India v Australia, 4th Test, Delhi, 1st day March 22, 2013

Ashwin's carrom ball strikes again

Plays of the day from the first day of the Delhi Test between India and Australia

Appeal of the day
When Pragyan Ojha bowled the first ball of the 26th over to Shane Watson, the Indians were confident they had a wicket. They just couldn't decide whether it was caught behind or stumped. Watson pushed forward and got his bat near the ball, and when it was safely in Dhoni's gloves, the wicketkeeper whipped the bails off for good measure. Dhoni ran towards the standing umpire Richard Kettleborough to appeal for caught behind, on the way sending a similar query to Aleem Dar at square leg to check on the stumping. Kettleborough turned him down, at which point Dhoni made the TV replay signal towards Dar, who promptly asked for the third official to rule on the stumping.

Although Dhoni was probably only ensuring the appeal had registered with Dar, his action could bring him attention from the match referee Ranjan Madugalle. The ICC's playing conditions state: "Players may not appeal to the umpire to use the replay system - breach of this provision would constitute dissent, and the player could be liable for discipline under the ICC Code of Conduct." For the record, Watson was adjudged not out.

Ball of the day
R Ashwin's carrom ball has claimed a few Australian wickets during this series, but the trick never gets old. This time the victim was Mitchell Johnson, who had not been exposed to Ashwin on this tour as it was his first match of the series. With the offspinner Ashwin coming over the wicket, and angling a ball across to pitch on off-stump, the left-handed Johnson could have been forgiven for shouldering arms, and expecting the ball to move further away. Instead, he saw it turn back towards him and hit the off stump. Johnson stood there for a few seconds, baffled by what had just transpired. The answer was simple: it was another wonderful piece of deception, from a highly talented bowler.

Over of the day, part one
Phillip Hughes made some impressive strides in the second innings in Mohali, and he wanted to ensure those gains weren't wasted in Delhi. His best chance to score quick runs was against the fast men, as he enjoys using the pace of the bowler. In the seventh over of the day, Hughes dispatched Bhuvneshwar Kumar for three wonderful boundaries, his timing and confidence growing with every shot. There was a square drive, a back-foot drive in front of point, and a drive down the ground between the bowler and mid-off. All of a sudden, Hughes was scoring at better than a run-a-ball, and the cracking pitch suddenly didn't look as ominous.

Over of the day, part two
The pitch did, however, cause Hughes some concerns a little later when Ishant Sharma got a ball to zip nastily off the surface from a good length, and Hughes was unable to get out of the way. Hughes had both feet in the air in an ungainly attempt at evasion, when the ball struck his helmet. Perhaps it put some doubts in his mind regarding the slow nature of the pitch, because three balls later, Hughes was stuck on the crease while defending tentatively, subsequently playing on, and giving Ishant his reward.

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