Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 2nd day January 4, 2011

Clarke and Ponting revel, Dravid and Hussey applaud

ESPNcricinfo presents Plays of the Day from the second day of the second Test between Australia and India in Sydney

The wait
About seven minutes before lunch, both Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke were on 97. While Clarke has been more used to reaching the three-figures mark of late, Ponting would have been rather anxious. Clarke raced away to the century before lunch, cuing a lovely celebration in front of his home crowd. Those celebrations, and a no-ball in the over, made sure it would be the last over before lunch, and Ponting would have to endure a nervous 40-minute break.

The single
Ponting's anxiety to get to the hundred showed in the way he pushed straight to mid-on and charged down when on 99. Zaheer Khan took aim and missed by inches. Had he hit, he would have caught Ponting short of his first century in a little over 23 months. There was immense joy on Ponting's face as he got up, but also a realisation that he had cut it too close. As it was the start of the session, Ponting came out of the soiled shirt in the middle of the ground, and changed into a fresh one.

The reaction
As Zaheer missed that run-out, every Indian had his hands on his head or hips. Virat Kohli sank to his knees. They could all see that their last chance to make something out of the second day had missed by inches. Rahul Dravid, however, had the sense of occasion. Even as the rest came to terms with their disappointment, Dravid applauded Ponting's effort.

The miss
There weren't going to be too many chances for India to slow down Australia's charge today. One of them came in the final session when Clarke drove uppishly back at Ishant Sharma. It went fast but at a catchable height. It was spilled. Clarke was 182, and resumed chugging along.

The reaction II
It is slightly extra special making it to a landmark when batting with Michael Hussey. He is often just as pleased as you. When Clarke hit one into the leg side when on 199, Hussey's hand went up in the air too, and as they were coming back for the second, Hussey changed his line of running just so he could high-five Clarke along the way.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo