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India v Australia 2022/23

‘Two DRS brainfreezes’ – Rohit Sharma ‘dismissed’ by Mitchell Starc twice in first four balls, survives as Australia don’t review

Rohit Sharma in first over of Indore Test
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Australia had two chances of dismissing Rohit Sharma in the first four balls of the third Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, but they chose to review on neither occasion.

With Pat Cummins available, vice-captain Steve Smith stepped in to lead Australia, while Mitchell Starc, back into the XI, took first over. The first ball of the Test match was in the channel, a shade outside off stump, and whooshed past the outside edge of Indian captain Rohit Sharma and thudded into the big gloves of Alex Carey.

There was a prominent sound, and Starc appealed but found little support from Carey. Umpire Nitin Menon – standing in Indore, his city of birth – ruled Rohit not out. The Australians conferred, but did not opt for a review. UltraEdge later revealed that Rohit had indeed edged the ball.

Starc responded with a low full toss, presumably an attempted yorker gone slightly wrong. Rohit flicked, but straight to the square-leg fielder. Starc bowled the third ball outside the off-stump, and Rohit let it go.

The fourth ball was on the stumps, and there was a sound yet again as the ball passed Rohit en route to Carey. Yet again the Australians appealed, Menon said not out, and Smith discussed with his team. And yet again they did not review.

There was no edge this time, but as Hawkeye revealed, the ball had pitched on off-and-middle, and would have hit off-stump. Had Australia reviewed on either occasion, they would have got Rohit – whose 120 is so far the only hundred of the Test series – inside the first four balls of the Test match.

Menon’s umpiring and Australia’s refusal to review drew criticism:

However, Australia did get Rohit in the sixth over. Cam Green, coming into the side, bowled only two overs before giving way to left-arm spinner Matt Kuhnemann, who had Rohit stumped off his sixth ball, for 12.

At the time of writing, India are 27-1, with Shubman Gill, replacement for vice-captain KL Rahul, on 12.

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