India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 4th day February 25, 2013

Doherty strikes during lunch

Plays of the Day from the fourth day of the first Test between India and Australia in Chennai
33

The return of the opener
Shane Watson has made no secret of his desire to return to the opening position at some point and he got his wish in the second innings. David Warner was suffering from a bout of gastro, so Watson accompanied Ed Cowan to the middle to face the new ball when Australia's innings began. Watson prefers facing pace than spin, which is one of the reasons he enjoys opening, but unfortunately for him the pitch was so devoid of assistance for the fast men that India opened with spin from both ends. Watson put away a couple of boundaries - a six and a four - but perished on the last ball before lunch when he pushed forward at a ball that dropped on him and his edge lobbed to slip.

The second spinner
Whether Australia choose to alter the balance of their attack for the second Test in Hyderabad remains to be seen. The second specialist spinner in the squad, Xavier Doherty, was out in the middle of the MA Chidambaram Stadium at lunch, bowling at a single stump in the ground on one of the pitches on the edge of the wicket square. At one point, Doherty hit the one stump with five consecutive deliveries. Of course, it's much easier when MS Dhoni isn't there to belt the ball out of the ground, but all the same it was an impressive party trick.

The nastiest ball
For a while it looked like Phillip Hughes had been on the end of the trickiest delivery of the day, a spitting Ravindra Jadeja ball that bounced sharply and caught his edge. But that was surpassed later by the R Ashwin delivery that got rid of Michael Clarke, a ripping offbreak that pitched in the rough well outside off and kept fiendishly low. Clarke was rocking back to attempt a cut, but the turn and lack of bounce was so severe that his bat got nowhere near the ball, and he was struck in line and ruled lbw.

The blow
Australia didn't inflict many blows on India on the fourth day but Matthew Wade briefly landed one. He launched a big sweep off the bowling of Jadeja and it struck the short leg fielder Cheteshwar Pujara flush on the helmet. But they make helmets strong these days and Pujara showed no signs of pain and quickly resumed his position for the next ball. With so many fielders hovering around the bat throughout the innings, it was bound to happen at some point.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • greydigger on February 26, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    I was there too, watching Doherty. And he did hit the single stump often. But he was pitching far too full for match conditions... half volley length, and at a pace rather slower than any of the Indian spinners bowl... he looked to be practising at under 50mph. I don't think (unfortunately) he is the answer. If he is the best 4th or 5th bowler available, we are in trouble.

  • AKS286 on February 26, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    How well played by Prior & swann with the Bat. They provide imp. contribution at lower order. Anderson's reverse swing, Finn's pace, monty & swann's spin + Cook, KP batting other contributions like Comton, Root-- then ENG WON they works as a unit. Here Clarke axed all senior player and divided the team in senior(watson, MJ, Hauritz, haddin, Marsh) and clarke's fav (lyon, Mathew waste. maxwell, warner,cowan).

  • Praveen_Rambo on February 26, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    I think Aussie need some confidence to play spin in India.. Its very much better to drop siddle & take Doherty for the next match.. Also., watson must be taken as All-rounder rather than playing in the final Xl just as a batsman.. Its beeter to take Maxwell in place of Watson.. I want a tough fight fron the Aussie in the next match.. Even ., the top-order should play with great confidence so as to make minimun runs..

  • Prakashjha1389 on February 26, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    If any1 say ravindra jadeja is not a good player well I think u dnt even exist. The guy has massive runs in his name. Triple ton is not a piece of cake. I think the only useless player in the indian squad is bhajji, he cnt even ball properly. He must b thankful to the curator cuz pitch is turning nd that got him wicket. Rasool or ojha would be a good pick in place of bhajji. One can look for another option of murli vijay.

  • anver777 on February 26, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Aus should play two specialist spinners in these Ind conditions........ Eng did that & created history in India !!!!

  • on February 26, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Aussies may allout 230 in first innings unless that out of clarke go india goto hyderabad with 10days rough pitch

  • DEV_ME on February 26, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    Whats with the discussion on team balance ? Clearly, India have yet again not fielded the best 11. A test match is supposedly different form a one day and T20. A team does not need (in tests) 11 players who can bat and bowl. Every player needs to do his job, 6 batsmen+5 bowlers and if you want more 'security', play 7 batsmen+4 bowlers - only it say a lot of your 6 first choice batsmen, that they are not capable of performing the job they have to do. The test team does not need Jadeja+Harbhajan - with batting meriting their selction, the team needs Ojha and / or Rasool, to achieve that maybe Sehwag needs to make way for a more stable opening batsman. For the 1st test, MSD needs to use all resources tactfully, Bhuvi will need a short burst early in the morning, Ishaant might support (the most iffy player of present times) India need to go all out for a wicket, defensive feild will only give that much of a breather for the Australian fighting spirit to rear its head up !

