Australian pitches surprise you when you least expect them to. Mitchell Starc was spitting fire with the second new ball on Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia today at the MCG. Starc created problems for Virat Kohli with his variations, bowling in the high 140s (kmph). The duel comprised in-swinging deliveries and a near dismissal when Tim Paine dropped the catch. But then the MCG pitch stepped in and startled both with outrageous bounce.
The third ball of the 87th over, Starc bowled a good length delivery that bounced out of nowhere. As Kohli let it go, the ball took off. Wicketkeeper Tim Paine could not get glove to it as the ball was bouncing over him and landed way past the 30-yard circle, one bounce and over the ropes for four runs.
The left-arm fast bowler could do nothing but laugh at his skipper’s misery. Kohli could not believe what had just happened sharing a laugh about it with non-striker, Cheteshwar Pujara.
That has done PLENTY!
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 26, 2018
Here’s how Twitterati tried to digest the surprise bounce from the pitch:
If that had carried a little further it’d be six byes yeah?
— Corey Allinson (@CoreyAllinson) December 26, 2018
That’s all he could do
That laugh by Starc
— Saurabh (@imsgshinde) December 26, 2018
Pace and bounce!
Starc : did I do that? *Laughs*
— Sanjiv Raman (@imsanjivraman) December 26, 2018
That spun & bounced only at 143.5km/h!
— V!shwajeeT (@VKondi) December 26, 2018
It surely is!
Mitch’s face was meme worthy
— (@21Sumukh) December 26, 2018
— The .J.A.Zee #Klopp (@the_jazee) December 26, 2018
That was a low blow
Even the banned trio of Smith, Warner and Bancroft couldn’t get the ball do this much
— (@imtheguy0007) December 26, 2018
The previous delivery had Starc almost getting better of Kohli. He got the Indian skipper driving outside the offstump and force an outside edge off his bat. However, Paine could not take the catch as it got out of his glove while diving to his right.
At the end of Day 1’s play of the third Test, Kohli was unbeaten on 47 whereas Starc remained wicketless after bowling 16 overs.