Australia v India, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day January 13, 2012

The WACA welcome, and a replay after 20 years

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first day of the third Test between Australia and India in Perth
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The welcome

The WACA bounce is the stuff of legends. People have usually heard thousands of stories before actually coming to the ground. How exactly is the WACA? Gautam Gambhir found out first ball. It was just back of a length and straight. He thought he could trust the WACA bounce, and leave it on length. The ball, though, reared up and hit him in the chest. Morning everyone.

The selection

The legend of the WACA, and the colour of the pitch, made both captains venture out of their comfort zone. On the match eve, Michael Clarke did say that he felt uncomfortable going into a Test without a specialist spinner, or bowling first. The pitch and India's trouble against fast bowlers so far proved temptation enough, and Clarke gave in. Not only did he pick four pacers, he also inserted India.

The bigger surprise, perhaps, was that India went in with four seamers as well, for the first time since the SCG Test of 1991-92. That also meant they dropped R Ashwin, who might not have been impressive with the ball but was India's second-highest run-getter in the first two Tests.

The shot

Sachin Tendulkar began his innings with a straight drive for four. On air, Ian Chappell was put in the mind of the straight drive he played to bring up his hundred at the same venue in 1991-92. Chappell remembered the bowler too, Craig McDermott. Channel 9 dug into the archives, and Chappell was correct. The only difference was that the 1991-92 drive was slightly to the leg side of the stumps.

The miss

It might even have been a leg-stump half-volley, but an uncertain Rahul Dravid turned it into a yorker, fell over while trying to play it, and watched it dribble off his pad, from outside leg, onto the stumps. Peter Siddle didn't mind it.

The innings

When Zaheer Khan's turn to bat arrived, we got a proper old-fashioned tailender's innings. He never wanted to get in line, and just kept swinging vaguely at what he thought was the line of the ball. Such innings can be fun. This one wasn't. It lasted only 11 balls.

The 12th man

David Warner was blazing hotter than a hot Perth day when he got hit in the helmet by an Umesh Yadav bouncer. It needs mentioning here that he was through his shot already when the ball hit him. Anyway, that encouraged Yadav to bowl more short deliveries. The first was upper-cut for four, and then second pulled wide of midwicket. When he cut the third one in front of square, India found extra help as the ball hit a bird around the extra-cover area, and went for only two. What India wouldn't do for a hawk to catch one for them?

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | January 14, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    Someone said AGE is catching up, With the Team of the world. The Aussies, unlike the West Indians have shown their cricketing infra is future proof.

    The utter contempt the home team has, for the Aging mediocrity is too visible. unless the ICONS in Indian team are replaced by more hardworking talent, i am afraid we have to invent worse forms of Cricket - T20 for instance, where the distinction between High Talent and low mediocrity is seldom brought to the fore!

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 14, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    Technically, it's as if India were all out for 12 runs in the first innings on day one, and Australia are about to begin their first innings on day two. Warner's display at the end of day one was merely some T20 entertainment for the crowd in order to pad the day out not part of the match.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 14, 2012, 2:05 GMT

    Yadav's bowling after Warner got hit epitomises how clueless India have been. It's not as if the bouncers were working and just because Warner got hit it should have served as a warning not as a weakness because he was over enthusiastic not frightened. He got hit hard and square but the helmet did its job. The question was, were India going to see this as some sort of a weakness against their mighty fast bowling. Did Yadav flatter to deceive himself that he was indeed the one who proved he could strike terror into the very souls of the Aussies. Could he be that vain? Yes to all three, and the next three bouncers were to be sent for 12, (disregarding the avian interference). This I think sums up India's mindset.

  • POSTED BY crickeyt on | January 13, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    So many people bashing the IPL. Seems to affect only the Indian team, though. The Aus players play both the IPL and BBL, yet turn up for proper Test cricket too. And what about the bowling? Blame the IPL for getting one wicket in 800 runs?

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 21:23 GMT

    The longest rope! Let Dravid play the fourth test as well and so would Lax. But Gambhir needs to go. He is struggling and needs to injure his hamstring or something now if he wants to play in the future. It is time for someone else to step in and arrest this gap at the top.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    If someone wants to say sth about this indian team they should say"this team cannot bat, cannot bowl and cannot even field".THEN, What else can they do? well, they can only talk ..ICC should not allow this indian team to visit aus, sa, eng simply because they can't even put up a fight.

