Steve Smith booed on his way back to the pavilion by Bengaluru crowd
What's the story?
With the series already out of their hands, the Australian team took the field on Thursday to salvage some pride. After David Warner and Aaron Finch had given the visitors a scintillating start, three wickets fell in quick succession, the third of them being that of Steve Smith.
Virat Kohli caught his counterpart off Umesh Yadav's bowling, which was incidentally the latter's 100th ODI wicket.
The fans at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, then, didn't fail to remind the Australian skipper how much they dislike him. Smith managed a meagre three runs in his short spell on the crease and while he was walking back to the pavilion, the Bengaluru crowd gave him a proper send-off.
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India had sealed the series by winning the first three ODIs of the five-match series and were asked to field first by the Australian captain. Riding on Warner's swashbuckling century and a well-measured 96-ball-94 from Finch, the visitors posted a commanding total of 334 on the board.
The heart of the matter
Coming in to bat at four, and not his usual three, Smith had to face the hostility of the Chinnaswamy crowd. Apparently, Smith wasn't the only Australian who had to face the wrath of the Indian fans as Warner was booed on his way back after scoring a century as well.
The reason behind the reception was perhaps the 'brain-fade' moment the skipper had when Australia visited India for a test match series earlier this year. The 28-year-old appeared to consult with the dressing room whether he should take a review after Umesh Yadav had caught him leg before.
The Chinnaswamy crowd, clearly, didn't forget the incident and made sure Smith goes back in with it on the back of his mind as well.
The Chinnaswamy is famous for being a batting-friendly wicket and with short boundaries, the target of 335 is not as tough as it seems. The Indian team will be looking to gain a 4-0 lead and go into the last match at Nagpur with an eye on a series whitewash.
Just like in Football, the crowd plays a big part in Cricket as well and that's exactly what the Chinnaswamy crowd proved with their gesture towards Smith. Moreover, as the Aussie skipper has been a part of various feuds between his and the Indian team, crowd's hostility towards him does not come as a surprise.