India v Australia, 1st Test, Mohali, 2nd day

Ishant gets booed, Sehwag joins elite company

Plays of the day from the second day of the first Test between India and Australia in Mohali

Sidharth Monga in Mohali

October 2, 2010

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Mitchell Johnson played powerful shots to the leg-side boundary, India v Australia, 1st Test, Mohali, 2nd day, October 2, 2010
Mitchell Johnson helped Australia shift to a higher gear © AFP
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The intent
Until Mitchell Johnson came out to bat, Harbhajan Singh had been allowed to bowl pretty much wherever he wanted to. Johnson saw three deliveries, and then lofted him over long-on for the first six of the innings. Soon came the lunch break. After lunch, the after-effects of that six could be felt. Harbhajan resumed bowling to Johnson with a long-on, deep midwicket and deep backward square leg in place.

The change
Of his 30 overs, Zaheer Khan bowled the first 25 from the Pavilion End. It made sense too, for he was bowling really well from that end. Once the Johnson-Tim Paine partnership started assuming alarming proportions, and Zaheer was hit for back-to-back fours, MS Dhoni switched him to the City End. And lo, Zaheer removed Johnson first ball.

The after-you moment
Dhoni usually has some fine gentlemen for company in slips. Sachin Tendulkar is respected the world over, Rahul Dravid is always proper in his conduct, VVS Laxman is, well, a Hyderabadi. Perhaps there is too much gentlemanliness floating around in the Indian slips as Dhoni thought it better to give Dravid an opportunity to add to his 197 Test catches when a Paine edge bisected him and first slip. This is the second time such territorial confusion has happened with Dhoni in less than four months, after he failed to go for a catch between him and first slip in Galle.

The statistic
When Virender Sehwag cut Nathan Hauritz for a single in the 13th over of the innings, he joined Vivian Richards and Gautam Gambhir to have scored a half-century or more in 11 straight Tests. Gambhir was right there to congratulate him.

The boo
Sehwag's dismissal less than 10 minutes from stumps was, of course, a sad event for the weekend crowd at the PCA Stadium, but soon they realised who the next batsman would be, and cheered up again, chanting "Sachin, Sachin", rushing to the front rows to catch a glimpse of the man walking out to bat. Alas, they saw Ishant Sharma walk out as the nightwachman, and gave him the booing of his life. And it had nothing to do with his 11.4 overs for 71 runs, or the 10 no-balls that he bowled.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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