KL Rahul pulls off STUNNING ‘game-changing’ catch as he dismisses Usman Khawaja with superb one-handed grab after Australian opener led tourists’ fightback in the second Test against India
- KL Rahul took a superb catch to remove Usman Khawaja for 81
- Australia reached tea break at 6-199 after being in disarray at 3-91
- Steve Smith was dismissed for a second-ball duck by Ravi Ashwin
KL Rahul pulled off a stunning catch to dismiss Usman Khawaja as Australia toiled on Day 1 of the second Test in Delhi on Friday.
With the visitors at 5-167, there seemed to be little danger for the Aussie opener as he looked to reverse-sweep Ravindra Jadeja off the final ball of the 45th over.
Rahul, however, had other ideas and lunged to his right, completing a one-handed grab to send Khawaja on his way.
‘That is an absolute blinder,’ India great Ravi Shastri said on commentary on Fox Cricket.
‘It’s come out of nowhere and Usman Khawaja is in disbelief. […] catches like that can turn matches.’
KL Rahul (left) took a superb catch to dismiss Usman Khawaja in the second Test
KL Rahul held onto a sensational one-handed grab to remove Khawaja, who had looked to reverse-sweep Ravindra Jadeja out towards point
Former Aussie national selector Mark Waugh echoed his colleague’s thoughts: ‘That’s the sort of catch that can change the game,’ he said.
‘Khawaja has played beautifully and he will count himself very unlucky there.’
Khawaja’s 81 was his highest-ever score against India, surpassing the 72 he scored in Perth back in 2018.
The veteran opener combined brilliantly with Peter Handscomb, putting up a 59-run partnership for the fifth wicket as Australia recovered after being 4-108.
Khawaja was swiftly followed in the sheds by Alex Carey, who was out for a duck after nicking Ravi Ashwin to first slip, where Virat Kohli made no mistake.
But Pat Cummins and Handscomb steadied the ship, adding 31 runs together as the tourists reached the tea break at 6-199.
Earlier, Australia won the toss and chose to bat as they looked to square the series after being vanquished by an innings and 132 runs in Nagpur.
‘The middle looks like it’s got a little bit of grass but it’s pretty bare at both ends,’ Cummins said at the toss.
Khawaja anchored Australia’s innings and led a crucial fightback with Peter Handscomb
The Aussie opener’s 81 was his highest-ever score against India in Test cricket
‘So I am guessing there will be a little bit of turn there, it’s a good challenge for our team.
‘We’ve all lost games before and had to bounce back, so that’s the challenge for the group this week. It’s been a really good preparation and everyone is raring to go.’
David Warner and Khawaja compiled an unbeaten 50-run stand, before the former was dismissed for 15 as Mohammad Shami got the breakthrough when he got the veteran opener to edge one behind to Srikar Bharat.
Marnus Labuschagne made 18 before he was trapped LBW by Ashwin and the star spinner struck again to remove Steve Smith for a second-ball duck, which left the Aussies in disarray at 3-91.
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