Of late, Virat Kohli has been playing such ruthless cricket that fans have forgotten the last time he was dismissed for a duck. But the first ODI against Australia in Chennai was not played according to the script as Glenn Maxwell plucked a catch out of thin air to send Kohli packing for zero.
There is obviously something about the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai that brings out the best in both India and Australia. Be it the tied Test in 1986, or Sachin Tendulkar’s masterclass in 1998, or even the epic 2001 Test series decider, or MS Dhoni's double century in 2013 - the ground has produced some absolute classics. Before today’s match, the two sides had only played one ODI match at this stadium in which Australia had beat India by just one run in the 1987 World Cup. And today, as the two teams made a comeback to the historic stadium for the limited-overs series opener, they ensured that the game was a deviation from the recent script – another easy win for India at home.
After deciding to bat first, India lost opener Ajinkya Rahane, who got a chance in the playing XI due to Shikhar Dhawan’s absence from the team, for only five. However, the entire stadium gave a rousing welcome to the Indian skipper in anticipation of another Kohli masterclass, but just when the mouths were watering with the prospect of seeing him get started, a stunning catch by Glenn Maxwell at the backward point sent the Indian skipper back to the hut for a duck.
Seeing the width on the offer, the Indian skipper threw his bat at the Nathan Coulter-Nile delivery and got a thick outside edge, which went high towards backward point. Had it been any other fielder, the ball would have lobbed over his head and found its way towards the boundary. But the charismatic Maxwell timed his jump to perfection and not only managed to take a clean catch but, with the grace of a gymnast, landed on his feet.
The catch also ended Kohli’s hopes of ending his recent travails against the world champions after his disastrous home Test series against the Kangaroos earlier this year. His dismissal also triggered a collapse for the Indian side as Manish Pandey also failed to open his account, falling victim to his Kolkata Knight Riders teammate Coulter-Nile.
How many dismissals will Dhoni be involved in?
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