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AUSTRALIA V INDIA TESTS

Maxwell's moment stops more than a run

19 March 2017

While the scorebook reads 'Kohli: caught Smith, bowled Cummins', it was Maxwell's magic that made it possible

The pivotal moment on day three wasn’t a wicket or a boundary or a dropped catch, but a brilliant piece of fielding by Glenn Maxwell that led to the dismissal of Virat Kohli.

Australia had taken the second new ball as soon as it became available and touring skipper Steve Smith wasted no time in recalling pace ace Pat Cummins into the attack.

On strike and in form, Cheteshwar Pujara dispatched a full toss to the boundary from Cummins’ second delivery before it looked certain the batsman would collect four more the next ball after a sweetly timed tuck raced to the mid-wicket rope.

Quick single: Photo debunks alleged Smith controversy

Maxwell, however, had other ideas as he sprinted in pursuit of the runaway ball and like Kohli did on day one, put in a superb dive to save a single and keep the shot to three runs.

The Victorian clattered into the electronic advertising boarding before he got up clutching his right shoulder in jest - just as Kohli had done on Thursday, except there was no joking when the India captain immediately left the field and did not return due to a shoulder injury.

Quick wrap: Third Test hangs in the balance

Now on strike, Kohli fronted up to the tearaway Australian who produced a gem that wobbled in the air at high speed, held its line and found the edge of the batsman’s blade through to the safe hands of Steve Smith at second slip.

The crowd was stunned, the tourists were elated and Kohli slowly left the field, out for six as his horror series with the bat continued.

While the scorebook reads ‘Kohli: caught Smith, bowled Cummins’ if it wasn’t for Maxwell’s commitment, desperation and athleticism it would have not been possible.

Quick single: Even when absent, Kohli grabs spotlight

Maxwell’s effort was not lost on the Star Sports commentary panel nor by his teammates and support staff, according to assistant coach David Saker.

"I think Glenn Maxwell’s chase to (put) Kohli on strike was superb, and they’re the sort of little things that we talk a lot about in the dressing room," Saker said after play.

"If we do the little things really well then the big things look after themselves.

"That chase (put) Virat Kohli on strike, we got the wicket very next ball so little things like that are really important for us.

"We’ll keep concentrating on things like that."

Cummins much better than we expected: Saker

Test Squads


India (for third and fourth Tests): Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandaran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.


Australia: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade


Australia's schedule in India


Feb 23-27, First Test, Pune - Australia won by 333 runs.


Mar 4-8, Second Test, Bengaluru - India won by 75 runs.


Mar 16-20, Third Test, Ranchi


Mar 25-29, Fourth Test, Dharamsala


About the Writer

 @samuelfez
@samuelfez

Sam Ferris is a Sydney-based journalist for cricket.com.au. He started in 2011 as a Big Bash League correspondent and continues to monitor the domestic scene and national sides closely.

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