The much-anticipated Test series between India and Australia got underway in Adelaide from December 6 and as expected, fit its billing. The first Test had everything that a cricket fan would have asked for – a one-handed stunner, a breathtaking run out, defiance from batsmen, some good old-fashioned banter between the sides and a thrilling end.Here we pick up some of the best moments of the opening Test including a few gems from both on and off the field.
Rishabh Pant’s quirkiness behind the stumps leaves everyone in splits
Rishabh Pant’s first taste of Test cricket Down Under turned out to be one to remember. While he displayed his big-hitting prowess with the bat in the two innings, albeit briefly, he also equalled the world record of 11 catches in a Test, joining England’s Jack Russell and South Africa’s AB de Villiers.
However, that was not the only thing that got him in the limelight. While wicket-keeper’s are essentially known to be chirpy, Pant’s chirpiness was in its full bloom in the first Test in Adelaide as he brought out his full repertoire in a bid to unsettle the Australians from behind the stumps.
With jibes such as ‘Everyone is not Cheteshwar Pujara’ to Usman Khawaja, ‘No intent of winning this match’ to Tim Paine, ‘Let’s see some sixes, come on Patty!’ and ‘They are not putting away even the bad balls’ to Pat Cummins when the Australia No. 8 was stage a brave fight on the final day of the Test, Pant certainly managed to capture a lot of the attention.
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) December 10, 2018
Virat Kohli got the moves!
That Virat Kohli does not refrain from showing off some of his dance moves is no secret. Plenty of his jigs at various events and functions are well documented.
And it seems like the Indian captain has brought some of those moves to Australia as well. As intermittent rain during the third day of the first Test caused lots of frustrations, Kohli decided to keep his spirits up by breaking into an impromptu jig of his own while fielding in the slip region.
The clip soon made its way to Twitter and not just Indian but also the Australian fans loved Kohli’s nifty footwork.
Shane Warne, then in one of the post-match shows for Fox Cricket left Kohli in splits and a little red-faced when he showed the Indian captain the video which had gone viral.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 10, 2018
Cummins’ freak run out gets him offers from Major League Baseball
The opening day of the first Test had everything. A screamer by Khawaja, an Indian collapse, Pujara’s defiance and to end the proceedings on Day 1 a run out which Adam Gilchrist labelled the “best run out ever!”
With Pujara looking solid as ever on 123 and No.10 Mohammad Shami with him, he went for a quick run on the penultimate delivery of the 88th over and would have made it if not for Cummins’ brilliance.
The fast bowler, stationed at mid-on swooped on the ball and mid-air threw the stumps at the non-striker’s end down to find Pujara short of his crease. The clip quickly went viral across social media websites even capturing the attention of Major League Baseball’s official website who ran an article on how the Australian quick would be a good fit for the sport.
The article stated that Cummins’ effort in the field “translated almost perfectly to baseball” and called him a “potential future MLB third baseman”.
Unreal. This is simply stunning from @patcummins30, especially after sending down 19 rapid overs on a blazing hot Adelaide day!#AUSvIND | @Toyota_Aus pic.twitter.com/APvK1GYBRd — cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 6, 2018
That Khawaja Screamer!
The name Virat Kohli was almost on everybody’s lips in the build-up to the four-match Test series and for good measure. The Indian captain is the No.1 batsman in the world at the moment and was the second-highest run-scorer last time that India were on Australian shores.
Therefore, it was essential Australia got the prised scalp of Kohli nice and early. They did so in the morning session of the first Test itself but with a lot of help from fielder Khawaja. Wafting at a wide delivery from Cummins, Kohli got a thick edge that looked like piercing the gap between slips and gully.
But, Khawaja, at gully had other plans. He flung himself to the right sticking his left paw out to complete an absolute screamer of a catch which will surely be talked about a lot in the years to come.
The catch even left Ricky Ponting, one of the best fielders of all time to stand up and salute.
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) December 6, 2018
Warne’s astounding predictions leave fellow commentators in shock and awe
Spin wizard Shane Warne has in his time setup many a batsman with his guile and more so with some astute cricketing sense.
Now having retired from all forms of the game, the former leg-spinner has taken up duties as a cricket commentator and even from the commentary box those cricketing brains are as sharp as ever.
During the fourth day of the first Test, Warne from the commentary box got his predictions right, not once, not twice but three times leaving his co-commentators and viewers stunned.
When Ashwin won’t shake Rohit’s hands
With the Indian batsmen firing in the second innings and setting a formidable 323-run target for Australia to chase, the hosts knew they would be against it in the final session. Things worsened for them when R Ashwin got rid of Aaron Finch early to help India go into tea on the fourth day on a high.
But who knew this moment of celebration would lead to one of the funniest few seconds of the Test. While the players were walking back to the dressing room for tea, Rohit came upto Ashwin in order to shake his hand.
Ashwin, seemingly busy with talking to someone else failed to notice poor Rohit, who had held his hand for a few seconds only to realise that the handshake was not coming.
As it is with social media the clip soon reached Twitter and memes started doing the rounds along with a few conspiracy theories.
Ashwin Vs Rohit Too much fun 🙈 😂🏏
— Hasnain Shah (@Shahhasnain69) December 9, 2018
First Published: December 10, 2018, 5:17 PM IST