Pujara's debut and Vijay's quick reflexes
The debutant moment
Cheteshwar Pujara wouldn't have expected to make his debut during this series. Things, however, have changed quickly. In Mohali, he substituted for VVS Laxman, and pulled off a stunner at silly point. On the morning of the Bangalore Test, Laxman pulled out with a bad back and Pujara got his first Test cap. Minutes into the game, he made a diving save, and glanced straight at the giant screen to watch the replay. A nice little moment that summed up what a debutant goes through: a little doubt, lots of enthusiasm, and of course, the desire to see how that cap fits.
The lesson learned
Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting were going well in Mohali when Watson called Ponting for a single after the ball ricocheted off the forward short leg's body. Ponting was run out in a massive turning point. Bangalore provided a déjà vu moment when Watson turned Harbhajan Singh to leg, and the ball deflected off M Vijay's body. The batsman on the other end was Ponting. This time the call from Watson was a loud and clear "no!"
The close call
In Nagpur earlier this year, Vijay surprised Jacques Kallis on numerous occasions with his quick reflexes. Kallis was at the non-striker's end and Vijay was so quick, he nearly ran him out when backing up. He collects the ball at forward short leg and lets rip, giving the non-striker no time to recover. He did that with Marcus North today, but missed the stumps and conceded four overthrows. The replays showed it was worth a try because he would have caught North short had he hit.
After booing Ricky Ponting and friends as they came out to bat, the Bangalore crowd got cheeky. Adam Gilchrist was one of the spectators and he was cheered loudly. A banner read: "Look Punter, Gilly is on our side."
The bowling change
MS Dhoni's honeymoon period as India captain may have ended, but he still comes up with inspired moves every now and then. Today's came when Ponting and North had added 58 for the fifth wicket, and there wasn't much reverse swing on offer because of the damp conditions. He brought on Suresh Raina to bowl the 76th over, and with the second ball, a gentle offbreak that Ponting looked to work around the corner and missed, got India the prized wicket. That was the difference between Australia's day and having the honours even.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo