Indian cricket fans have hit out in frustration at Ajinkya Rahane after a horror moment that could prove costly in the first Test against Australia.
Rahane and captain Virat Kohli had settled in well during the evening session in Adelaide, combining for a solid partnership after Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon removed India's opening three batsman.
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Kohli in particular was looking ominously like cantering towards a 28th Test century, until disaster struck for the visitors.
A schoolboy error from Rahane gifted Australia control of the day-night Test, where India slumped to 6-233 at stumps on day one.
Rahane called yes in search of a quick single during the 77th over, only to immediately realise his mistake as Josh Hazlewood swooped on the ball and tossed it to Lyon.
It was far too late to send the skipper back.
Kohli was run out, for just the second time in his 87-Test career, as he approached a fourth Test century at the venue.
Rahane, who will captain the tourists in the next three Tests after Kohli returns home for the birth of his first child, raged at himself, apologetically held out both hands then looked to the sky.
His frustration and annoyance was echoed by fans on social media, who were livid with the vice-captain for a mistake that could cost India the first Test.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 17, 2020
#INDvAUS Kohli runout is turning point of the game.. it may impact the match result as well..
Rahane and kohli were in good flow.. such a heart breaking moment for fans..
— Sasidhar (@sasisai) December 17, 2020
I don't think I've ever been as pissed at a run-out in my life, Kohli was literally dead set on a century.....and if Rahane doesn't do well this series I reckon India won't let him through the Airport.
— Nik @ back in the SMT IV waiting room (@Hazamatoxin) December 17, 2020
Dread to think what Kohli said to Rahane when he was back in the pavilion after that shambolic run out today 🤦♂️#AUSvsIND
— Anthony Lewis (@tonylewis92) December 17, 2020
The horrible mix up between rahane & kohli which results in skipper's runout turned the table in favour of Aus & can costs us this match too!!
Both were looking well settled in order to post a decent total around 280-300 on the board at the end of the day's play!!#INDvAUS
— BpS (@im_bps7) December 17, 2020
Just seen the Kohli run out. Rahane, what were you thinking? Such a shame, that partnership was going so well.#AUSvsIND
— Play in the V (@playinthev) December 17, 2020
"Massive wicket," Lyon said.
"He was batting extremely well as well.
"Satisfying (day) ... we can get a lot better."
Hazlewood reminded Lyon of his error in a similar situation, at Headingley last year, after the key wicket.
"It's good to be back on the board after the Ashes ... Josh ran up to me, saying 'he's back, he's back'. There was a bit of banter."
Aussies end day one strongly
Kohli shot his partner a look of disbelief before trudging off.
It came a day after Kohli spruiked Rahane's level-headed approach and leadership.
"We've had a lot of mutual understanding and respect over the years. We've had some great partnerships batting together, based on trust," Kohli said on Wednesday.
The shocking mix-up brought a degree of relief for Tim Paine, who opted against reviewing a caught-behind shout that could have dismissed Kohli on 16.
Australia grabbed two quick wickets with the second new ball after Kohli's dismissal.
Starc, having fired out Prithvi Shaw for a duck with the second delivery of the game, needed four balls with the second new pill to trap Rahane lbw for 42.
Rahane capped a dirty day when he opted for a review then promptly shuffled off the field after watching one replay of his lbw dismissal, knowing there was no point waiting for the ball-tracker.
Hanuma Vihari, who convinced Rahane to refer his verdict, fell victim to Hazlewood soon after.
Kohli was earlier given a standing ovation at the start of his innings; a sharp contrast to the boos that showered down on the talismanic superstar during the corresponding Test in 2018-19.
Debutant Cameron Green, who was presented his cap by Pat Cummins, started with a no-ball but quickly found some rhythm.
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