India vs Australia: Bumrah’s dismissal of Smith reminiscent of Ghavri’s Chappell wicket | Cricket News

2020-12-29 10:10:57

NEW DELHI: Steve Smith getting bowled by Jasprit Bumrah down the leg-side with his leg-stump exposed on the third day of the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground brought back memories of another Australian great Greg Chappell getting bowled by Karsan Ghavri down the leg during the 1981 Melbourne Test which was also won by India.
Smith was bowled on Monday as he shuffled across to cover the off-stump as he usually does, allowing the ball from the right-armer Bumrah to slip past his pads and clip his leg-stump. With Australia still 60 runs behind, it turned out to be a big wicket for India as they ran through the brittle Aussie middle-order with tight bowling and restricted them to 200 and eventually won the Test by eight wickets.

Back in 1981, left-arm seamer Ghavri had done something similar to Chappell as Australia were looking to chase down a small target of 143. Chappell, like Smith, was Australia’s best batsman in that eleven and is considered an all-time great.
Ghavri, while speaking to IANS recalled the Test, “We were all out after tea and had set a target of 143 for them to win. As soon as we entered the field (on the fourth day), Sunil Gavaskar, the India captain instructed the bowlers to stick to accuracy. He said accuracy was the key on a wicket that was so bad, with such big cracks that you didn’t know where the ball would go after bouncing.”

Ghavri got rid of opener John Dyson but the next man in was Chappell. “Before Greg came in, Gavaskar asked me to bowl a bouncer the first ball so I tried to dig it in. But somehow the ball must have pitched on one of those cracks and never rose. He was preparing for a short-pitched delivery but that particular delivery never came up, keeping very low. His leg-stump was exposed and the ball took the leg-stump and he was out the first ball,” recalls Ghavri.

That was a big blow as the Aussies were reduced to 24 for three at stumps on the fourth day. With their talismanic batsman out, they crumbled on the fifth day to be all out for 83 with Kapil Dev taking five wickets for 28 runs. Quite like the way Tim Paine-led Australia crumbled across the third and fourth days.

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