Plays of the day January 26, 2008

It really is Australia's day

Cricinfo staff

Allan Border was one of the celebrities out to celebrate Australia Day © Getty Images

Adelaide comes alive
You couldn't miss the fact that it's Australia Day. More flags than usual were on display and people made an extra-special effort to wear the green and gold. Adelaide residents are very proud of getting the Test back at this time of the year - it's recent home has usually been in December - and so popular is the holiday that the day was a sell-out.

A 21-gun salute and barely visible mid-day fireworks sparked the celebrations while in town a parade of people wearing their national costume shuffled heavily along in the dry-but-fierce heat. Many nationalities were represented including Chinese, Filipino, Belgians and Indians. For India, it's Republic Day too, though the day of independence, August 15, tends to be a bigger deal.

Teenage sensation
Ishant Sharma showed his ability to produce wicket balls was no Perth fluke when he upended Matthew Hayden with a classic reverse-swinging inswinger. Coming from around the wicket, Sharma's delivery swung through Hayden's defensive effort and thumped into his off stump. Hayden was 103 and had looked as steady as the four Adelaide Oval light towers. Sharma, the 19-year-old, had burst through again.

Modus operandi
While none of the Indian batsmen were bowled in their innings, all three Australian wickets fell in that fashion. Phil Jaques will blame himself for swiping across the line to one that angled in from Kumble but Hayden and Michael Hussey were undone by jaffas that swung into them. Ishant produced the ball of the day to crash through Hayden's defences while Irfan Pathan swerved one in to beat Hussey. On a wearing pitch, expect more in this Test.

Luck of the bounce
Trouble has followed Ricky Ponting during the series, but he was able to avoid what would have been an unfortunate dismissal to the courageous Ishant. While the Indians appealed for an lbw decision, the ball popped over Ponting's head and was dropping between the batsman and the stumps when it hit his bat. With Ponting looking towards Ishant, the ball was diverted from around leg stump towards off before skirting away from danger.

Pathan walks the line
Pathan was flirting with trouble all day. First he had a long chat with Hayden when an lbw appeal was turned down before lunch, prompting Hayden to walk up to Billy Bowden and complain. Pathan later had an inordinately long appeal against Hussey before being in the thick of action when Harbhajan Singh collided with Ponting. Anything for a good verbal joust, it seems.