  • vigneshvinu on February 26, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    Oz made the mistake by taking Starc, they should have gone with doherty,since he his left arm spinner he can attack the indian right handers,they should also drop siddle and bring back johnson who has experience in indian conditions and also has very good success against indians,at the same time he is handy batsmen at lower order. 1.Cowan 2. warner 3.watson 4.clarke 5.khawaja 6.wade 7.henriques 8. johnson 9. pattison 10.doherty 11. lyon i expect these team can attack the indian line up.

  • Les46 on February 26, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    for Lewis_2303 from "delusional" Aussie re your derogatory comments recently and possibly earlier concerning a totally inept cricketer called M C Henriques. I think I may speak for most "delusional" Aussies when I say that we don't mind if you make derogatory remarks about Aussie cricketers (or Aussie cricket) so long as they are factual and supportable remarks. Your comments concerning Moises Henriques' performance and ability as a cricketer were so absurdly wrong as to make me think yours were akin to a personal grudge. Before making such future comments, you should check his career and current seasonal performance, and in particular take note of his debut test performance currently against India at Chennai.

  • funkybluesman on February 26, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    @Webba84 With you on that one. No way Maxwell is ever likely to be a real test prospect.

  • greydigger on February 26, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    I was there too, watching Doherty. And he did hit the single stump often. But he was pitching far too full for match conditions... half volley length, and at a pace rather slower than any of the Indian spinners bowl... he looked to be practising at under 50mph. I don't think (unfortunately) he is the answer. If he is the best 4th or 5th bowler available, we are in trouble.

  • AKS286 on February 26, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    How well played by Prior & swann with the Bat. They provide imp. contribution at lower order. Anderson's reverse swing, Finn's pace, monty & swann's spin + Cook, KP batting other contributions like Comton, Root-- then ENG WON they works as a unit. Here Clarke axed all senior player and divided the team in senior(watson, MJ, Hauritz, haddin, Marsh) and clarke's fav (lyon, Mathew waste. maxwell, warner,cowan).

  • Praveen_Rambo on February 26, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    I think Aussie need some confidence to play spin in India.. Its very much better to drop siddle & take Doherty for the next match.. Also., watson must be taken as All-rounder rather than playing in the final Xl just as a batsman.. Its beeter to take Maxwell in place of Watson.. I want a tough fight fron the Aussie in the next match.. Even ., the top-order should play with great confidence so as to make minimun runs..

  • Prakashjha1389 on February 26, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    If any1 say ravindra jadeja is not a good player well I think u dnt even exist. The guy has massive runs in his name. Triple ton is not a piece of cake. I think the only useless player in the indian squad is bhajji, he cnt even ball properly. He must b thankful to the curator cuz pitch is turning nd that got him wicket. Rasool or ojha would be a good pick in place of bhajji. One can look for another option of murli vijay.

  • anver777 on February 26, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Aus should play two specialist spinners in these Ind conditions........ Eng did that & created history in India !!!!

  • on February 26, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Aussies may allout 230 in first innings unless that out of clarke go india goto hyderabad with 10days rough pitch

  • DEV_ME on February 26, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    Whats with the discussion on team balance ? Clearly, India have yet again not fielded the best 11. A test match is supposedly different form a one day and T20. A team does not need (in tests) 11 players who can bat and bowl. Every player needs to do his job, 6 batsmen+5 bowlers and if you want more 'security', play 7 batsmen+4 bowlers - only it say a lot of your 6 first choice batsmen, that they are not capable of performing the job they have to do. The test team does not need Jadeja+Harbhajan - with batting meriting their selction, the team needs Ojha and / or Rasool, to achieve that maybe Sehwag needs to make way for a more stable opening batsman. For the 1st test, MSD needs to use all resources tactfully, Bhuvi will need a short burst early in the morning, Ishaant might support (the most iffy player of present times) India need to go all out for a wicket, defensive feild will only give that much of a breather for the Australian fighting spirit to rear its head up !

  • vigneshvinu on February 26, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    Oz made the mistake by taking Starc, they should have gone with doherty,since he his left arm spinner he can attack the indian right handers,they should also drop siddle and bring back johnson who has experience in indian conditions and also has very good success against indians,at the same time he is handy batsmen at lower order. 1.Cowan 2. warner 3.watson 4.clarke 5.khawaja 6.wade 7.henriques 8. johnson 9. pattison 10.doherty 11. lyon i expect these team can attack the indian line up.

