India v Sri Lanka, CB Series, Brisbane February 21, 2012

Old, slow legs?

ESPNcricinfo presents Plays of the Day for the match between India and Sri Lanka in Brisbane

The six
The Gabba is one of the bouncier and livelier pitches in the world. If any evidence was needed, it was provided in the sixth over of the Sri Lanka innings. It was Umesh Yadav's fourth delivery of the day, short and quick. Tillakaratne Dilshan went for the hook and top-edged it. Immediately, you looked at the third man fielder to see how well he was positioning himself for the catch. And you saw no hope, no anticipation in his movements, because the ball sailed well over his head, into the stands.

The "old, slow" legs
Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir are not supposed to play together because they cost India 20 runs in the field. You wouldn't believe it if you saw Mahela Jayawardene's dismissal. In the 19th over, with Sri Lanka well placed at 0 for 95, he pulled Irfan Pathan wide of midwicket, but Sehwag fell across to his left to take a stunning catch.

The field setting
That Lahiru Thirimanne had been out of form before this innings became evident with the welcome he received to the crease. Sri Lanka were going well then, at 3 for 124 in the 28th over, but Sehwag, a conservative captain otherwise, crowded him up with seven fielders inside the circle.Thirimanne responded with a beautiful cover-drive off the fifth ball he faced, which went for four.

The other side of the "old, slow legs"
In the 38th over of the Sri Lankan innings, Dinesh Chandimal pushed R Ashwin to Suresh Raina at short midwicket. Chandimal sent Thirimanne back, and Raina went for a direct hit, which the fielder at mid-off couldn't back up. Sehwag at cover, though, didn't move towards the stumps.

The drink
India had just come out to bat, Sehwag had just holed out to the second ball he faced, Sachin Tendulkar was yet to face a ball. MS Dhoni, not playing this game because of the over-rate ban - charged on with the drinks for Tendulkar. Did Tendulkar need drinks without having faced a ball? Was Dhoni carrying a message? We wouldn't know because Tendulkar waved Dhoni away when he was about 20 yards away.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dilhan on February 22, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    sachin greater than bradman??? seriously?? i just wonder how sachin would have faced bodyline without a helmet.

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    hope india turns victorious against aussies and lankans, which is unlikely to happen. but anything can happen in cricket, there isnt any point discussing about sachin or sehwag the whole team should be held responsible for the lass and i hope indians will overcome this defeaf

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    It's hard to understand Dhoni's obsession with Ravindra Jadeja. There is no solid contribution from him. I don't know how many chances like these, India owe him.Irfan Pathan should be in his place. Ashwin is quite close to an all rounder. We don't need two spinners.

  • Ravi on February 21, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    Sachin is Great, He was the BEST, He is a God, He is greater than Bradman, Gavaskar, Richards, Lara or any other batsman ever. But the present facts are: God is at his worst ever averaging 18 from all his 5 one day games (2,48,15,3,22). Not sure how long can this God stay there without scoring? He should withdraw from the CB series and he can play later series in Indian pitches for sure to complete his 100th 100. How foolish to continue him in CB Series even after averaging 35.81 in the tests (73,32,41,80, 15, 8, 25, 13). India is playing with only 10 players along with God. It will be an year by March 2012, God has been aiming for his 100. Even Ashwin could hit one but God is still trying to. Not sure How long India can effort playing only with 10 players. Oh Real-God save India :).

  • crik on February 21, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    Take my money & deposit into your bank account: India will not win anymore games in this CB series. They are done and they are playing for their individual purposes. I see Shastri in Kohli who has become just an annoying thing to see. How come acting captain always play irresponsibly? Sehwag thinks he is an auto entry into the team and scores baseball runs. BCCI must hire foreign selectors in order to give every Indian cricketer an equal opportunity. 1.3 billion Indians, and the national team has only 2 spots available for the talented youngsters waiting impatiently on benches and they keep snubbed game after game. It doesn't happen with Aus, SA or Eng. BTW, why do SL and Indian who live in Aus cheer for India or SL? Shame on them- they migrated to Aus to have a "life" and dissing Aus while living in AUs.

  • Dummy4 on February 21, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    Sehwag hardly seems to have any credentials to be a captain. The last two overs by raina and kohli clearly exposes two things - his lack of shrewdness and seriousness. Good captains like Dhoni wouldn't bank on luck. Its good that Dhoni is finally voicing his opinion - seniors have to move on. Good fielding will always make a difference, courtesy SL. And to those who put Irfan's obscurity blame on Dhoni: if he was retained back then, it would have wrecked his entire confidence. Now that two balls are being used at either ends, its the perfect time for his comeback. Good luck Team India

  • Brij on February 21, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    Not sure whom to blame. Even Zaheer has been in and out of the eleven in this whats the big deal all about? Sachin's 100?

  • savs on February 21, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    Well played Sri Lanka, we played brilliantly and outclassed India in all departments. There is no point arguing with some Indian fans as even with a defeat like this, they don't appreciate the way we played. I hope SL go into the final with Aus because if India do, they and their fans will forget the 8-0 defeats againts Aus and Eng and make excuses about how good they are. I use to really enjoy the way india played as they still have such good players even without Dhoni in the team but it's really disturbing the way their players have played after the WC. The new players like Kohli and Ahwin ect.. are so rude and undisciplined, they should learn from Tendulkar and Dhoni. I hope India doesn't treat Tendulkar the same way Aus treated Ponting, forget the hundreth 100. He is absoloutley amazing and a couple of low scores doesn't mean he should retire, the best players should play for their team for as long as the player can.

  • Dilhan on February 21, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    I'm Sri Lankan and we would be more than happy to see MSD not playing against us.

  • Hari on February 21, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    Cricket has to borrow some ideas from Chess on 'laws of the the game' and 'spirit of the game'. 2 analogies from cricket come to my mind: 1) Touchmove - if a player touches a piece, accidentally, pensively or otherwise, he HAS to move it. No excuses. 2) Stalemate: it is a strategy to force a draw - though a similar thing in cricket would be seen as against the 'spirit fo the game'. Laws are made to be followed, not ignored, given a short shrift and made secondary to the game itself. Umpire had no business to pass the buck. OUT and he had to be given OUT! Poor strategy and execution by Indians.

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