Australia vs India, 1st Test Day 1: After a quiet show with the bat in the T20I series, Rohit Sharma showed some glimpses of form during the first Test against Australia at the iconic Adelaide Oval. Rohit repaid the faith of Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who surprised everyone on Thursday morning by leaving all-rounder Hanuma Vihari from India’s playing XI for the. As the Indian top-order batsmen once again failed to deliver the goods on the first morning of the highly-anticipated four-Test series, Rohit played a fine 37-run knock off 61 balls to revive the visitor’s against a daunting Australian bowling attack. He smashed two fours and three sixes during his entertaining stay at the crease.
During his knock, Rohit became the first batsman in the world to hit most sixes in a calendar year across all three formats of the game. In 2017, the Nagpur-born batsman smashed 65 sixes in across formats. This is the second consecutive year when Rohit has topped the exclusive list. To achieve this landmark, he pipped some of the renowned hitters in world cricket like AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Shane Watson.
In 2018 so far, the 31 -year old has hit 74 maximums against his name and still counting. Rohit was drafted in India’s XI for the first game ahead of Vihari for his specialist batting capabilities.
STAT: Most sixes in a calendar year across formats:
73 Rohit Sharma (2018)*
65 Rohit Sharma (2017)
63 AB de Villiers (2015)
59 C Gayle (2012)
57 S Watson (2011)
Earlier, Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first in the scorching morning at Adelaide, India sent their right-hand batsmen KL Rahul and Murali Vijay to open the innings. With some accurate bowling and brilliant fielding efforts, Australian bowlers easily unsettled the opening pair who looked tentative on the crease.
India lost their first wicket in the form of KL Rahul who played a loose shot off Josh Hazelwood’s delivery and was caught by Aaron Finch at the third slip. Rahul departed at a meagre score of 2 runs. Right-hand batsman Cheteshwar Pujara walked on to the crease at number three and India now had two of their best Test batsmen to take the innings forward. Pujara and Vijay started to build the innings but the Australian pacers came into the picture again and gave another jolt to the Indian side in the form of Murali Vijay.
Pacer Mitchell Starc bowled an absolute stunner at an awkward length to Vijay and enticed him to play a drive. The ball nicked and went straight to the hands of wicket-keeper Tim Paine. Vijay was gone for 11 runs.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who holds a tremendous record in Adelaide and had also scored his first Test hundred on this ground, walked in amid huge expectations and pressure. Playing at the score of 3 runs, the right-hand batsman drove a Pat Cummins’ delivery which was angling away from him. Kohli was deceived and Usman Khawaja made a superb effort to pluck the catch with his left hand. With Kohli’s wicket, Indian hopes of making a comeback started to shatter.