India v Australia, 3rd Test, Mohali, 3rd day March 16, 2013

Dhawan 'Mankaded' before dream debut

Plays of the Day from the third day of the third Test between Australia and India

'Accidental Mankad' of the day
Everyone who witnessed Shikhar Dhawan's Test debut will remember it for his exquisite strokeplay. It could have been memorable for all the wrong reasons. As Mitchell Starc ran in to bowl the first ball of the innings, Dhawan stood at the non-striker's end, ready to back up. But the ball slipped from Starc's hand as he neared the crease and hit the stumps with Dhawan out of his ground, already backing up. Under the ICC's playing conditions, because Starc had not yet completed his normal delivery swing, Dhawan would have been run out had Australia appealed. But there was no diamond duck on debut for Dhawan as Australia were not interested in appealing, although Michael Clarke jokingly signalled for a replay.

Despite all the excitement, it is highly debatable if Dhawan would have been given out even if Australia had appealed. The ball slipped out of Starc's hand, which means no attempt was made to mankad Dhawan. The wording of law 42.15 under the ICC playing conditions is open to interpretation, but some umpires are of the view that an attempt at mankading has to be intentional. We might never know how the umpires would have reacted had an appeal been made in this case.*

Lower-order shot of the day
Mitchell Starc played some excellent strokes on his way to 99 but the shot that signalled his intentions was his first boundary of the day. The ninth ball of the morning was a bouncer that Ishant Sharma hoped might get the lower-order batsman second-guessing himself. Instead, Starc simply stayed on the front foot and hooked the ball from in front of his face away to the midwicket boundary. It was the shot of a confident man.

Top-order shot of the day
How to choose? Dhawan hardly played a stroke that wasn't magnificent. There were backfoot square drives, crisp frontfoot drives, flicks through leg, sweeps - and his placement was impeccable. But for sheer unexpectedness on debut, Dhawan's reverse-paddle against Xavier Doherty takes the honour. Dhawan picked a fullish ball that was just outside off stump and reverse-swept it very fine past Brad Haddin. The ball ran away along the ground for four, and it was part of an over that cost Doherty 18 runs.

Predictable spell of the day
Steven Smith played his first Test as Australia's specialist spinner but has switched his focus firmly to his batting in the last couple of years, so much so that this Sheffield Shield season, he has sent down only 15 overs. When Australia had a net set up on the pitch for centre-wicket practice after the Hyderabad Test, Smith was handled with ease by the otherwise struggling Phillip Hughes. But as Dhawan and M Vijay kept piling up the runs against Australia's five main bowlers, it was inevitable that Smith would eventually be given a trundle. His three-over spell was littered with full tosses and rank long hops and he was lucky to escape with only 24 runs having come off his 18 balls.

* 6.48pm GMT, March 16: The copy has been updated after reviewing the laws of the game.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Owen on March 17, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    @trumpoz - agreed, and the way clarke joked about the replay proves your point. I love the fact cricket still has these gentlemans agreements: 'don't take the mickey when you're backing up and I won't break up play by trying to run you out.' Thats why it always seems like a dirty tactic, because it's breaking a gentlemans agreement.

  • Srinivas on March 17, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    @trumpoz, batsmen have no business to take unfair advantage and expect not to get Mankaded. I'll Mankad them everytime if they unsportingly venture out of their crease. How is it sporting of them that they reach the other end a second earlier than what they should really be taking, is something that I'll never understand. If what you said is the Aussie stand, then they should get a crash course in sportsmanship. You don't reward a batsman for his unsporting behaviour. Simple! And venturing out of his crease is downright unsportsmanly.

  • richard on March 17, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    I find it almost laughable that people are talking about not appealing for mankad as a sporting gesture from Clarke. There are a large majority of Australian cricket fans that view mankad as a dirty (although legal) form of dismissal. I think it is a disgraceful dismissal method. I reckon if Clarke or any other Australian cricketer appealed for that dismissal the media back here in Oz would be calling for their heads. I have never seen an Australian attempt a mankad and never want to.

    Anyways - well done to Shikhar Dhawan on destroying the Aussie attack on debut.

  • Chetan on March 17, 2013, 1:45 GMT

    Their no issues here, no problem at all. Cricket was played as usaul...Do not give credit to Clarke or Aussie players..Good they did not would have been backfired and people would be asking questions to them right now..

  • Srinivas on March 17, 2013, 1:13 GMT

    Sorry Brydon, I just saw what Sharda had to say in her article. I apologise to you. I think the appeal wouldn't have been upheld because there was no attempt by the bowler to run him out. The rule seems to say that it has to be an attempt. In this case it was a slip. So, it is reasonable to conclude that the appeal wouldn't have been upheld. Sorry for my ignorant comments.

  • Srinivas on March 17, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    @wolf777, yes I disagree with Brydon's interpretation that Mankading appeal was on in this incident. Dhawan's debut century is not due to Clarke's decision to not to appeal. The premise of the article renders itself to the conclusion that Dhawan could be back in the pavilion had Clarke appealed. That's a factual error which is begging to be clarified unequivocally because the appeal wouldn't have been upheld, had Clarke appealed. The bowler was well into his stride and Mankading option ceases to exist from that point forward. Next, not appealing for a notout is not a sporty gesture unlike what you are saying about Clarke not appealing for this incident. Clarke is indeed a great bloke who can bridge gaps between teams, fans and countries. It's a pleasure to have him and his troops here as our Guests. Vaughn is probably the most repulsive bloke around suggesting Vaseline and stuff like that against VVS. I would appeal for everything against him. Praise Dada.

  • Andrew on March 16, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    I realised that some people don't wish to afford Clarke a "sporty jesture", but he did. It is definitely possible for that decision to be given out, and it is virtually impossible that the Australians would even consider appealing in those circumstances.

  • Amit on March 16, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    @ Dravid_Gravitas rule could be debatable here as I see that you disagree with Byron's interpretation. However, Michael Clarke was still a very much a gentleman in not even considering appealing…and one must appreciate a nice gesture regardless. Compare this to Michael Vaughn 'Handle the ball' in Bangalore. Even though Vaughn was at fault by touching the ball, the ball was not rolling onto the stump. I am an Indian supporter; but, I didn't find that very sporting gesture from Sourav Ganguly who could have withdrawn the tame appeal from then newcomers Sehwag and Sarndeep Singh. Of course it was a very sporting gesture by Dhoni in Bell incident.

  • Srinivas on March 16, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    @wolf777, sporty gesture is when you allow a batsman to continue even though he is out as per rules (like Bell in England being allowed by Dhoni to continue though Bell was out as per rules). As per Mankading rules, Dhawan can't be given out as the bowler was already in his delivery stride.

  • Srinivas on March 16, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    @Yogi108, there's no case for Mankading there - the bowler was already in his delivery stride. Mankading cannot be allowed at the point. If I know it, I think the players too know that as well as the umpires and the match-referee. Mankading itself looks controversial and if a team or captain appeals for it when it cannot be given out, they would look like bullies playing gully cricket.