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Plays of the day from the second ODI between India and Australia in Jaipur
October 16, 2013
Aaron Finch had raced to his third fifty of the tour and India's bowlers didn't look like they were earning respite anytime soon. The breakthrough came via a sharp piece of fielding. The ball after Finch reached fifty with a pulled six, he pushed to mid-off and started running. He was on the back foot, though, and took that one moment extra to get going. Suresh Raina swooped on the ball, and released it swiftly to score a direct hit and catch Finch short.
Glenn Maxwell and George Bailey put on 96 in 8.3 overs and even they were to be separated by a run-out. Only this time, the batsmen brought it on themselves. Bailey had driven to long-off and was satisfied with the single. Maxwell thought about it, and charged back to what would have been the danger end had Bailey moved. However, the captain was going nowhere and raised his head only see Maxwell had reached him, and the throw had been relayed to the keeper to complete the formalities.
You don't drop Shikhar Dhawan in 2013 and expect to get away with it. A couple of tight overs at the start induced Dhawan, on 18, to have a heave at Clint McKay. Brad Haddin ran towards the steepling top-edge as it swirled over square leg. He got both gloves to it, but it popped out, and Dhawan made Australia pay with 95 off 86.
For the next five deliveries after he was put down by Haddin, Dhawan kept charging down the pitch. It was a feature of his innings, but to do it so often right after a reprieve suggested tremendous self-belief. Two of those balls yielded singles, but three of them disappeared for fours through midwicket, point and cover on the trot, Shane Watson the man to suffer.
Very few players have been given as long a rope as Rohit Sharma has been, very few have had their places questioned so consistently, and very few have divided opinion as he has. When he flayed Mitchell Johnson through cover in the 38th over, Rohit reached three figures in ODIs for the third time in 104 games, and the first time since 2010. Whatever had been building up inside him over the years let itself out in a couple of big screams. Some expletives followed for a while before he recovered enough control to acknowledge the cheers of the crowd.
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