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

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