  • POSTED BY NikhilNair on | January 13, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    Painful... that's all I can say. Before the match began, I was hoping India to put up a good fight as we have good memories at WACA... but this is just painful! This series seems to be heading the same direction the English tour went... If anyone can save India soon... it's the Big Three and that would be by retiring. Agree with JustOUT on this.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Sehwag is a bully of flat pitches, Sachin is good but for short time only and is only playing for himself. Laxman is classy but he is getting a bit old to keep his timing on overseas pitches. India needs to make some tough decisions in the best interest of the team but the board would be very reluctant to do that as these would not be liked by the general public. My guess is that Laxman will be made the escape goat after this series, as that would be an easier decision, and the life will go on. Hang on, what about the bowling? How can Australia score so freely? Hmm!!!!

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 13, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    Australia are back baby doll

  • POSTED BY gulbali123 on | January 13, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    waka waka indeed... but still there is cricket to b played.

  • POSTED BY on | January 14, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    Someone said AGE is catching up, With the Team of the world. The Aussies, unlike the West Indians have shown their cricketing infra is future proof.

    The utter contempt the home team has, for the Aging mediocrity is too visible. unless the ICONS in Indian team are replaced by more hardworking talent, i am afraid we have to invent worse forms of Cricket - T20 for instance, where the distinction between High Talent and low mediocrity is seldom brought to the fore!

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 14, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    Technically, it's as if India were all out for 12 runs in the first innings on day one, and Australia are about to begin their first innings on day two. Warner's display at the end of day one was merely some T20 entertainment for the crowd in order to pad the day out not part of the match.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 14, 2012, 2:05 GMT

    Yadav's bowling after Warner got hit epitomises how clueless India have been. It's not as if the bouncers were working and just because Warner got hit it should have served as a warning not as a weakness because he was over enthusiastic not frightened. He got hit hard and square but the helmet did its job. The question was, were India going to see this as some sort of a weakness against their mighty fast bowling. Did Yadav flatter to deceive himself that he was indeed the one who proved he could strike terror into the very souls of the Aussies. Could he be that vain? Yes to all three, and the next three bouncers were to be sent for 12, (disregarding the avian interference). This I think sums up India's mindset.

  • POSTED BY crickeyt on | January 13, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    So many people bashing the IPL. Seems to affect only the Indian team, though. The Aus players play both the IPL and BBL, yet turn up for proper Test cricket too. And what about the bowling? Blame the IPL for getting one wicket in 800 runs?

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 21:23 GMT

    The longest rope! Let Dravid play the fourth test as well and so would Lax. But Gambhir needs to go. He is struggling and needs to injure his hamstring or something now if he wants to play in the future. It is time for someone else to step in and arrest this gap at the top.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    If someone wants to say sth about this indian team they should say"this team cannot bat, cannot bowl and cannot even field".THEN, What else can they do? well, they can only talk ..ICC should not allow this indian team to visit aus, sa, eng simply because they can't even put up a fight.

  • POSTED BY NikhilNair on | January 13, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    Painful... that's all I can say. Before the match began, I was hoping India to put up a good fight as we have good memories at WACA... but this is just painful! This series seems to be heading the same direction the English tour went... If anyone can save India soon... it's the Big Three and that would be by retiring. Agree with JustOUT on this.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Sehwag is a bully of flat pitches, Sachin is good but for short time only and is only playing for himself. Laxman is classy but he is getting a bit old to keep his timing on overseas pitches. India needs to make some tough decisions in the best interest of the team but the board would be very reluctant to do that as these would not be liked by the general public. My guess is that Laxman will be made the escape goat after this series, as that would be an easier decision, and the life will go on. Hang on, what about the bowling? How can Australia score so freely? Hmm!!!!

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 13, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    Australia are back baby doll

  • POSTED BY gulbali123 on | January 13, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    waka waka indeed... but still there is cricket to b played.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    Time for BCCI to wake up and smell the coffee. You cannot have the same people playing IPL and test cricket. 20 over TPL has spoilt both batsmen and bowlers. BCCI contracted players shopuld not be allowed to play IPL. Also time to have a policy on wives and family accompanying the players on tour.Maybe allowed only for a short period towards the end of a long tour.

