Dropped Virat Kohli Catch Put Australia Out Of World Cup Semis, Gautam Gambhir's Staggering Remark
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Dropped Virat Kohli Catch Put Australia Out Of World Cup Semis, Gautam Gambhir’s Staggering Remark

Cricket World Cup: Are Australia’s semi-final hopes dented after the loss to India? Gautam Gambhir gives a big take

The Pat Cummins-led Australia started the ODI Cricket World Cup campaign on a losing note against hosts India. The spin troika of the Indian cricket team tied down the mighty Australian in a spin web as they could score only 199 batting first. Still, they were in with a chance when they dismissed three Indian batters, including Rohit Sharma, inside the first two overs. India could have been four down in the eighth over but for a costly miss by Mitchell Marsh.

On the third ball of the over, Josh Hazlewood stunned Virat Kohli with a short ball, who top-edged it. Mitchell Marsh came running from mid-wicket but could not hold on to the ball with some confusion with the approaching wicketkeeper. Ultimately that drop proved costly.

Former India star Gautam Gambhir said that the dropped chance will prove costly for Australia in the Cricket World Cup.

“India would have been under a lot of pressure had they been at 10-4 or 20-4. With a batter like Kohli dismissed, it would have been difficult for India to chase down the score. So, not only did Australia lose the match with that dropped catch, they have possibly lost a place in the semis as well,” Gambhir told Sportskeeda.

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“The World Cup is such a tournament that due to this dropped catch, Australia might find themselves out of the top four and not reach the semi finals. After losing to India, Australia’s remaining matches against the top sides will be must-win encounters.”

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli channelised his inner champion to pull the Indian team out of choppy waters with a masterly 85, which paved the way for a six-wicket victory over Australia in their opening match of the World Cup on Sunday. Kohli found a trusted ally in uber-cool KL Rahul (97 not out off 115 balls) during their match-winning stand of 165 that eventually made the 200-run target seem like a cakewalk on a testing track although they took 41.2 overs to achieve it.

Their doughty alliance came after three Indian top-order batters returned to the pavilion without troubling the scorers.

But equally responsible for India getting two points are their spinners. Ravindra Jadeja (3/28 in 10 overs) along with Ravichandran Ashwin (2/34 in 10 overs) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/42 in 10 overs) made life miserable for the Australians while bowling them out for 199 in 49.3 overs.

But Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were incisive during the first three overs as Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer were walked back for ducks and the scoreboard read a sorry 2/3.

The audacious Kohli, whom the Indian fans fall in love with again every day, showed the first glimpse of fightback and unfurled an elegant drive past pacer Hazlewood, a shot that was worth million dollars.

Gauging that the ball is not coming onto the bat, Kohli slightly put his front-foot across and showed full face of the bat, rather than being rooted to the crease.

India weren’t out of the woods at that point but it felt as if nothing was wrong. However, it could well have been 12 for 4 in no time.

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Kohli mistimed a pull shot off Hazlewood but a running-in Mitchell Marsh failed to settle in properly under the ball as it slipped through his hand.

Skipper Rohit spoke about a bit of luck which is mandatory in big events and Marsh’s big time bungle was exactly the rub of the green that the hosts needed at that moment.

It was the reprieve that Kohli needed and with the target not being a big one, h e and Rahul focussed on rebuilding the innings with singles and twos.

That 61 of his runs came through singles and doubles during his 116-ball knock stood as a testimony to his fitness.

For nearly 50 deliveries, he didn’t hit a boundary until Cameron Green’s military medium pace was introduced — two deliveries on the pads were clipped away with disdain.

Once he reached 50 off 75 balls, Kohli pulled a slow bouncer from Pat Cummins towards deep mid-wicket.

Starc hit him flush on the helmet with a short delivery when Kohli was batting in the 70s. A concussion test was done and two balls later, a square driven four reiterated that ‘Batter Kohli’ can’t be unnerved that easily.

Just when it looked like Kohli was cruising to his 48th ODI hundred, his pull off Hazlewood found Marnus Labuschagne.

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