It was not disappointment that flashed through Shane Watson’s face when Ravindra Jadeja pulled off a stunner off his own bowling. He was merely stunned, when he saw the sprightly Jadeja pluck a catch of what Watson thought has rocketed to the fence after it screamed off his blade.
As he walked back to the dressing room, he would have simply wondered, “Oh how could he get that!” He must have surely felt amazed. Or even amused. So was half the stadium. It wasn’t one of those catch-your-breath moments, for everything happened in the blink of a second, even before you could even realise what had happened. Even umpire Paul Wilson preempted a quick evasive action, only for Jadeja to intervene the ball’s boundary-bound course.
By the time Wilson gathered himself, Jadeja was midway through his celebrations. On the radio, the commentators could hardly hide their excitement. “Catch of the season,” was their unanimous verdict.
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Apart from his natural athleticism, it just stamped Jadeja’s bravado. You can say the ball just stuck into his hand, but bowlers will admit how difficult it is. Most bowlers flinch when the ball is belted back at them with such velocity. You have just enough time to duck or sway away from the ball’s trajectory, forget about keeping your poise. Your instinct is to not get injured.
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And it came at a crucial juncture. For Watson, we all are aware, can change the match’s complexion in little time and he and Aaron Finch formed the last recognised pair in the hosts’ largely inexperienced batting set-up. It, eventually, turned out to be their melting point as they soon lost the well-set, half-fit Finch too.
The Indian captain later pointed out how important the catch was, though the burly-built Watson’s follow through might have obscured his view of Jadeja completing the brilliant catch.
“I did see it, but I didn’t know at first if the ball had gone through or stuck. It’s important to have reflexes. If you are bowling, and you don’t grab your own catch, then you can only blame yourself because there is no third person. He is such a good fielder that he should be holding catches like that, that go near him, more often than not.” Surely, this will go down as one of the finest catches the MCG audience had ever witnessed.
Kohli defends himself
Melbourne: Virat Kohli on Friday explained what was behind his fiery ‘send-off’ of Steven Smith during the first T20 International earlier this week and said that it had nothing to do with the Australian wearing a microphone. Kohli had exchanged words with Smith after taking a catch to dismiss the Australian during the first T20 International at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.
The wicket came just moments after Smith had been talking to Channel Nine’s commentators, and some interpreted Kohli’s actions as a disapproval of the multi-tasking job Smith was doing.
But during the innings break of today’s T20 clash at the MCG which India won to clinch the series, Kohli explained it was not related to what Smith was doing with the microphone but still everything to do with what the Australian had said in the middle of Adelaide Oval.
“I had no idea he had the mic on,” Kohli was quoted by ‘Daily Telegraph’ as having told Channel Nine. “He (Smith) was sort of having a go at our junior bowlers — after hitting a boundary he was having a go at them — so I told the umpires to keep an eye out otherwise I would have to step in.”
(With PTI inputs)