Watch the Sydney Test LIVE on Fox Cricket, coverage every day from 9:30am
Ravichandran Ashwin shot daggers back at Ravindra Jadeja after being run out comically for 10.
The only man he should have been looking at was himself.
While most comical run-outs feature a mix-up between two men, this was a simple case of the victim turning the ground underneath him into sand because that’s the only way to explain the lethargy with which he attempted to make it to the striker’s end.
Watch Australia v India Test Series Live & Ad-Break Free During Play with the Fox Cricket commentary team. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >
Rank running, ball watching gets Ashwin
Called through early for what looked an easy single by Jadeja off a drive to cover, Ashwin hesitated and withdrew before setting off for the run. Even then it didn’t look a dangerous single.
The problem was the tall off-spinner just simply never managed to accelerate after leaving the blocks and Pat Cummins was happy to capitalise on that, firing in an accurate throw to give Tim Paine plenty of time to take the bails off.
“They will be bitterly disappointed, India, Ravichandran Ashwin just ambling down the wicket,” Brendon Julian said on Fox Cricket.
“That’s an easy single. I’m not sure whether Ashwin was worried about the throw coming in and hitting him on the back,” Mark Waugh added. “He was half looking at it. He was a little bit slow out of the blocks as well… Even in the end it didn’t look like there was a lot of acceleration.
“There was actually one-and-a-half in that, that was an easy single. That’s very poor cricket by Ashwin. Don’t blame Jadeja. Blame yourself.”
Not 1… Not 2… But 3 horror run outs!
It was hardly the first run-out that had hurt India this series. In fact, it wasn’t even the first this Test.
Earlier in the day, Josh Hazlewood produced the most remarkable run-out pulled off by an Australian Test cricketer since Cummins against Cheteshwar Pujara at Adelaide Oval two summers ago.
Under pressure after a run of middling scores, Hanuma Vihari called for a tight single when he pushed Nathan Lyon to mid-off.
It was a run that was never truly on, particularly in a Test match, but having made just four runs off the first 37 balls he had faced, Vihari felt it was worth the risk against a man who’s no slouch but is not revered for his fielding.
Hazlewood went on to make a fool of him, diving to his right to intercept the ball, before throwing the stumps down as he hit the ground.
Hazlewood run out from all angles
There would be one more run-out in the innings as Marnus Labuschagne capitalised on Jadeja’s desperation to keep the strike while batting with Jasprit Bumrah.
Having nudgded Cameron Green around the corner and past bat-pad Labuschgne, Jadeja sprinted through with hopes of two.
Labuschagne had other ideas, hitting the nonstriker’s end with a direct hit to account for Bumrah.
Only twice has a team suffered more run-outs in a single innings — India in 1955 against Pakistan and Australia in 1969 against the West Indies — but this hardly came out of nowhere.
India’s running between the wickets has haunted it all summer, with the first Test swinging on Ajinkya Rahane’s butchering of Virat Kohli before the day three annihilation.
And at the MCG, Rahane found himself on the opposite end of the ledger, caught short attempting a quick single to get Jadeja to fifty.
In a series where the bowlers haven’t given the batsmen anything, India’s batsmen have been far too charitable to the hosts.
“Where’s the f****** consistency?!”