Cricket greats have rushed to praise Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood after a stunning piece of fielding to run out Indian batsman Hanuma Vihari on Saturday.
The dismissal broke a partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara that threatened to stonewall Australia for much of day three of the third Test.
Instead the surprise wicket reduced India to 4-142 in response to Australia’s total of 338.
Hazlewood had just completed a six-over spell interchanging with Nathan Lyon when he managed the athletic feat to dismiss Vihari.
Sprinting to his right and diving to stop the ball, Hazlewood was still falling when he released and connected with a direct hit.
“The fast-bowling cartel do it again,” former Australian paceman Damien Fleming said on Channel 7.
“They don’t need to be bowling to impact Test matches and Test series. Look at Pat Cummins, he’s as pumped as Josh Hazlewood because he knows someone from his fraternity has just changed a Test match.
“Often thought as probably the slowest fieldsmen in the Australian team, the quick release – (Vihari) is out by miles. Great fielding from Josh Hazlewood. Quick release, excellent execution.”
But ex-captain Ricky Ponting and former Australian fielding coach Greg Blewett weren’t so shocked.
“I’m actually not surprised,” Ponting said.
“I spent the two weeks with the Aussie boys coming from the IPL (Indian Premier League) in quarantine in Sydney and ran a few fielding drills.
“Big Josh hit the stumps more than anybody else from that mid-on, mid off position.”
Blewett said Hazlewood’s athleticism for his size, combined with the 30-year-old’s awareness, made the difficult look easy.
“Josh has got excellent hands, got a great arm,” Blewett said.
“Probably the only thing that’s let him down a bit is mobility around the ground, but on that occasion – just the awareness to take a bit of a risk as well, get the throw in as he was falling.”
Ponting agreed, noting that Hazlewood sensed the run out was possible as he set up for the delivery.