Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant had ha tough time behind the wickets on the first day of the third Test match against Australia in Sydney. He dropped Will Pucovski twice as the opener notched up a half-century on his Test debut.
The incident happened on the last ball of the 22nd over when off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin tempted Pucovski into a drive. However, the batsman lost his balance and ended up edging the ball. Pant failed to take the catch despite getting his gloves to it.
A couple of overs later, Pant spilled another chance to dismiss the debutant opener. On the last delivery of the 25th over, Pucovski attempted to pull a well-directed short delivery from Mohammed Siraj. The ball touched the batsman’s gloves on his way to the keeper. Pant managed to catch the ball on the second attempt but it had hit the ground by then.
On-field umpires Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson referred to the TV umpire Bruce Oxenford to double check the catch taken by Pant. But, due to the lack of conclusive evidence, Oxenford ruled out the decision in Pucovski’s favour.
Soon, the Twitterati started criticising the 23-year-old keeper for his sloppy glovework that strengthened Pucovski’s chances to bring up his maiden half-century.
Pucovski smashed back-to-back boundaries to Navdeep Saini to reach his maiden fifty. Later, in the final session, Saini, who also made his Test debut today, trapped Pucovski in the front. The Australian opener ended up scoring 62 off 110 balls, including four boundaries.
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Earlier, play resumed as the sun shone brightly after a four-hour rain interruption. The SCG groundsmen at the worked relentlessly, including using a blower to go with the super-sopper, to get the surface ready for resumption at 3pm local time.
This was after Siraj removed David Warner to leave Australia at 21 for one before the inclement weather stopped play barely seven overs into the first day’s action.