  • Les46 on February 26, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    for Lewis_2303 from "delusional" Aussie re your derogatory comments recently and possibly earlier concerning a totally inept cricketer called M C Henriques. I think I may speak for most "delusional" Aussies when I say that we don't mind if you make derogatory remarks about Aussie cricketers (or Aussie cricket) so long as they are factual and supportable remarks. Your comments concerning Moises Henriques' performance and ability as a cricketer were so absurdly wrong as to make me think yours were akin to a personal grudge. Before making such future comments, you should check his career and current seasonal performance, and in particular take note of his debut test performance currently against India at Chennai.

  • funkybluesman on February 26, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    @Webba84 With you on that one. No way Maxwell is ever likely to be a real test prospect.

  • on February 26, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    For south Africa Tour preparation, India should lay some hard and bouncy wickets made of hard rubber in NCA and ask our batsman to play with fastest net bowlers. Our bowlers should be trained by a Australian quickiie, may be McGrath. Why we are not doing it ? we have money and capability to do it. The touring side should assemble at NCA at least 7 days before any foreign tour to prepare.

  • balajik1968 on February 26, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    Drop Jadeja and Bhajji. One is not good enough, the other seems to be a spent force. Bring in Rahane/Tiwary and Ojha. I don't understand why India's no. 1 spinner was sidelined.

  • on February 26, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    while dhoni's innings was good, it wasnt that great, had aus had Xavier to turn the ball away from the right hander much of the indians wouldnt have been able to do anything.... DHoni just hit with the spin vs lyon, on a wicket where a ball at 152kph bounces twice before it reaches the keeper dhoni can bat on good wickets or fast wickets he cant do anything.....Aus did as england did, their main bowlers should be, Johnson,pattinson,Xavier and lyon..... seeing as lyon is prolly the only other spinner on tour... smh, hurry and come to SA India, spin wont save u there....

  • TRAM on February 25, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    Any pitch that lasts 4+ days has to be great pitch - especially when tons & 50+ are scored from both teams. Doesn't matter whether the pitch is green/grey/red or dusty/hard/soft etc. Why cant other batsmen play like Clarke or Dhoni or Kholi? Why cant other bowlers bowl like Ashwin or Pattinson? Blaming the pitch in spite of even performances is simply biased.

  • Jaffa79 on February 25, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    Bring in Doherty or Maxwell. Both distinctly average at best but worth a shot on these tracks. Drop Siddle, who is, when bowling at good batsman just fodder.

  • creekeetman on February 25, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    watson should be at 6, but clearly he, and those in charge know better. as for lyon, the old great WI team of the 70s and 80s picked their best bowlers, as it was they were all pacemen........ hint.

  • Ozcricketwriter on February 25, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    All pace is what Australia need. Henriques, Watson, Clarke, Warner and even Wade can play back up to the 4 main pace bowlers. Pattinson, Starc, Johnson and Bird must be the 4 pronged pace attack for the 2nd test. Siddle is the only one of the 4 players with prior Indian experience who has done badly in Australia, and he must make way for the better bowlers. Looking forward to seeing Starc and Johnson wreak havoc.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on February 25, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    Watching Wade try to play the sweep-shot is just excruciating. He has a seriously flawed technique, and may as well bat at number 11. An while he's at it he should lose the gloves and become Australia's 5th-change seamer. The 6th one being Nathan Lyon, naturally.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 25, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    @Naresh28, I'm sure, Aussies would be praying that Rasool won't be included in the playiing XI. Bedi paaji is a no nonsense person. I too am sure that Rasool must be a really really talented spinner who can bat almost like a regular batsman. But under Dhoni, youngsters rarely get their due.

  • Naresh28 on February 25, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    @dravid_gravitas - yes it would be nice to give Rasool a go, unfortunetly the team for 2nd game will be from the same lot. Rasool and Druv are both good spinners. rasool seems to be under the Bedi stable and I am sure judging by Bedi's comment this guy is good.

  • Webba84 on February 25, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    @binu, As a massive Aussie fan if I never see Maxwells name every again I will be a happy man.

  • binu.emiliya on February 25, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    For Aus the good selection for next match is maxwell for hughes they will get a more balanced team

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 25, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Jadeja isn't so good with the bat. Not so good with the ball. Bring in Rasool. He too may not be so good with the bat. But he sure is going to be Aussies nightmare. Ojha vs Harbhajan - that's a give away. We don't even need to debate who is a better spinner. Habhajan's 'better' batting cannot negate the superior bowling exploits of Ojha. Next match - drop Jadeja and Harbhajan and bring in Rasool and Ojha.

