The horrific memories of the past two weeks came flashing by when Virat Kohli took a blow on the helmet against a bouncer from Mitchell Johnson. Johnson had just removed Murali Vijay for 53 in the previous delivery before digging in one short to the Indian captain, who was facing his first ball of the series. Kohli walked in to bat with India on 111/2 in the 31st over on Day 3 of the opening Test after Australia had declared on their overnight score of 517/7.
The ball hit the badge on the helmet but in a rare sight, the Australian close-in fielders rushed in to check on Kohli and make sure he was alright. Johnson, counted among the fastest and most dangerous bowlers in world cricket, looked nervous and was the first to run in and ensure Kohli was fine. The square leg umpire, too, walked up to check on the Indian skipper. Kohli however, remained undeterred, checked his helmet and got on with the game.
There has been a sharp change to Australia’s attitude on the field after the tragic death of Phillip Hughes, who died after being hit on the head by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield game last month. It was Clarke, who had threatened England’s James Anderson to get ready for a broken arm as Johnson marked his run-up in the Ashes last year. Time is considered to be the best healer, but for the moment, Australia seem to be in no mood or frame of mind to revert to their aggressive and ruthless best as far as sledging the opposition is concerned.