In the highly anticipated third test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, Australian captain Steve Smith’s strange decisions during the first over of India’s innings gave two lifelines to Rohit Sharma.
Mitchell Starc, who had missed the first two tests due to injury, made a remarkable comeback and quickly found his rhythm in the game. The Australian pacer created two wicket-taking opportunities for his team but was let down by his skipper’s decision-making.
Starc’s first delivery found the edge of Rohit Sharma’s bat, and the faint edge was caught by wicketkeeper Alex Carey. Despite a loud appeal by the Australians, the on-field umpire Nitin Menon ruled in favor of the Indian batter. Smith, Starc, and Carey had a discussion but decided against taking the Decision Review System (DRS).
On the fourth delivery of the same over, Starc’s delivery sharply came back into Rohit Sharma, who missed the line of the ball. The ball brushed his back pad and went to the wicketkeeper. Again, the Australian fielders made a massive appeal, but Nitin Menon dismissed their calls. Smith, once again, decided not to opt for the DRS, as it looked quite high to the naked eye.
After watching the replay on the giant screen, it was evident that Steve Smith’s strange captaincy had given two lifelines to Rohit Sharma. The spike on the UltraEdge clearly showed that the decision not to opt for the DRS was incorrect.
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Although Smith’s blunders did not cost Australia much, as Rohit Sharma was eventually dismissed by left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann, these errors could have proved costly. Rohit looked to play a down-the-ground shot but was deceived by the turn and flight of the ball, and got stumped by wicketkeeper Alex Carey.
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The spin trio of Kuhnemann, Lyon, and Murphy wreaked havoc on the Indian batting lineup, and the Men in Blue were struggling at 84-7 at lunch break.