Rohit Sharma’s dismissal against the run of play on Day 3 of India vs Australia 4th Test in Ahmedabad drew sharp reactions from Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, and Murali Kartik.
Like the last 10 overs of Day 2, India openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill began the third day’s play with an attacking mindset. They did not shy away from hitting big shots against Mitchell Starc, even when the tall left-arm quickly decided to bang it in. On one occasion, Gill made room, exposed his stumps, and flat-batted Starc straight down the ground. Rohit, at the other end, used a different ploy to counter Starc’s short-pitched stuff from over the wicket. He resorted to his favorite pull shot. And it worked well. He hit Starc for a four and a big six in the 15th over. India, to an extent, hit Starc out of the attack as Steve Smith was forced to introduce left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann from Starc’s end.
While all the boundaries were flowing from Starc’s bowling, Nathan Lyon from the other end was keeping the Indian pair honest. Rohit and Gill were not able to hit a single boundary. In fact, Lyon foxed Gill a couple of times with his length and pace variations. Rohit, however, was quite comfortable in defending the off-spinner off the front foot.
The only thing Rohit had to worry about was not getting impatient. In the last delivery of the 21st over, Kuhnemann bowled and pitched one slightly short. The ball stopped on the pitch and took a little longer to reach Rohit. The right-hander, who was playing so fluently till then, could not control his bat speed. He went through with his backfoot punch and ended up providing a simple catch to Marnus Labuschagne in short cover.
He screamed in joy as soon as he held onto the catch. He knew it. All the Australian cricketers knew it. Rohit knew it. The commentators and the good crowd at the world’s largest cricket stadium knew it. This was an important moment in the game and one that would leave Rohit distraught.
And it did. He hung his head back straightaway and dragged himself off the ground after scoring 35 off 58 balls.