India v Australia, 3rd Test, Mohali, 2nd day March 15, 2013

Hughes breaks the spin deadlock

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

The run

In this series, Phillip Hughes has looked about as comfortable against spin as he did against Chris Martin's angling deliveries last summer. Again in this innings, Hughes looked incapable of scoring against the slow bowlers and spent his first 19 deliveries either defending, picking out fielders or missing. Eventually, from his 20th ball he got off the mark by pushing a single through the huge gap at cover off Ravindra Jadeja. It was the first run he had scored against spin in his past 59 balls against India's spinners in this series.

The initiation

The axing of Virender Sehwag meant Shikhar Dhawan was given his Test debut but it also forced a change to India's fielding plan. The position at first slip, usually occupied by Sehwag, was taken in this Test by Virat Kohli and he had a difficult introduction when the spinners were on. On 35, Ed Cowan cut hard off Pragyan Ojha and the ball flew past Kohli, perhaps too quick to be considered a genuine chance. But on 64 he should have had Cowan, whose thin edge off Ojha lobbed off MS Dhoni's pad and up towards slip. Kohli got his hand to the ball above his head but couldn't hold on. Eventually he had his man, when R Ashwin drew a regulation edge from Cowan, on 86, and Kohli completed the catch.

The duck

Michael Clarke has become so used to coming to the crease early that arriving at 139 for 1 was a very new experience. After the Hyderabad loss, Clarke declared that he would move up from No.5 and he decided first-drop was the spot for him in the Indian conditions. But his foray up the order didn't start well. In typical Clarke fashion, he advanced to the first delivery he faced from Jadeja, but in far from typical Clarke style, he failed to get to the pitch of the ball and it turned past his bat to allow a stumping from MS Dhoni. It was Clarke's second golden duck in Test cricket and his first as captain.

The welcome back

Brad Haddin hasn't played a Test since January last year, but when he got off the mark upon his return it was like he had never been away. Haddin defended his first two balls from Ojha and then got off the mark from his third delivery with a lovely lofted six straight down the ground, the kind of shot that Haddin has played many a time during his international career.

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

Comments