India Win Series After Maxwell Dropped Catch Farce
Anyway you look at it, it's been an Indian summer.
India has won the final One Dayer against Australia, beating the hosts by seven wickets with four balls to spare at the MCG.
It means that India has won both the Tests and the One Dayers on Australian soil this summer, in a relentless show of dominance.
MS Dhoni top-scored for India with 87 not out -- his third half century in the three match series. But he should have been out first ball.
Unfortunately for the home team, that didn't happen after Glenn Maxwell dropped a regulation chance in the gully, having moments earlier done a mic'd-up interview with the Fix Sports commentary team.
Australia could NOT afford this.
At a crucial moment in the third One Dayer between India and Australia at the MCG, Glenn Maxwell dropped the sort of catch he'd usually take with the greatest of ease.
The reason he dropped champion Indian batsman (and wicket keeper) MS Dhoni in the gully on Dhoni's very first ball at the crease?
We'll never know for sure, but you can't rule out the possibility that he had not mentally reset after a mic'd-up interview with the Fox Sports commentary crew just seconds earlier.
“He switched off for a split second," one of the Fox Sports TV commentary crew said.
So it seemed. Then again, maybe he hadn't had a chance to switch back on after the interview.
Tragically for Australia, the dropped chance came at the very moment the home team was working its way back into this match.
Earlier, Australia posted a moderate total of 230 in this, the deciding match of the series. In reply, India were 2/59.
If the catch had been taken, Australia would have been right on top at 3/59 and Marcus Stoinis would have been on a hat-trick. But alas, Maxwell grassed the sitter.
Players have been doing mic'd-up interviews with commentators for several years now, mostly in the Big Bash and in international T20 cricket.
There has long been the risk that such interviews would distract players at key moments, and tonight, there's every chance that's what happened -- and in a match that was very important from an Australian point of view.
Our men's team has not won a One Day series against any nation for two years now. In a World Cup year, the Aussies are now long odds to defend their crown.