Mohali curse strikes Tendulkar again
The Mohali curse
When Sachin Tendulkar played across the line of a Marcus North delivery, he sent the stadium into a disbelieving quiet. Turns out watching Tendulkar miss centuries has been the fate of the Mohali crowd ever since he last made a hundred here in 1999-2000 against New Zealand. This is the fifth one he has missed here since then, and third in his last four efforts. A measure of how unlucky he has been is that he was once caught by a diving Kamran Akmal on 99!
When Ishant Sharma got out just after the drinks break in the morning session, Rahul Dravid patted his back as he passed the non-striker's end. It was well-deserved consolation: Ishant might have not been able to give it his all with the ball because of a knee injury, but he stayed well beyond duty hours as the nightwatchman. He defended resolutely, even hit three boundaries, and scored 18 in his stay of over an hour.
The confidence, lack of
Nathan Hauritz got off to a nervous start on day two, starting with a full toss that went for four, and bowling two overs for 15. Today, though, with Ishant and Dravid batting more peacefully than Virender Sehwag, Ricky Ponting got through Hauritz's overs in the morning, and it seemed the bowler might be growing in confidence. However, as soon as Ishant got out, Ponting went to his strike bowlers. That wouldn't have done Hauritz's confidence much good.
The anti team-mate
Last Sunday, Doug Bollinger and Suresh Raina were celebrating an "emotional" Champions League T20 triumph. Turns out a week in modern cricket is pretty long time. Bollinger saw Raina come out to bat this Sunday, and gave him a bouncer right away, which hit him in the shoulder. That should teach him to pull Dougie's hair manicly.
The anti team-mate, part II
Before the starts of their spells, all bowlers bowl a few mock deliveries to the man at mid-off or mid-on. Shane Watson did that, too, to Ben Hilfenhaus at mid-off. Except he bowled at full pelt, and twice almost hurt Hilfenhaus who must have been some 10 yards away. The pace didn't quite translate to Watson's actual bowling: the keeper was soon standing up to the stumps.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo