Published: January 17, 2020 7:57:09 pm
Indian cricketers faced quite a bit of flack in their recent limited overs expeditions for their on field catching but if the performance at Rajkot is anything to go buy then it does seem that things are taking an upward curve. Displaying athleticism and quick movement, at par with some of the best in the world, Manish Pandey and KL Rahul showed why they are considered among the best in the game.
Defending a target of 341 against Australia, India were a livewire unit as first it was Pandey, who plucked out a one-handed stunner to send Warner to the stands. On a widish delivery by Shami Warner cleared his front leg to slash it over the off-side, but he makes the mistake of hitting it close to Pandey. The Karnataka batsman jumped up near cover-point and grabbed it with his right hand as the batsman stood in disbelief before eventually making the walk back.
Next it was KL Rahul who produced some smart work behind the stumps and lightning quick hands to remove the bails and dismiss Australia captain Aaron Finch. Finch’s back foot was on the line by the looks of it and a zoomer showed that there was nothing behind the line.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan missed a well-deserved ton by a whisker but laid a solid platform for the aggressive duo of skipper Virat Kohli and KL Rahul to ensure a commanding total of 340 for 6 against Australia.
While Dhawan added 81 for the opening stand with Rohit Sharma (42) who would regret this missed opportunity on a batting belter after getting set, the southpaw also had a vital 103-run stand with Kohli for the second wicket.
The Kohli-Rahul duo’s 78-run partnership off 10.3 overs was also pivotal as it helped the latter to launch a final assault during the end overs.
While Dhawan’s innings had 13 fours and a six, Kohli had six hits to the fence including a classic jab-flick off Pat Cummins (0/53 in 10 overs).
Rahul’s was a stand-out innings with six boundaries and three -maximums, one of which was a lofted cover drive off Mitchell Starc (0/78 in 10 overs), who had a forgettable day.
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