India’s Rohit Sharma has copped it from commentators and fans after an inexplicable “brain fade” in his side’s hour of need against Australia.
The tourists were struggling at 4/86 on day one of the first Test in Adelaide when Sharma’s decision-making came under serious scrutiny.
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Sharma was looking dangerous on 37 runs as he began to get a good partnership going with Cheteshwar Pujara, when a moment of madness undid all his good work.
The batsman tried to smash Aussie spinner Nathan Lyon over the boundary when his side really needed control and patience at the crease.
GONE! Sharma skies one and Ricky Ponting sums it up perfectly:
— 7 Cricket (@7Cricket) December 6, 2018
The flight of the ball seemed to deceive Sharma as he top-edged the shot right down the throat of Aussie debutant Marcus Harris in the outfield.
Former Aussie captain Ricky Ponting summed it up perfectly in commentary on Channel Seven, describing it as a “brain fade” from the Indian.
Fans were also quick to take aim at Sharma over the unnecessary manner of his dismissal.
11 years into international cricket & Rohit Sharma gets out playing a shot like that. Absolutely zero cricketing sense #AUSvIND
— Thand Lag Rahi Hai (@micky864) December 6, 2018
Rohit Sharma's talent is like Govt promises, never delivers.
— TejKaran Prajapati (@TKprajapati_) December 3, 2015
Due to this approach, Rohit Sharma is not a permanent member of the Indian team. https://t.co/X7u2HFpmxi
— Sandeepthakur (@Sandeep50093723) December 6, 2018
To all those who felt Rohit Sharma deserved a promotion to test cricket for his odi exploits,slip catching and of course his back foot play, he hereby gives them a standing ovation of his middle finger with that shot #AUSvIND #1stTest
— Rahuveer (@RaghuGates) December 6, 2018
Rohit Sharma thinks hes playing 20-20
— Raj endra Rajendran (@RK2point0) December 6, 2018
Rohit Sharma flops again
— ⚽️مُبِينٍ Mubeen۳۱۳⚽️ (@MoMubeen313) December 6, 2018
— Hemant X (@hemant10) December 6, 2018
Stunning record behind Aussie pace attack’s day one blitz
Australia’s morning demolition job of the Indian top order didn’t just tick the scoreboard over – it also set the speed guns alight.
The hosts reduced India to 4-56 at lunch as Josh Hazlewood took two wickets, with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins jumping in with one apiece.
All four Indian batsmen were caught behind the wicket after slashing their bats at wide deliveries.
But while Australia’s plan impressed, so did their pace.
According to statisticians CricViz, the pace trio’s 142.78km/h average speed was the quickest of the year:
In the first 25 overs today, the Australian seamers' average speed was 142.78kph. That makes it the fastest new ball spell of the year in any Test. #AUSvIND
— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) December 6, 2018
It took a screamer of a catch by Usman Khawaja at gully off the bowling of Cummins to dismiss superstar Virat Kohli for three.
But the Indian captain’s wicket was symptomatic of a wider tendency by India’s batsmen to play at deliveries they would have been better off leaving alone.
Openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay fell into a similar trap and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissal was the worst of the lot.
England great Michael Vaughan, commentating on Fox Sports, bemoaned Rahane’s “shocking” dismissal and said the Indians had fallen into an obvious trap.
“Here at Adelaide Oval, you’ve just got to see out the first session and get the bowlers into their second spells,” Vaughan said.
“They’ve just gifted Australia four cheap wickets.