ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
India v Australia, World Cup 2011, Ahmedabad
Wasted reviews, and the perfect legbreak
Plays of the Day from the quarterfinal between India and Australia in Ahmedabad
Brydon Coverdale and Nagraj Gollapudi at Motera
March 24, 2011
The shot of the day
At his best, Ricky Ponting makes batting look as easy as breathing. Unfortunately for Australia, his best has not often been seen in the past year. But when Ponting advanced down the pitch and lifted Yuvraj Singh over cover for six, it appeared as simple as playing a forward defence. Ponting played some fine shots in his innings, but that stroke, which took him to 72, was the "wow" moment.
R Ashwin was so certain that he had Cameron White caught behind in the 38th over that he didn't even bother appealing, clapping as he walked down the wicket to congratulate MS Dhoni on the catch. There was just one problem. White wasn't going anywhere, and the umpire Marais Erasmus hadn't raised his finger. A review was inevitable, but the replays showed Erasmus was spot on - the ball had lobbed up off White's forearm as he tried to sweep, and had not touched his gloves as the bowler thought.
When Brad Haddin flung hands, shoulders, bat and bloody murder straight towards Munaf Patel in his second over, the man called Munna would have seen his life - or at least the World Cup - flash in front of his eyes. When Kevin Pietersen had lashed one at him in Bangalore, Munaf had flung up his hands to stop the ball, landed on his derriere, and seen the ball pop up tamely for the easiest of return catches. In Ahmedabad, Haddin's retort had been so fierce, that the ball burst through his palms and screamed all the way to the boundary.
The Warne moment
Sachin Tendulkar brought the full house to its feet by coming on to bowl the 30 over. Having bowled a full toss on his second ball, Tendulkar might have given the Aussies a false sense of comfort. His next delivery was a perfect slow leg break, straight out of Shane Warne's book. The flight was perfect, luring Ponting to come out, but then it dipped and then it turned square, leaving Ponting, the Indians and the 45,000 fans gasping.
The DRS moment
India got their DRS reviews muddled not once but twice. Egged on by Munaf, Dhoni asked for a review when Brad Haddin was hit on the left thigh. Even the naked eye could tell that the ball, even if it had pitched on middle, was travelling over the stumps. Replays confirmed that and the Indians returned to business abashed. The second review was used unsuccessfully for the Ashwin-White appeal. Once strident opponents of the DRS, the Indians were in a rush to use it today, and eventually Ricky Ponting escaped a certain lbw shout when on 91.
Catch controversy of the day
Ricky Ponting. India. A catch that fell short. It had all the combustible ingredients required for an A-grade blow-up. When Gautam Gambhir clipped a Shane Watson delivery to square leg and Ponting dived forward in an attempt to get his fingers under the ball. It wasn't immediately clear whether a clean catch had been taken. But lest there be any flashbacks to Sydney, Ponting didn't appear to claim the catch this time, and let the umpires decide what to do. They went upstairs for help and the TV official saw a replay that clearly showed the ball bouncing short of Ponting's hands. The crowd was unhappy with the Australia captain, but he seemed to have done nothing wrong, uncertain if he had grasped the ball cleanly or not.
Harikari of the day
Two overs, four balls, three run-out chances. India needed 94 with six still standing, Ricky Ponting, who could hit a bulls eye wearing a pirate's patch a year ago, squandered the first juicy chance. Yuvraj Singh tapped Mitchell Johnson to the leg side, straight towards Ponting at midwicket. Yuvraj was disinclined to sprint, but his partner Gautam Gambhir was already out off the blocks. He was turned away by Yuvraj, was left stranded out of the crease, but Ponting who failed to pick up the ball cleanly, and when he did, his throw missed by inches.
Two balls later there was more. Yuvraj played all over a fastish David Hussey delivery, and the ball rolled towards the unmanned leg side. Gambhir screamed for a single. Yuvraj, disinterested initially, started and stopped. Gambhir twisted and turned. But Brad Haddin, who had rushed to collect the ball threw to the wrong end. Gambhir, who was left stranded for the second time, walked back to safety. Amazingly the duo had another absolutely identical brain fade off the very next delivery. Gambhir was left stranded and fuming, and this time the Aussies made sure they were not going to let the Indian pair escape. Gambhir walked off shaking his head in disgust and mouthing abuse that would have horrified a few million parents watching with offspring for company.
Brydon Coverdale and Nagraj Gollapudi are assistant editors at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Nagraj Gollapudi
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