India’s fielding woes continued on the third day’s play of the first Test of the four-match Test series between India and Australia at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune. After being absolutely dismal on the field yesterday, they did improve themselves today, but Umesh Yadav provided a small moment of madness in the 82nd over of the match.
As India looked to bowl Australia out after finally dismissing captain Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe were looking to put on some quick runs for their side. Ashwin provided a loopy delivery on off and Lyon swept it towards deep square leg, but it was not excellently timed. Umesh got to his right from deep midwicket and took the catch but he lobbed it up in the air before he went into the boundary in order to prevent the ball from being a six, but instead looped it into the stands for a six.
However, it did not matter too much as Umesh extracted revenge by dismissing Lyon LBW in the very next over, and the Kangaroos were bowled out for 285. Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up four wickets, while Ravindra Jadeja took three. Umesh Yadav chipped in with two important wickets, while Jayant Yadav managed only one.
Just yesterday, on day 2, India would end up dropping 4 catches. Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund would be the culprits on two occasions each. While Matt Renshaw was dropped once, skipper Steve Smith was dropped an inexcusable three times. He went on to punish India as he scored an incredible century, scoring 109 in 202 deliveries with 11 fours to his name.
In fact, Smith got another lifeline today while he was batting on 73 as an LBW decision went against India’s way, and they did not have any reviews to take to overturn the decision.
Currently chasing 441 for victory, the Indian cricket team are in a spot of bother with both the openers being dismissed within the first four overs of the match after which Virat Kohli was dismissed. Steve O’Keefe picked up Murali Vijay’s and Kohli’s wicket while Lyon picked up KL Rahul’s wicket. With over two days remaining, Virat Kohli’s men will have to pull off a miracle to see this chase through.