Virat Kohli was nothing but a mere spectator when pace ace Mitchell Starc got the better of premier batter Suryakumar Yadav in the same over where he handed captain Rohit Sharma his marching orders. With an aim to return to scoring ways in the high-profile series decider against Australia on Sunday, white-ball maverick Suryakumar had walked out to bat for the hosts after Starc got rid of skipper Rohit in the 5th over.
Starc, who handed Suryakumar a golden duck in the 1st One Day International (ODI) of the three-match series, removed the premier batter in a similar fashion during the Visakhapatnam encounter. Starc’s deadly inswinging delivery caught Suryakumar by surprise as the ball hit the batter on the front pad, leaving no option for the umpire to rule him out straight away. As the veteran Aussie pacer appeared to have caught Suryakumar plumb, the Indian batter refused to take a review.
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Suryakumar’s dismissal also baffled former Indian skipper Kohli, who put up a fight against Australia in the series decider at Visakhapatnam. Kohli smashed four boundaries in his fighting knock against Australia as India reached 51-5 in the first 10 overs. Leading the pace attack of the visitors, Starc later removed KL Rahul, who had played a match-winning knock in the 1st ODI against Australia.
Starc sparked a shocking batting collapse of the hosts by picking up the crucial wickets of Shubman Gill (0), Rohit (13), Suryakumar (0), and Rahul (9) as India were reduced to 49-5 in 9.2 overs. While Starc emerged as the pick of the bowlers, his partner-in-crime Sean Abbott removed Hardik Pandya for 1 of 3 balls in the 10th over.
Earlier, Australian skipper Smith won the toss and opted to bowl in the series opener against India. After taking a 1-0 lead in the ODI series, hosts India made two changes for the Visakhapatnam encounter. Indian skipper Rohit returned to the fold after missing the series opener due to family commitments. Opener Ishan Kishan made way for skipper Rohit while all-rounder Axar Patel was preferred over Shardul Thakur in the 2nd ODI.
“We have tried to remain calm in the last few ODI series we have played. Two changes. Ishan misses out, I am back for him, Shardul misses out and Axar is in. If we win the toss, I thought we could do something with three spinners if we bowl first. I think it will still turn in the second innings. And three spinners is something we might go with in the World Cup, so we want to try,” Rohit said at the coin toss.