Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 4th day

Haddin's assist and the polite appeal

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

Daniel Brettig at the SCG

January 6, 2011

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Ben Hilfenhaus dismissed MS Dhoni caught and bowled, Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 4th day, January 6, 2012
Ben Hilfenhaus and Australia were not quite sure of MS Dhoni's spooned offering © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: India tour of Australia
Teams: Australia | India

The boundary
There were things typical and atypical about VVS Laxman's boundary in Nathan Lyon's first over. Across Laxman's career it has almost been his signature stroke, a wristy flick in front of square leg. But on this tour the boundary was something of a keynote event. It was Laxman's first of the series, in his fourth innings and off his 61st ball. The dam wall having been breached, more would follow.

The knock-on
Laxman had to be alert several overs later when Sachin Tendulkar's firm drive back to Peter Siddle burst through the bowler's hands on the bounce, with enough of a deflection to take the ball back onto the stumps at the non-striker's end. While Laxman was nonchalant about it all, replays showed he had grounded his airborne bat milliseconds before disaster.

The assist
Brad Haddin endured a nightmarish innings behind the stumps, never more so than when he failed to get even a glove to a Gautam Gambhir edge on the third evening. However he played a part in Sachin Tendulkar's critical dismissal, the batsman's fine edge off Michael Clarke flicking the keeper's gloves to create a simple catch for Michael Hussey at slip. It was the moment at which the day turned.

The return catch
MS Dhoni's bunt back to Ben Hilfenhaus drew a somewhat diffident appeal from Australia, as no-one was sure whether or not the ball had hit ground or bat last of all. The umpires conferred and sent the matter upstairs for video evidence. Curiosity quickly turned to jubilation for the fielding side, as replays showed the ball's clear pathway from bat to bowler without the turf's intervention. For the first time in this DRS-free series, an Indian batsman was sent on his way with the help of video evidence - called for by the umpires of course.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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