Australia’s stand-in skipper Steve Smith produced one of the most spectacular catches you’ll ever see during his side’s hot start to the second ODI as India were bowled out for their third-lowest total against the Aussies ever.
Smith’s decision to bat first after winning the toss paid dividends, with left-armer Mitchell Starc breaking through India’s top order.
Starc led the inspired pace attack with a five-wicket haul to help India to 117 from just 26 overs, while overnight rain helped the fast bowlers’ swing and seam.
Starc dismissed Shubman Gill for a duck after being caught by Marnus Labuschagne before the Australian paceman dismissed Rohit Sharma (13), Suryakumar Yadav (0) and KL Rahul (9) to put India in contention at 4-48.
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But Smith would steal the show in the 10th over with a stunning catch to dismiss Indian superstar Hardik Pandya.
Pandya tucked a length delivery from Sean Abbott into the slips cordon. Smith, standing in a conventional second slip position, dived to his right and pulled the ball in his right hand close to the ground to dismiss Pandya for one.
TV commentator Sanjay Manjrekar cheekily suggested it could be the “catch of the century” – to which former Australian skipper Aaron Finch replied: “Not far off.
“Absolute blindside from Steve Smith,” former Australia captain Finch said in the broadcast.
“Who needs three slips when Steve Smith is standing there?
“For many years he was known for taking them with one-handed beauties. In the last game, there was a lot that just fell within his grasp, but this one…right into his grasp. He almost catches it behind him – brilliant.”
Former India quick Ajit Agarkar added: “I don’t think he could have gone further. That; are at full stretch, with one hand, fly to the right.
“You’ll never get tired of watching it.”
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Virat Kohli tried to fight back for India with a score of 31 which included four boundaries before being trapped in front by Nathan Ellis.
Wickets continued to fall and the departure of Ravindra Jadeja, the hero of Friday’s opening match in Mumbai, 16 minutes from the bowling of Ellis added to India’s woes.
Starc ended the innings with his ninth ODI five-wicket haul.
Axar Patel, who came into the team in place of Shardul Thakur, was unbeaten in the 29th over after hitting two sixes.
Earlier, the Australians confirmed that David Warner’s international return has been put on hold.
Warner was expected to play both the second and third ODIs against India after suffering a fractured elbow while also suffering concussion in the Test series.
But, the Australian opener was not named for the second ODI after being awarded a four.
Alex Carey returned to take the gloves to replace Josh Inglis, while Glenn Maxwell was replaced by paceman Nathan Ellis.
Kond Test after suffering a fractured elbow while also suffering a concussion.
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