  • on February 25, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    Austrilla should definatly take doherthy, it will be interesting to see if they drop lyon or not, because this is a double edged sword, if indian batsman make doherthy a target like they made lyon, it will be easy pickings for runs.

  • on February 25, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    Funny Aussie have made the same mistake like England did for the first test Doherty should have played instead of Starc. Again India prepared a poor pitch with many cracks and aussies back home must be already preparing green top wickets to take revenge. All we need is a sporting wicket to make the match interesting and good.

  • Al_Bundy1 on February 25, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Agree with @SamRoy - Nobody talks how incompetent Jadeja and Harbhajan have been on a spinner's paradise. Both are half spinners. Bad selections, both of them. Play Rasool and Ojha in place of them.

  • SamRoy on February 25, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Nobody talks how incompetent Jadeja and Harbhajan have been on a spinner's paradise. Both are half spinners. Bad selections, both of them. Play Rasool and Ojha in place of them.

  • gemmy123 on February 25, 2013, 13:36 GMT

    Funny how Australia made exactly the same mistake England did in terms of selection.

  • Thefakebook on February 25, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    If Oz drop Lyon for the next game, play Xavier Doherty then the circle of crushing a spinner's confidense will be completed.Look I have a right to dream of seeing SO'K or Zampa or Hauratz play hell bring back good old JJ Krezja.But please Xavier and Lyon are what I like to call 3 wkt per Test bowlers:They never set up an win but always mess up things in one way or other(leak too many runs).

  • Samdanh on February 25, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Advice for Aussies: Announce team on 1st day of second Test. In terms of team composiion, do what Engalnd did from Test 2 in their recent series in India

  • DrDamo on February 25, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    All I wish is that the Australian selectors have asked for Mr O'Keefe and Mr Hauritz to pack their bags quickly.

  • Bruisers on February 25, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    Brilliant from Henriques. If it wasn't for Harbhajan's poor bowling on a spinner's paradise, India would have won the game by an innings and 100 runs. Hope to see Ojha in the next match.

  • on February 25, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    This looks Doherthy is certain for next match, it is to see if Lyon is retained with 2 spinners playing or any pace bowler making way for him.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on February 25, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    This looks Doherthy is certain for next match, it is to see if Lyon is retained with 2 spinners playing or any pace bowler making way for him.

  • Bruisers on February 25, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    Brilliant from Henriques. If it wasn't for Harbhajan's poor bowling on a spinner's paradise, India would have won the game by an innings and 100 runs. Hope to see Ojha in the next match.

  • DrDamo on February 25, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    All I wish is that the Australian selectors have asked for Mr O'Keefe and Mr Hauritz to pack their bags quickly.

  • Samdanh on February 25, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Advice for Aussies: Announce team on 1st day of second Test. In terms of team composiion, do what Engalnd did from Test 2 in their recent series in India

  • Thefakebook on February 25, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    If Oz drop Lyon for the next game, play Xavier Doherty then the circle of crushing a spinner's confidense will be completed.Look I have a right to dream of seeing SO'K or Zampa or Hauratz play hell bring back good old JJ Krezja.But please Xavier and Lyon are what I like to call 3 wkt per Test bowlers:They never set up an win but always mess up things in one way or other(leak too many runs).

  • gemmy123 on February 25, 2013, 13:36 GMT

    Funny how Australia made exactly the same mistake England did in terms of selection.

  • SamRoy on February 25, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Nobody talks how incompetent Jadeja and Harbhajan have been on a spinner's paradise. Both are half spinners. Bad selections, both of them. Play Rasool and Ojha in place of them.

  • Al_Bundy1 on February 25, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Agree with @SamRoy - Nobody talks how incompetent Jadeja and Harbhajan have been on a spinner's paradise. Both are half spinners. Bad selections, both of them. Play Rasool and Ojha in place of them.

  • on February 25, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    Funny Aussie have made the same mistake like England did for the first test Doherty should have played instead of Starc. Again India prepared a poor pitch with many cracks and aussies back home must be already preparing green top wickets to take revenge. All we need is a sporting wicket to make the match interesting and good.

  • on February 25, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    Austrilla should definatly take doherthy, it will be interesting to see if they drop lyon or not, because this is a double edged sword, if indian batsman make doherthy a target like they made lyon, it will be easy pickings for runs.