Hardik Pandya debuts with a horror first over

Suresh Raina backed out of a James Faulkner delivery at the last moment © Getty Images

The maiden over
Maiden as in first. Definitely not as in free of runs. Debutant Hardik Pandya was waiting for his first over, and then he was waiting for his first over to end. The eighth of India’s innings and the first of Pandya’s career began with three consecutive wides down leg side as Steven Smith walked inside the line, and two more followed later in the over. It meant the over lasted 11 deliveries, and given that a six and a four came off two of the legal balls, he finished with figures of 1-0-19-0 and five wides.

The comeback, part one
Nearly five years after he last played for Australia, Shaun Tait took the new ball once again. His first ball was 150kph, a quick reminder of his capabilities. But a four and a six followed later in the over – Tait was unlucky the six was not a wicket, more on that shortly – and by the end of his four overs he had leaked 45 runs. It left Tait with the worst economy rate of his 20-game T20 international career.

The comeback, part two
Okay, Shane Watson played Australia’s most recent T20 international, so this was not technically a comeback. But he has retired from Tests and was overlooked for the recent ODI series against India, so this was his first outing for his country this summer and thus felt like a comeback. He could hardly have made a stronger start. His first over brought two wickets – Rohit Sharma caught at mid-on off an offcutter and Shikhar Dhawan caught behind from a slower bouncer – and only one run. Watson’s return of 4-0-24-2 was a reminder that he could be a highly valuable member of Australia’s World T20 side.

The fielding woes
Kane Richardson’s four overs leaked 41 runs without a wicket but just as costly was his work in the field. The fourth ball of Tait’s opening over of the game was top-edged by Rohit Sharma and Richardson at long leg misjudged the flight, running in before realising he had to be back on the boundary, and spilled over the rope what could have been a regulation take had he stayed there in the first place. Another poor piece of judgment came in the 19th over when Cameron Boyce’s throw from long-on found the bowler Richardson in front of the stumps instead of behind, which almost certainly cost Australia the chance at a run-out.

The pull-out
On 14, Suresh Raina was all set to face James Faulkner, but then he wasn’t. As Faulkner let go of the ball Raina backed away and pulled out, indicating that he was not ready. The ball crashed into his stumps, but the umpire Simon Fry had no hesitation in calling a dead ball. Faulkner looked unimpressed, but then again, he often does.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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