Australia v India, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day January 16, 2008

Riding the bounce

Cricinfo staff

Up and over: Sachin Tendulkar wasn't too bothered about keeping the ball along the ground © Getty Images
Slashing a cameo
It's been more than a year since he played his last Test, but Virender Sehwag offered a brief tutorial in throwing kitchen sinks. Standing back he flayed his loose arms at anything wide, missed some, crunched some and set off speedily. The fifth over contained three rasping fours - a whiplash past point, another through gully and a third ripped to cover. In between there was a drive and a miss and five wides down the leg side. By the end Brett Lee had his hands on his hips.

Carrying the cordon
A rarely used area was harvested by Sachin Tendulkar as he glided and top-edged four boundaries over the slips. Streaky efforts came early in his innings, but there were also intentional ones, including an almost impossible stroke off Lee in the second session. The bouncer looked like going over Tendulkar's head and he considered ducking. Instead he leaned back, bent his legs, pushed his hands up and the ball almost deflected over the boundary. The change in mind showed off Tendulkar's many skills, and also displayed the slowing speed of the pitch.

Air supply
Lee produced the best deliveries by an Australian, including a ball that was far too good for Tendulkar. Angling in, it cut away after pitching and Tendulkar's push forward could only collect air. Lee got three edges bowling a similar line: he had Wasim Jaffer caught behind, Rahul Dravid was dropped by Michael Clarke, who was standing at first slip in the gap left by the injured Matthew Hayden, and a Tendulkar nick dropped short of Ricky Ponting in the over after tea.

Ponting kicks, gently
In the 46th over Andrew Symonds and the rest let out a massive appeal against Tendulkar. It was a really close shout, with replays showing that the ball would have clipped leg stump, and the Australians had reason to feel aggrieved. Their reactions, though, were a sight: Symonds cursed, Adam Gilchrist and Michael Clarke turned around to chat, and Ponting vented his frustrations with the gentlest of kicks. It was almost as if he was in slow motion and it told you a bit about the events of the last week.

Strike five
Just when Jaffer appeared to be finding his feet in the series, he stood rooted to the crease and drove at a wide one from Lee. It was the fifth time he had fallen to Lee in this series, each one a dismissal owing to a loose drive. In Melbourne he nicked a slower one and a quicker one, both outside off; in Sydney he played inside the line of a searing yorker and wafted lazily in the second; and here he wafted again. Want Jaffer's number? Just ask Lee.

Nothing to report
Both players who faced the ICC referee after Sydney were missing in Perth, with fast bowlers selected instead of Brad Hogg and Harbhajan Singh. Before the match it was no surprise that the slow men were missing, but as the batsmen remained largely untroubled as the day wore on questions started about the make-up of the sides.