India skipper Virat Kohli has fallen cheaply in the first Test at Adelaide thanks to an early catch of the summer contender from Usman Khawaja.
Kohli’s wicket off Pat Cummins’ bowling continued an early collapse for the Indians, with the Aussie bowlers tearing their top order to shreds on a scorching day in Adelaide.
Khawaja’s screamer at gully halted Kohli’s innings at just three runs off 16 balls, with the Indians struggling at three down for just 21 runs.
After a tough week away from the field, the Aussie batsman showed incredible athleticism to get to the ball, which was flying to his left-hand side and on track for a boundary.
Khawaja executed a full-length dive and just managed to get the flying ball into his hand, stunning the crowd at the Adelaide Oval and leaving Kohli cursing.
Fans on Twitter were also clearly amazed.
What a catch from Khawaja. India in serious bother now. Hugely disappointing first 50 mins from them.
— Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) December 6, 2018
OMG one of the great catches has just been taken by Khawaja in the gully, diving wide to his left.
Kohli c Khawaja b Cummins 3
— Peter Lalor (@plalor) December 6, 2018
Catches win matches. That from Usman Khawaja was good enough to win it. India have started badly in Australia with Kohli gone
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 6, 2018
Absolute stunner from Khawaja after the toughest of weeks. Wow. #AUSvIND
— Carly Adno (@CarlyAdno226) December 6, 2018
Takes a special effort to dismiss the best batsman in the world. Absolute ripper of a catch by Usman Khawaja! The visitors are in tatters at 21/3, but bat deep. Need to get atleast 300 in the 1st innings #INDvAUS
— ZakAndBerry (@ZakAndBerry) December 6, 2018
Cummins gets Kohli again
In just four balls, Australian paceman Pat Cummins has become Virat Kohli’s nemesis.
Cummins has twice in four deliveries in Test cricket dethroned the Indian king.
In the first Test in Adelaide on Thursday, Cummins dismissed Kohli with his third ball of the innings, and third to the Indian captain.
In Ranchi in March last year, the Australian quick claimed Kohli’s scalp with the only ball he bowled at the Indian hero.
Both times, Kohli has fallen cheaply – just three runs in Adelaide, only six in Ranchi.
Kohli on Thursday fell to a barely believable catch by Usman Khawaja at gully.
The Indian skipper played a loose shot, driving away from his body to a fullish Cummins delivery.
The ball caught the edge of Kohli’s bat and flew to the left of Khawaja who, diving at full-stretch, completed a stunning one-handed catch.
As Australian players mobbed Khawaja, a man not renowned for his fielding, Kohli stood at the batting crease in disbelief at the brilliant catch.
After a prolonged pause, Kohli turned and headed to the dressing room after a rare failure in Adelaide.
In the last Test he played in Adelaide in December 2014, Kohli posted twin tons – 115 and 141.
And in the January 2012 Test in Adelaide, Kohli scored 116 and 22.
Khawaja, who pre-match detailed a fitness regime in which he had lost 10kg in weight, took the field on Thursday just two days after his brother was arrested following a counter-terrorism investigation.
Arsalan Tariq Khawaja was arrested in Sydney on Tuesday and charged with attempting to pervert justice and forgery.
He was granted bail amid accusations he framed a colleague with a fake terror hit-list targeting senior politicians.
Usman Khawaja didn’t train with his Australian teammates on Wednesday, sticking his customary Test-eve routine of skipping the optional session.