Often cricket is described as a battle between bat and ball. However, in modern day cricket fielding has also become an essential skill. There is no place to hard on the cricket field. While there were times when the weakest fielder of the team was given a specific fielding position with the introduction of several new strokes in the game, everyone is expected to throw their body on the lines while representing the country at the highest level.
Australia’s stand-in captain Steven Smith produced a fielding effort that will be remembered for times to come in the second ODI of the three-match series in Visakhapatnam. The incident happened in the 10th over of the Indian innings after Smith had won the toss and chosen to field first. Having lost a few early wickets already, India were banking on their all-rounder Hardik Pandya to come good with the bat but the skipper’s sensational effort in the field brought an end to his innings.
In the second ball of the over from Sean Abbott, the seamer pitched the ball on a good length outside off but Pandya went for a dash at it only managing an edge that flew off his bat. However, Smith, stationed at first slip threw himself in the air and stuck his right hand out to complete a stunning catch. His effort meant Hardik departed for 1 and India were reduced to 49/5.
Check out Smith’s catch here:
Top class catch by Steve Smith@stevesmith49 #INDvsAUS pic.twitter.com/n6PmOB6aEi
— Nitin Godbole 🇮🇳 (@nitingodbole) March 19, 2023
Notably, India are 1-0 up in the series, having won the series opener in Mumbai. On that occasion too, the Men in Blue had suffered a top-order collapse of sorts with Mitchell Starc doing bulk of the damage much like in this game where the left-arm speedster has removed Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul. Starc has removed Suryakumar for a golden duck in the both the first and the second ODIs and with Shreyas Iyer battling an injury it would be interesting see India’s plans for that number 4 position in the ODIs heading into the World Cup.