Plays of the day January 2, 2008

Benson and edges

Cricinfo staff

Ishant Sharma was convinced he had Andrew Symonds caught behind, but Steve Bucknor disagreed © Getty Images

Floppy luck
A face allergy forced Sachin Tendulkar into the indoor nets on Tuesday and prompted him to wear a floppy hat, probably for the first time in internationals, while fielding at the SCG. It brought him some luck with the Australian left-handers edging three balls towards him at first slip off RP Singh. He moved quickly to his left to get rid of Matthew Hayden before diving low to the right to end Michael Hussey's innings. The best catch was reserved for Adam Gilchrist when Tendulkar dropped forward for a cool take.

Benson and edges
The umpire Mark Benson didn't spot two edges off Ricky Ponting, who should have been out on 17 and not out on 55. Sourav Ganguly slid one down the leg side, which Ponting glanced to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, before the batsman inside-edged on to his pad off Harbhajan Singh. Adding to the shocker list was Steve Bucknor, who missed Andrew Symonds' nick to the wicketkeeper in the second session. Anyone for hearing aids?

Strangest decision
Benson's and Bucknor's calls were pretty weird, but none was more confusing than Michael Clarke's option to pad up to Harbhajan. The ball pitched outside off stump and Clarke must have thought it would go straight or the other way. Instead it turned, thudded into his pad and he was lbw in his most embarrassing dismissal since shouldering arms and being bowled by James Franklin at the World Cup.

Grounds for improvement
It was a magic day for Brad Hogg, who has posted career-high scores in each of his three innings since returning to the Test team. His 17 in the first innings at Melbourne equalled his previous best before he collected 35 not out in the second. The 79 here almost doubled his aggregate of 90 in his first five Tests.

Slippery Yuvraj
Yuvraj Singh, India's best fielder, has had some sloppy days during this series and they continued in Sydney. He slid into the extra-cover ropes in the first session, allowing a four when there should have been only three, and conceded overthrows a little later. There were also a couple of lazy dives and late in the day he misfielded two balls on the boundary that went for four.

Dhoni misses one, the umpire misses another
Dhoni had two stumping chances, fluffing the first, a tough one down the leg side when Ponting was 31, but displaying rapid reflexes when Symonds was 48. Unfortunately for India, Bruce Oxenford, the third umpire, flashed "Not Out" after taking a look at five different angles. However, one of those shots, from the square camera, indicated through the positioning of Symonds' shadow that his foot was in the air when the bails came off.