England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge, 3rd day July 31, 2011

Dhoni's gesture turns boos to cheers

Plays of the Day from the third day of the second Test between England and India at Trent Bridge

Gloves are off moment of the day
This isn't a reference to the heated exchanges in the commentary boxes following Michael Vaughan's tweeting but rather to when Kevin Pietersen tried to change his gloves in the first session. He tried to signal the dressing at the end of the over but he struggled to grab anyone's attention. The umpire then told him it was taking too long and the next over had to start. Pietersen wasn't impressed and it wasn't until the end of the next over that the 12th man came scurrying down the steps.

Struggling spinner of the day
Harbhajan Singh is having a tough time. He wasn't even the first spinner used in the second innings, although Yuvraj Singh coming on to bowl probably had more to do with Pietersen being at the crease. However, when Harbhajan did get the ball he again struggled and leaked 47 runs in his nine overs before leaving the field with what appeared to be a side strain. The only wicket to fall to spin went to Yuvraj.

Milestone of the day
Ian Bell's innings will be written about for many reasons, but away from all the controversy it showed how far he has come as a Test batsman. In his previous 33 innings at No. 3 he had made an unfulfilled 1006 runs at 31.44 with 10 half centuries. Here he had a chance to define a match and did so with a majestic display as his first hundred at first drop came from 129 balls on a pitch that was meant to be tough to score on. There was barely a false stroke, except for a slightly wild pull when he was 98, and three figures came with a neat clip to fine leg.

Gesture of the day
On the stroke of tea Bell became one of the central characters in a major controversy when he failed to realise the ball hadn't been called dead and was run out. The Indians appealed and after a lengthy inspection of the evidence the TV umpire gave Bell out, much to the disbelief of England. It looked for all the world as though the match would be overshadowed. As the players reappeared after the interval the home supporters disappointingly booed MS Dhoni, but suddenly it turned to cheers when they saw Bell walking down the steps. Dhoni had reversed his decision and had immediately become a hero. At the afternoon drinks break the PA asked the crowd to show their appreciation and they gave a standing ovation to the India captain.

Slip and slide of the day
Whatever the merits of these two teams in their batting and bowling there is no doubt that India's ground fielding (not the catching) lags well behind England. There are not many good movers in this line up and there were some poor efforts in the outfield. Sreesanth was twice the culprit as he failed to prevent a Bell drive reaching the rope at cover then later he made another mess of a stop at deep square-leg. India, though, seem fairly used to shrugging their shoulders at such moments although Duncan Fletcher might not feel quite the same.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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