'Rahul was sedate through it. Hardik went into a shell': Karthik's red-hot take on India stars after series loss to AUS
Virat Kohli, who scored his first boundary in his 21st delivery, tried to forge partnerships with middle-order batters Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul in the recently concluded encounter at Chennai. According to Dinesh Karthik, Kohli's wicket proved to be the turning point in the 3rd ODI between India and Australia.
Veteran Indian wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik believes Virat Kohli's dismissal set off a domino effect that accelerated the downfall of the hosts in the series decider between India and Australia on Wednesday. Tasked to anchor the run chase in the third and final One Day International (ODI) against Australia, batting icon Kohli failed to save Rohit Sharma's blushes as India suffered a heartbreaking series defeat at the hands of Steve Smith and Co. in the World Cup year.
Under the leadership of stand-in skipper Smith, five-time world champions Australia registered back-to-back wins over India to secure the three-match series 2-1 on Wednesday. Kohli, who scored his first boundary in his 21st delivery, tried to forge partnerships with middle-order batters Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul in the recently concluded encounter at Chennai.
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Highlighting the lack of big partnerships in the Indian innings, wicketkeeper-batter Karthik observed that Rahul played a sedate knock when Kohli was at the crease. The senior batter also opined that Kohli's wicket proved to be the turning point as Pandya 'went into a shell' following the dismissal of the former India skipper.
"KL Rahul and Virat Kohli stitched a partnership in which Virat Kohli started positively, but KL Rahul was sedate through it. When KL Rahul started going, he lasted just five to six balls. When Hardik Pandya came, he took on and started playing shots. The moment Virat Kohli got out, things changed drastically post that. Hardik went into a shell and wasn't trying to play those big sweeps that he played at the outset. He controlled himself and played to the situation," Karthik told Cricbuzz.
Karthik asserted that Kohli made a tactical error against spinner Ashton Agar. Kohli's 54 off 72 balls only lifted Team India to 248 in 49.1 overs. “He started really well and played some attractive shots. He was bogged down a little by spin through the middle but fought it through in typical Kohli style. He made a tactical error. It was Ashton Agar's last over. Should he have delayed that shot, considering he tried it in the previous over and it almost carried? He'd be very disappointed thinking that there was a chance for him to take the team through and he didn't,” Karthik added.
Former India vice-captain Rahul played a patient knock of 32 off 50 balls while Pandya perished for 40 off 40 balls. Australian spinner Adam Zampa got the better of the two premier batters as the spin wizard ended up taking four wickets for the visitors. Teaming up with Agar, spinner Zampa triggered the batting collapse of the hosts in the Chennai ODI.
Zampa's bowling heroics helped Australia in outclassing India by 21 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. With the impressive win over India, visitors Australia sealed the series 2-1 at Chennai. The former world champions also regained the top spot in the ICC ODI team rankings after the series win over India.