  • POSTED BY StoneRose on | January 13, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    For as well as Dravid played in England his technqiue looked suspect and he was relying more on his hand-eye coordination rather than footwork - which often came through after playing the shot. Good spot from the Aussies to take advantage of this. Maybe they should hastily arrange a series against a lesser nation so Sachin can get his 100th 100 and we can all move on, as this seems to be affecting the Indian team.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    NO captain can do anything if the team members are not performing. What can MSD do if sehwag gets out cheaply in every innings. Dhoni cant stop Dravid getting bowled in such fashion. The wall broke so many times. And sachin, he is certainly having that 'mental block' of 100. And Everytime DHoni has to bat with tailenders and move the score board. Its very difficult task provided that batting skills of Indian tailenders. He has to go for attacking and in the process gets out. The only solution is sack Sehwag, Laxman and Laxman. Kohli should be given enough chances as he is just in the early days of his career. Sachin, Dravid, Laxman and Sehwag should retire. We dont want an opener who plays once in 15innings and gets out cheaply in others there by creating huge pressure on middle order.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Silenced are the indian crowd who kept saying that the last time they played at the WACA, they won.

  • POSTED BY Cricket.Nellore on | January 13, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Indian Test cricket team has innovated a new idea. Giving 5 day match result in 1st day itself.

  • POSTED BY Cricket.Nellore on | January 13, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    I am confident that India will make Number #1 again. Guess what? From the bottom !

  • POSTED BY maddy1986 on | January 13, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    stop dhoni pls stop this nonsense at all we are very hurt becoz of your sluggish character we need the old dhoni who did lot of magics bring back ashwin in the next match and drop one of the guys from the batting order

  • POSTED BY stark-truth on | January 13, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    These Indian oldies are extremely selfish. They should show dignity and make way for the young.

  • POSTED BY BallparkFrank on | January 13, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    The irony about Indian cricket is that in about 6 weeks the stands in India will abuzz with maniancal heroworshippers. There is not even the A of Accountability in Indian cricket team's (players, BCCI, coaches, selectors, sponsors, all of them) work ethic. Dismal and abject future awaits Indian cricket for many years.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    Laxman to take over as captain from Dhoni? Laxman would be struggling to justify maintaining his place in the side at the moment, same with Gambhir. Should never have dropped Ashwin, he's the second best bat in the team, and he's just as quick as Vinay anyway.

  • POSTED BY dinosaurus on | January 13, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    I think we can now all agree that the rumours of the terminal decline of Australian cricket are more "whistling in the graveyard" marketing than actual analysis! It is worth noting that Perth is as much known for prodigious feats of batting as for spectacular feats of bowling. And it's not just Australians. Certain West Indians and South Africans have done pretty well there too! Tendulkar too, in his prime.

  • POSTED BY HardFacts on | January 13, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    juz goes 2 show cheap tactics lyk the "Helicoptor Shot" dont alwyz win u matches

  • POSTED BY ranjit.sg on | January 13, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Pathetic cricket by India, but well done Aus. The BCCI has a lot of thinking to do after this series. RandyOz, you must be licking your lips in delight after the banter you had to hear from all the Indian fans on cricinfo prior to the series! :P

  • POSTED BY The_Wog on | January 13, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    A day of cricket really doesn't get any better than this. I enjoyed watching 1 for 600 at Sydney, but this was a pasting with both bat and ball - and they caught everything as well. It's hard to imagine a better display than that.

  • POSTED BY kabe_ag7 on | January 13, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    I guess India not appealing when they caught Warner was also a play of the day.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    It looks like more of a mental give up rather than any thing else by Indian batsmen.

  • POSTED BY indianpunter on | January 13, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    Press the panic button !! As an avid supporter who has followed the highs and lows of the indian team for 25 yrs, i can safely say that this was Indian cricket's WORST ever day in a test match. Just when we thought that it wouldn't get worse than Sydney, we have plumbed to new depths.If this doesnt open the eyes of the powers that be, then what will? 1. Laxman Dravid and sehwag have to go. The first 2 as they have nothing to offer as players and sehwag because of poor form and even worse attitude. 2. How can Dhoni now captain this side? This is a listless, tired side on the wane. 3. India play all their test cricket for the next 2 yrs at home. Bring in young blood. I'd rather us lose with them. 4. Do a detailed review of the performance. Spare no one. This was called for after the disaster in England, but swept under the carpet in the guise of "injuries". 5. What is the coach doing? What is the bowling coach doing?

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    For me this just explains why India have chosen to play only home series for the next 2 years. India have been terrible away from home. They are very hard to beat on Indian soil. The oldies need to make way for new talent as this test test side is on a decline.

  • POSTED BY styx on | January 13, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    I think its clear that Gary Kirsten had a much bigger role in this Indians side success than we all thought. It would seem like he might have been guiding Dhoni in most of his decision making. His cool and level headedness is sorely missed in this Indian side.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    I dont like the team selection choice regarding Ashwin and Rohit Sharma

    Dropping/Resting Ashwin is a bad decision .Ashwin provides strength to Indian batting tail.He has patience to play normal Test cricket than some of the top order batsmen of India. I think Dhoni wanted to change the XI as Indian team is unchanged despite two consecutive losses at Melbourne and Sydney. Rohit Sharma is not in the team because Dhoni could not find the answer to the question "whom should Rohit Sharma replace?"

