Australia v West Indies, 1st Test, Brisbane, 1st day

This is your captain sleeping

Peter English at the Gabba

November 26, 2009

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Chris Gayle waits in the field, Australia v West Indies, 1st Test, Brisbane, 1st day, November 26, 2009
Despite flying across the world, Chris Gayle was alert enough to pull off a stunning slip catch © Getty Images
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Flying high
There's been more chance of spotting Chris Gayle in the air than on a cricket ground over the past week, but he stood tall all day and seemed to avoid any nanna naps. Late in the afternoon, when even those who haven't been flying from Jamaica are trying not to nod off, Gayle was alert enough to leap to his left to claim Michael Clarke's edge at first slip. It was a stunning take off the bowling of Dwayne Bravo, who celebrated by running to third man for high fives with Jerome Taylor.

This is your captain sleeping
Gayle must have been tired after lunch though. He decided to bring himself on when Bravo had been worrying Michael Hussey at the start of his innings. Two smart fours from Hussey woke up Gayle and he took himself off at the first chance, but not before Hussey had switched into gear on the way to 66.

Unsuccessful review
The players didn't have to wait long for the first call for the ICC's newly installed umpiring review system. Ponting was 30 when West Indies doubted Ian Gould's judgment on an lbw decision after the debutant Ravi Rampaul beat the captain. As a shower passed over the ground, the third umpire sent the decision back to Gould, who maintained his not-out verdict. Hawk-eye showed the ball clipping the top of the bails, but under the new regulations any element of doubt favours the on-field official's decision.

Six appeal
Most batsmen are put off hooking when there are two men back, but Ponting wasn't overly bothered by the offerings of Rampaul. In the over before lunch there was a deep square-leg and a fine-leg when Rampaul pitched short and Ponting, who was unlikely to have heard the no-ball call, went at it hard. The ball sailed over Jerome Taylor at fine-leg and went for six, bringing up Ponting's half-century.

Sit-up, Shiv
At 35, Shivnarine Chanderpaul mustn't feel like he has the stomach for Test cricket. During breaks in play he will lie on the ground and do sit-ups to tone his abs for the battles ahead. It looked like one of those schoolboy trainings sessions where punishment is handed out for dropped catches or misfields. Chanderpaul's time in the field was fine but a few of his team-mates need some work including Sulieman Benn, who missed Simon Katich on 81 with a clumsy attempt at forward cover.

Open season
Shane Watson's lbw problems are not limited to England. Despite a strong one-day campaign in India, Watson's return to the Test team showed a familiar problem. In the third over he didn't offer a shot to a ball from Taylor that angled in and was lbw. In four Tests, Watson has fallen that way five times in six innings. Now he has to put up with at least a couple of days of people in New South Wales pushing for a return for Phillip Hughes.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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