India has got off to a positive start in the crucial third test match against Australia in Melbourne, with nerves, if any, settling owing to Mayank Agarwal scoring a half-century on debut and steering India into triple-figures at the loss of only one wicket.
India and Australia are tied 1-1 in the 4-match series, with Virat Kohli's side claiming the first test and the Australians fighting back to win the second. In a fiercely competitive contest, and with each side trying to get under the other's skin, the start of play in the third 'Boxing Day' test also witnessed a bit of a scary moment involving Hanuma Vihari.
Vihari had opened the batting alongside Mayank Agarwal and found himself facing Aussie quick Pat Cummins. Now, Australians are known for a little 'sweet-chin-music' now and then, especially on their pitches at home. Bouncers are staple fare for visiting batsmen and every now and then, one gets too close for comfort. What happened to Hanuma was a little different though.
Facing Cummins, he appeared to read a bouncer. By all estimates, his pre-bounce calculations were correct. The ball pitched well short and he prepared himself to duck. What happened, however, was that the bounce turned out to be erratic. It didn't skip off the surface and remained low-ish. As Vihari ducked, he realised all too late that the bounce was underwhelming. He turned his head knowing impact was imminent and caught the ball roughly around the ear.
Here's what some people said:
It looked painful and while he was given the all-clear to carry on, it may have played a part (viscerally) in him being dismissed by the same bowler, caught by Finch at 8 off 66 balls.
Pujara then came on and accompanied Agarwal at the crease. India are 112/1 in 49 overs at the time of publishing.