India v Australia, 3rd Test, Mohali, 4th day March 17, 2013

The forgotten talents of Smith and Haddin

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the fourth day in Mohali

Change of the day
The three overs Steven Smith bowled on the third day were hardly an encouraging audition for further bowling but Michael Clarke turned to his part-time legspinner in the final over before lunch, hoping to winkle a wicket with the batsmen cautiously playing for the break. Lo and behold, the first ball Smith delivered was accurate and turned, and caught the inside edge of Sachin Tendulkar's bat, popping off bat and pad to Ed Cowan at short-leg. It was the first Test wicket Smith had taken since he claimed three on debut in 2010, and it's fair to say it will remain his most memorable for some time.

Rapid promotion of the day
This time last week Brad Haddin was in Australia preparing for a Sheffield Shield match, having not played a Test in more than a year. But on day four in Mohali, he found himself acting captain on field for the Australians in the third Test when Michael Clarke went off on a number of occasions to have treatment for back soreness. Haddin is an experienced leader and in the absence of the regular vice-captain Shane Watson, was the natural man to take charge. But it was certainly a rapid rise given where he was last week.

Bat-before-wicket of the day
Any series involving India is bound to involve its share of controversy surrounding the lack of DRS. This time Cheteshwar Pujara was the victim of a decision that could have been overturned had the system been in place. The umpire Aleem Dar was quick to raise his finger when Peter Siddle angled the ball in and appealed for lbw with Pujara on 1 and the batsman stood at the crease for a few seconds before trudging off. It turned out Pujara had reason to be unhappy with the decision - replays confirmed a thick inside edge before the bat struck his pad.

Anticlimax of the day
After Shikhar Dhawan's remarkable first day of Test batting finished with him unbeaten on 185, it seemed like only a formality that he would become the sixth man to score a double-century on Test debut. But he was only able to add two to his overnight score before he pressed forward to Nathan Lyon and nudged a catch to Ed Cowan in close on the off side. Dhawan was out for 187 and any fans hoping for a repeat of Saturday's heroics were disappointed.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 18, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    I think Tendulkar just wants 16k runs - or 200 tests and then he will hang up the whites.. Good captaincy by Clarke once again bringing on Smith to get rid of him. Tendulkar no longer has the concentration required for the top level.. His lapses in focus happening more and more frequently - he knows he must go soon

  • Srinivas on March 18, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    Gotta feel for Pujara. 3 wrong decisions in 7 innings for him. yorkshire-86, all it takes is a slo-mo replay to know about inside edge LBW. Get a life. Will ya, 'digital-age' kid?

  • Simon on March 18, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    Pujara seems to be one of those batsmen who attract bad decisions. Maybe the BCCI could just let him have DRS!

  • Stephan on March 18, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    TRAM: that would be one way to go, although I think it would end up a lot like DRS, where batsmen use it "tactically".

    I think the best way to go is Ian Chappell's suggestion: just get the replays quickly to the 3rd umpire, so he can have a look before the batsman leaves the field; if it's clear that the ball hit the bat before the pad (if at all), then the on-field umpires can recall the batsman.

    No room for players to abuse the system, and every LBW is quickly reviewed. It may not be 100% perfect---cases where bat and pad are very close together may be difficult to change, even with slow-mo replay. But those are not spectacular errors from the on-field umpire, anyway. A quick glance at one replay should be enough to prevent batsmen being dismissed LBW when they have clearly hit the ball first.

  • Dummy4 on March 18, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    @ TRAM - this system that you describe already exists - it's called DRS. But India refuses to use it so all you whinging Indians have no one to blame but your own board. I wish Indian's would stop complaining about umpiring, it's your own fault you can't review decisions so live with your choices.

  • Harvey on March 17, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    Prediction, Tendulkar century in the fourth test then he retires. You heard it here first.

  • Jeff on March 17, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    Pujara has noone to blame for his dismissal but his own board. There are 2 games been played in the world at the moment - a Stone Age game resembling cricket (no DRS) and a Digital Age game called cricket (using DRS). Until thier board get out of the Stone Age noone has any sympathy whatsoever for bad desicions against Indians.

  • TR on March 17, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    ICC, please change the rules. The batsman should be allowed to claim he edged/not edged if the umpire gave wrong out. Period.

    Doesn't matter which team batsman it is. This is plain wrong. It has destroyed match results & young players' careers. Even the best AleemDar missed a clear edge on to the pads (Pujara). What is wrong in the batsman telling the umpire if he is clearly not out, and when it is easy to verify? Wrong "Edge" decisions happens at the most once or twice a day. So this rule wont waste lot of match time.

    To explain, in the case of lbw, the batsman should be allowed to claim he edged it, if that is the case. In the case of bat-pad catch, he should be allowed to claim he did not edge it if that is the case. If the edge is not visible via the replay and the snicko , the umpire should conclude there was no edge. If the batsman makes wrong claim penalize them. (they wont, because it would be obvious in most cases).

  • Mark on March 17, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    I agree with Gopalan Ramachandran, Steve Smith is a very talented cricketer. I get sick of seeing all the comments bagging him out. So what if he is a little unorthodox? He's only played a handful of tests. Give him time to settle and I'm sure he will thrive. His batting has improved since he has decided to concentrate on that. His fielding is as good as anyone in the team, except maybe Clarke or Warner.

    His bowling has dropped off a bit since he has been concentrating on his batting, but with a little practice he can still be a handy part timer, as shown yesterday.

  • thomas on March 17, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    It is unfair sachin continues along holding up spot for a young Rahane. He should move on time to try the young ones....experience if not translated into runs then probably he can tour as an or motivator etc- not as a batsman