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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Chris on August 1, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    @LordOfCric "India biggest problem is bowling. They can't run through tailenders" - their problem is more that England only have one tailender in this team, with the world's 6th best all-rounder coming in at 10!

  • Chris on August 1, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    The intriguing point is that Dhoni has come out of this far better than if he hadn't appealed in the first place, or had withdrawn his appeal at the time when asked by the umpires. It's good to see the spirit of cricket is still alive and well - had India gone on to narrowly win the game, the win would always have been a little tainted (I'm hoping England win by rather more than 20 runs to avoid the inevitable questions).

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    @ Hamesh, according to Rahul Dravid on interview, the conversation about a potential appeal withdrawal was already taking place in the Indian dressing room. Yes, Bell was out, and he was stupid, but the controversy would've overshadowed what has been a fantastic Test match. And bringing Sidebottom into the frame is completely pointless, because that matter is irrelevant; he isn't playing in this match, and the event didn't happen against India, giving them no reason for 'revenge'. Also, the Spirit Of Cricket initiative hadn't been launched back then.

    Giving Bell out would've been pointless anyway, given the position India are in.

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    It's all about the individuality for which Dhoni gets full marks. A pyramid of negative criticisms averted wickedly by MSD.

    Strauss would have done the same too. And that's the individuality thingy that i was talking about.

    This is Good for the cricket and the relationship between the two boards. Respect!

  • Dan on August 1, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    Well done to Dhoni and the Indian team for calling Bell back, I wouldn't have done so, I doubt Strauss would either. The run out itself was a bit of sharp practice but entirely within the rules and, as India were sagging, entirely understandable. The cynic in me wonders if Dhoni calculated that exposing his team to an enraged England attack in front of a fired up crowd was not a price worth paying for the wicket of Bell but that is something we'll never know. India did a fine thing yesterday and deserve all the plaudits. They are however going to lose this Test by a wide margin.

  • Raunak on August 1, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    WELL WELL WELL!! Its seems that Dhoni has now become Hero Of Sportsmanship Spirit for the EPIC Decision for lets say 30,000 people present in the Stadium or all British team supporters. BUT what about the Angry, Hurted and Disappointed 100,00,00,00,000 INDIAN people if INDIAN CRICKET TEAM lose the series because of this so called IN THE SPIRIT decision.

  • Nitin on August 1, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    @Revington...first of all don't comapre this incident to Murali's one as Bell was attempting for 4 th run and if you don't think so go and check that video muist be avialable on you tube..@ Demon bowler and 5Wombats ..... that's why I think that this gesture of team India is not good because you people (eng) don't deserve this. First let me know why your captain and coach went to Indian team in the tea break if this decision won't be important...When India team took the decision of recaling the Bell no body know how much more runs Bell is going to be added not even Bell himself. Give the credit wherever it is due. But you don't understand that there is something called spirit of game. I am sure you only heard about it but because of Indian team now you can see that also as a part of this decision.

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    India is definitely #1, no question about that. Yeah, only when they play @home

  • Ravi on August 1, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    I BETdefinitely we are going to lose this series 3-0 and also the number1 ranking. Only Rahul Dravid has played in this series. India Badly need Sehwag and Zaheer.

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    well well!!!! m apalled by our batsmen showing !!!! no gumption it seems as if i m watching old indian team which went overseas only to come back losing matches and come back happily!!!!!

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