walk back after just six runs. With that, Kohli has scored just 46 runs in five innings at a miserable average of 9.20.
The dismissal is eerily similar to how he got out in the first innings on the opening Test in Pune. There he tried to drive a full delivery outside off to Mitchell Starc but handed Peter Handscomb the take at first slip.
A ball prior to Kohli’s dismissal which Cheteshwar Pujara played for three runs, Glenn Maxwell jokingly mocked the Kohli injury as well. Played into the same region as that which brought about the Kohli injury, Maxwell fielded and landed on his shoulder. Thankfully, the Aussie making a comeback had no injury concerns to deal with.
Kohli and Smith are not exactly on perfect terms after the DRS controversy marring the latter stages of the second Test which India won. Thereafter, Kohli had stopped short of calling Smith a ‘cheat’ and the controversy was cleared away from the pitch with both cricket boards deciding not to press the matter any further.
After the virat kohli dismissal,On the very next ball, Maxwell’s jibe had had an impact. After barely troubling the scores, Kohli went hard at a good length delivery outside off stump from Pat Cummins, it took the outside edge and flew to who else but his opposing number, Smith, who took a great catch. The adrenaline was pumping for the Australian skipper, and he let his frustration out.
First, by celebrating before completing an incredibly hard catch, followed by his gestures to send off Virat Kohli.
For now, Steven Smith definitely has the upper hand over Virat Kohli. Both, in terms of numbers in this series as well as the mental edge. Things will heat up as the Test proceeds to the final two days of the Test match.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy hinges on this match. If Australia win the third Test, irrespective of the result in the final Test, they will retain it for now.