    Indian team management might find the solution for the problem by announcing some top order batsman will get injured before Adealaide match so that Rohit could be taken in playing XI

  • POSTED BY satanswish on | January 13, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Kick out Dhoni from Test Cricket once and all.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    I think Indian bowlers r the major problem so far..... they r unable to make any impression so far..

  • POSTED BY goodoogod on | January 13, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Please India get some oomph. Australia may as well play Canada.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | January 13, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    @rienzied - I totally disagree with your comments regarding Sammy. He has probably the toughest job going around. The WIndies still remember the glory days, & he is leading a young side & they try hard. He is an unfairly maligned cricketer!

  • POSTED BY mamboman on | January 13, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Dhoni is, by some distance, the most incompetent captain ever to bring a touring side out here.

  • POSTED BY rienzied on | January 13, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Dohni is a an ok captain for ODI's and 20-20, but like Dilshan, these 2 dont have the tactical know how and the finese to captain such sides. I'd hope these 2 play on but do not remain as test captains. Shewag, Gambhir or Laxman for India to take over and Samaraweera, Mahela and Kumar Sangga to replace Tilly! To play this game you need to be bold agressive and smart. i see it in Strauss, Clarke. However the worst captain going around would be Sammy.

  • POSTED BY JustOUT on | January 13, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    Sachin,Dravid & Laxman.. for the sake of Indian cricket, pls retire from Test format immdly. Just purely to achieve your personal goal for winning a series in SA/ENG/AUS, you guys are hanging till now in the test team. Whether you play fantastically or terrible(like now) it doesn't matter. Its time for you guys to retire and make way for youngsters. They will take 1-2 yrs to get into the test groove, but failing with the big names like you is a SHAME.

  • POSTED BY satishsasikumar on | January 13, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Well Aussies are going Waka Waka at WACA....

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY satishsasikumar on | January 13, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Well Aussies are going Waka Waka at WACA....

  • POSTED BY JustOUT on | January 13, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    Sachin,Dravid & Laxman.. for the sake of Indian cricket, pls retire from Test format immdly. Just purely to achieve your personal goal for winning a series in SA/ENG/AUS, you guys are hanging till now in the test team. Whether you play fantastically or terrible(like now) it doesn't matter. Its time for you guys to retire and make way for youngsters. They will take 1-2 yrs to get into the test groove, but failing with the big names like you is a SHAME.

  • POSTED BY rienzied on | January 13, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Dohni is a an ok captain for ODI's and 20-20, but like Dilshan, these 2 dont have the tactical know how and the finese to captain such sides. I'd hope these 2 play on but do not remain as test captains. Shewag, Gambhir or Laxman for India to take over and Samaraweera, Mahela and Kumar Sangga to replace Tilly! To play this game you need to be bold agressive and smart. i see it in Strauss, Clarke. However the worst captain going around would be Sammy.

  • POSTED BY mamboman on | January 13, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Dhoni is, by some distance, the most incompetent captain ever to bring a touring side out here.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | January 13, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    @rienzied - I totally disagree with your comments regarding Sammy. He has probably the toughest job going around. The WIndies still remember the glory days, & he is leading a young side & they try hard. He is an unfairly maligned cricketer!

  • POSTED BY goodoogod on | January 13, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Please India get some oomph. Australia may as well play Canada.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    I think Indian bowlers r the major problem so far..... they r unable to make any impression so far..

  • POSTED BY satanswish on | January 13, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Kick out Dhoni from Test Cricket once and all.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    I dont like the team selection choice regarding Ashwin and Rohit Sharma

    Dropping/Resting Ashwin is a bad decision .Ashwin provides strength to Indian batting tail.He has patience to play normal Test cricket than some of the top order batsmen of India. I think Dhoni wanted to change the XI as Indian team is unchanged despite two consecutive losses at Melbourne and Sydney. Rohit Sharma is not in the team because Dhoni could not find the answer to the question "whom should Rohit Sharma replace?"

    Indian team management might find the solution for the problem by announcing some top order batsman will get injured before Adealaide match so that Rohit could be taken in playing XI

  • POSTED BY styx on | January 13, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    I think its clear that Gary Kirsten had a much bigger role in this Indians side success than we all thought. It would seem like he might have been guiding Dhoni in most of his decision making. His cool and level headedness is sorely missed in this Indian side.