Video reviews mixed on cutting edges
Teapots for two
It has been quite some time since Australian gamesmanship was thrust into the spotlight, but an incident in the 35th over could change all that. Ricky Ponting and Doug Bollinger made no attempt to hide their displeasure when Shivnarine Chanderpaul survived a caught-behind appeal, a decision upheld when sent for review. Despite replays showing daylight between leather and willow, and the usually vociferous Brad Haddin muzzling his appeal, Ponting and Bollinger assumed the "teapot" stance for some time after the decision had been delivered. Ponting continued the conversation with Ian Gould, the square-leg umpire, at the end of the over. Not a happy bunny.
Reviewed and confused
Australia's second video challenge proved altogether more successful, though no less controversial. Hot Spot gave no indication Chanderpaul had edged Shane Watson to Brad Haddin, although the 45 degree replay appeared to show the ball deviating off the outside edge. That was enough for Asad Rauf to overturn Mark Benson's original not-out decision and send Chanderpaul back to the pavilion for a well-struck 62. Stay tuned for further fall out.
Much has been made of the fact Brendan Nash and Mitchell Johnson once rented a house together, but clearly there is no love lost between the room-mates-turned-adversaries. Nash evaded a first-ball bouncer from Johnson at the Gabba last week, and the hostility continued at Adelaide when the paceman drilled his former Queensland team-mate in the forearm with a shorter delivery in the over before lunch. Nash temporarily retired hurt after the blow to receive treatment, sending Dwayne Bravo in to start the second session alongside the unbeaten Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Gayle blown away
Chris Gayle promised a more gritty batting display from the West Indians prior to the second Test, and the fourth-wicket pairing of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo delivered on the pledge with a determined century stand. Gayle, however, still appeared locked in Twenty20 mode, taking to the Australian new-ball attack with frenetic urgency, highlighted by a straight six off Bollinger in his second over of the day. Bollinger exacted his revenge as Gayle, cutting too close to his body, top edged a shorter delivery into the outstretched glove of Brad Haddin. It is safe to assume that Gayle, who the previous day admitted to not knowing who Bollinger was, is familiar with him now.
The Watson two-step
Shane Watson's footwork has been under intense scrutiny this summer, and so it continued on Friday. But rather than attention centring on Watson's susceptibility to lbw decisions at the top of the order, talk instead focused on the allrounder's enterprising, though ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to reel in a catch off Bravo on the square-leg boundary. Watson caught the ball inside the rope, but with momentum taking him towards the fence, he again released it into the air. Hopes of an Adam Voges-esque catch on the second grab were dashed, however, when he stepped awkwardly over the rope and watched forlornly as the ball lobbed over the boundary for six.
Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo