Australia vs India 2018, 1st Test: After a disappointing show with the bat, young Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant contributed with his keeping skills as he took six catches against Australia during hosts’ first innings in the ongoing first Test in Adelaide. With this, Pant has equalled predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s record of most catches wicketkeeper in solitary Test innings. The 21-year-old Pant had a hand in dismissing Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb and Tim Paine on the second day before pouching on to edges off Mitchell Starc, Travis Head and Josh Hazlewood’s willow on day 3.
He equalled the record after taking Hazlewood’s catch off Mohammed Shami’s ball in the first innings in Adelaide. In 2009, Dhoni had achieved his record feat during the Wellington Test against New Zealand. Pant, who is playing his sixth Test, was selected in the Indian team following the injury of Wriddhiman Saha and retirement of Dhoni in 2014.
He has so far scored 346 runs with an average of 43.25 with the highest score of 114 against England.
However, the visitors have got their nose ahead in the first Test after sporadic rain intrusions on day 3, KL Rahul’s enterprise and Cheteshwar Pujara’s obduracy culminated in a 166-run lead at stumps in Adelaide. Virat Kohli was dismissed late in the final session as India reached 151 for three at stumps on day three at the Adelaide Oval.
The Indian skipper lunged forward to defend off Nathan Lyon (1-48) but was caught at short leg for an uncharacteristic knock of 34 (104 balls). At close of play, Cheteshwar Pujara was unbeaten on 40 runs, while Ajinkya Rahane was batting on 1 not out. India led by 166 runs.
Post-tea, Kohli and Pujara took their third-wicket partnership to 71 runs, albeit it was low on strike-rate, coming off 197 balls. Pujara survived early in the last session, courtesy DRS again, as the ball seemed to miss the stumps on account of bounce in the 40th over by Lyon.
At the other end, Kohli became the fourth Indian batsman after Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid to score 1000-plus runs in Test cricket against Australia.
The hosts though cut off most of his scoring opportunities, and Kohli was happy to play for time as he didn’t dominate the bowling for once. Their third-wicket partnership crossed 50 off 149 balls.
India’s lead swelled past 150 shortly thereafter, and just when it appeared to be smooth sailing for the visitors, Lyon struck to remove Kohli before stumps and put the match in balance again.