Virat Kohli trolls Ishant Sharma on Instagram

Ross Houston
January 14, 2020

Australia's ten-wicket drubbing of the hosts in the first ODI on Tuesday came as a huge shocker for the Men in Blue - given their spectacular run in the previous year, it was heartbreaking to see the side take a good beating from the visitors.

He has a technique and mental fortitude that probably should have earned him a century by now, instead of just his eight half-tons and a personal best of 74 against Pakistan at SuperSport Park in February 2013. They achieved the target with 12.2 overs to spare.

A glance at the number of deliveries he has faced across his three most recent Test matches bears out that tough-nut-to-crack observation: it begins with a particularly commendable 192 and 72 for scores of 44 not out and 37 against India at Pune, when he was perhaps South Africa's best batsman in a depressing walloping by an innings.

Australia's captain Aaron Finch and David Warner blitzed India's bowling in Mumbai. This was also India's second 10-wicket defeat at home.

Both survived confident appeals against different bowlers, with Warner reviewing in the 29th over. However, India failed to capitalise. Overall, he hit 17 fours and three sixes.

"We played the day-night Test here [in India], we are pretty happy with how it went", Kohli told reporters on the eve of the opening One-day worldwide against Australia. Anticipating dew in the evening session, Aaron Finch opted to field.

India lost Rohit Sharma (10) early to Starc.

But Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul then frustrated Australia, putting up a 121-run stand.

The turning point came when Adam Zampa (1-53) dismissed captain Virat Kohli (16) with an easy return catch. Rishabh Pant (28) and Ravindra Jadeja (25) shared 49 runs for the sixth wicket before the duo perished in consecutive overs as India lost the plot. They finished, though, with a sub-par total. "Today was one of those days when we weren't allowed into the game at all".

"Totally outplayed in all three departments". While in the 21 matches they have played against Australia, 14 of them have featured a century from at least one those batsmen. In phases, we were too respectful against their bowlers, and didn't take the game by the scruff of the neck.

That is the obvious message to convey to Proteas enthusiasts over the next fortnight or so, as Vernon Philander plays his last two Test matches for South Africa against England at the business end of the gripping, now deadlocked series at St George's Park (from Thursday) and the Wanderers respectively.

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