Sport Cricket Kohli fumes at controversial catch on a classic day of Test cricket

Kohli fumes at controversial catch on a classic day of Test cricket

Travis Head cricket
Caught in a trap. Travis Head falls into Kohli's plan perfectly. Photos: Getty
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Stumps, Day Three, 2nd Test, Perth

Aus 326   India 283

Aus 4 – 132

 Khawaja – 41    Paine – 8

India’s fast bowlers have staged a fighting comeback with brilliant bowling in the final session of day three of the second Test in Perth.

It was a day of at times brutal Test cricket punctuated by some of the finest fast bowling seen in years, a brilliant Virat Kohli century and a furore over the catch that claimed his wicket.

Kohli was dismissed in the shadows of the lunch recess after producing another superb Test century as India went to the break at 7-252.

Kohli (123) didn’t quite get to the pitch of a Pat Cummins outswinger and edged to Peter Handscomb at slip who claimed the catch low down.

The Decision Review System (DRS) wasn’t satisfied it had the evidence to overturn the umpire’s call and Kohli was reluctantly on his way.

Controversy raged about the validity of the catch but Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc told Fox Cricket that Handscomb was adamant the catch was valid.

“He’s pretty confident he had his fingers underneath the ball,” Starc said.

Australia’s overall lead at stumps on day three is 175 runs. They will resume on day four at 4-132 with Usman Khawaja on 41 and Tim Paine on 8.

Travis Head (19) was the last Australian batsman to fall late on day three.

Virat Kohli set the trap for Head with a deep third man waiting for the Australian to be tempted into slicing hard at anything wide outside the off stump.

Head was within sight of stumps, but when Mohammed Shami set the bait, Head couldn’t resist and his wayward cut shot sailed into the hands of Ishant Sharma near the boundary rope.

Shaun Marsh (5) produced a ragged pull shot that ended his innings early when he was caught behind of Shami.

Just prior to Marsh’s dismissal Marcus Harris (20)  was out after leaving a stunning Jasprit Bumrah delivery that rattled his off stump.

Peter Handscomb (13) struck 3 boundaries before once again being trapped on his crease LBW for the sixth time in his 23 Test innings.

Australia’s opening batsmen faced a torrid start to their second innings as India’s pace stars Sharma and Bumrah produced a withering opening spell of bowling.

Harris was rocked when a Bumrah bouncer crashed into his helmet and sent him sprawling. Harris was unhurt and continued at the crease.

Aaron Finch survived a huge appeal for caught behind and had one edge fly just wide of slip, while Harris was dropped in the slips by Cheteshwar Pujara.

Right on tea, Finch was hit on the gloves and had to retire hurt with what seems to be a finger injury. He retired hurt but has been cleared of any structural damage and may bat again in the innings.

Earlier Nathan Lyon produced another five-wicket performance to bowl India out and give Australia a 43 run first innings lead after the first innngs.

Lyon finished with the figures 5-67. It was his 14th five-wicket haul in Test cricket. The off-spinner is the leading wicket-taker in the series so far with 13 scalps.

India resumed at 4-172 with captain Kohli threatening to impose himself on the match on 82 not out.

As India’s score ticked over 200, Australia immediately took the second new ball.

Kohli is on the boil and his role in what’s to come both with the bat and as captain could shape the course of this series.

Paine has an opportunity to lead his country to victory for the first time on Australian soil.

The wounds of the Cape Town calamity are still healing, but the game itself is reminding us all why we fell in love with it in the first place.

Paine was banking on his paceman to extract maximum movement and bounce to crash through the Indian middle order.

Kohli had aspirations of his own though.

In Starc’s first over with the new ball, Kohli lent into a delightful off drive that raced to the boundary to bring up his 25th Test century and his sixth in Australia.

This may well be one of King Kohli’s finest.

He strode to the crease with his team at 2-8 trying to weather an Australian assault.

Over 211 deliveries of disciplined, skilful and technically superb batting, Kohli produced a gem of an innings to underline his status of as the world’s finest batsman.

Kohli had been subjected to some criticism for his captaincy from Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar and his celebration – a raised bat with a hand gesture that suggested he was letting his willow do the talking – was the perfect riposte.

Starc is set to benefit from a Perth wicket that offered India’s frontline bowlers plenty to work with as they pummelled the Australians on day three.

He’s looking forward to his opportunity to exploit the conditions.

“There seems to be a lot more cracks outside the left-handers batting area and a few shorter ones for the right-handers. We’ll see how it cracks up over the next couple of days.”

“Hopefully the rain stays away, the sun comes out and those cracks get bigger,” Starc said.

Over the eight days of Test cricket so far this summer the contest has been fierce, fair and close.

As this match heads for its decisive moments its reasonable to expect that to continue.


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