India v Australia, 4th Test, Delhi, 2nd day March 23, 2013

Johnson's fielding woes and Rahane's tough debut

Plays of the day from the second day of the Delhi Test between India and Australia
19

The hand hit
Cheteshwar Pujara has caused all sorts of problems for the Australians in this series but on the second day in Delhi, it was he who was on the receiving end of some pain. James Pattinson banged a delivery in short of a length and it jammed Pujara on the glove. The batsman was clearly in pain as he was attended to by the team physio, although he batted on. Still, every time he and M Vijay gave each other the fist pump during their century stand, it must have exacerbated the pain.

The helmet hit
Ajinkya Rahane was given a memorable welcome to Test cricket when, early in his debut innings, he tried to duck a Peter Siddle bouncer and couldn't get out of the way. Rahane took his eyes off the ball and it clocked him right on the top of the helmet. While it wasn't exactly the way Rahane wanted to remember his first Test innings, he picked up a leg bye from it.

The overthrows
Mitchell Johnson cost Australia eight runs in overthrows, once through his own poor throw and then by failing to back up. On the first occasion, M Vijay pushed the ball to mid-off and Johnson collected, hurled the ball way over the top of the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade's head and it ran away for four. Later in the day, Peter Siddle was alert to a possible run out when he collected in the deep and threw to the bowler's end, where MS Dhoni was dawdling. His throw just missed the stumps and should have been backed up by Johnson, but the Australian bowler was daydreaming and let it pass him by for another four overthrows.

The broken stump
Stumps are usually resilient and stand up to being hit by bowlers like Shoaib Akhtar and Shaun Tait, but a throw from the infield snapped one in half in this innings. Like most things in Test cricket, there are always spares on hand and the umpires sent for a replacement.

The tense words
India-Australia clashes have, in recent years, been known for the occasional spiteful moment but that tension has been noticeably absent from this series. That is, until the 51st over of India's innings, when the umpire appeared to warn MS Dhoni about running down the middle of the pitch. David Warner, one of the most vocal members of Australia's side, had some terse words with Dhoni and the captain, Shane Watson was brought in to control the situation. It was part of an eventful over that featured four overthrows, a huge lbw appeal from James Pattinson and a fine boundary from Ravindra Jadeja. Perhaps it was fortunate that drinks were taken at the end of the over and the tension eased.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • raj60 on March 24, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    Helmet maker should print his name on top so that he will get good exposure everytime Rahane bats.

  • sando31 on March 24, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    About time we showed some spirit and fight. For the first time in the series we let india know we were up to the fight, and i have no problem with the show of aggression. India have always been succeptable to a bit of banter and its about time they got it. But, one must ask where this aggression and fight has been all series. The aus team had just seemed to be just going through the motions before this.

  • j_knolls on March 23, 2013, 21:38 GMT

    This lad is going to be in a world of trouble in SA if he's so unlucky to be chosen on the tour!

  • TRAM on March 23, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    It is not fair to comment low of Rahane. He needs to be given many more chances, just like any other new player in to the team is. I will support ANY youngster even if he has never ever played any form of cricket than one 40+ year old who is sitting in the dressing room without any maturity appropriate for his age.

  • on March 23, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Poor Guy, His name itself is so dangerous...Every time he plays he has jinxed the team....All the Ajinkya Rahane Lovers do you see the Difference between him and Raina ? Raina tears these guys apart every time he bats...May be you still think he,Rahane, should Open the innings not come way down !

  • Chris_P on March 23, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    I have heard talk of Rahane & reviewed his fc performances, but technique wise, he is going to have HUGE problems on fast bouncing pitches. This is something he will need to address before embarking to South Africa. That is the value of preparing all types of pitches, certainly for domestic comps, to enable batsmen a complete intorduction to various pitches. You're correct, Webba 84, the bat always make the definitive statement. Dhoni knew what he was doing, the umpires, no doubt also knew, Warner, if he was that upset, should have brought it up with his skipper to make the enquiry. @Bluefunk, totally agree, techniques against short pitch bowling are very poor by everyone. Even the Indian batsmen touring Australia in 1978 (from recollection) never got hit against Thommo due to their correct technique in avoiding short pitched bowling.

  • Meety on March 23, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Best of luck Rahane, but that file pic is going up onto the wall of EVERY fast bowler's office around the world. Will need to sort that out because helmet or not - he'll get himself seriously hurt!

  • landl47 on March 23, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    @bluefunk: while I admire the courage of batsmen in the pre-helmet days, it's a very good thing helmets were brought in. I saw Ian Gould, then the Middlesex W/K and now an elite umpire, hit a fearful blow on the head by Colin Croft, the WI quick bowler. Gould was knocked out cold and taken to hospital. Fortunately he recovered but that blow might easily have done him very serious injury, maybe even killed him. I wouldn't want to see that happen again to anyone.

  • OzWally on March 23, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    Based on what we saw from Rahane today, he's going to be in a lot of trouble when he plays on a pitch with just a modicum of bounce. And @Sachin_VVS fan, Dhoni had to go to the left of Pattinson and run on the pitch? He couldn't of gone to the right around him? And that was the 2nd occurrence not the 1st.

  • sachin_vvsfan on March 23, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @HatsforBats i am not sure how many times dhoni tried running down the pitch. But i saw one instance where pattinson was blocking his way(intentionally or not) and he was forced to run on the pitch. If that was the only occassion he ran down the pitch then i dont blame him at all.

    And warner shows the same aggressive signs and he will most likely will throw away his wicket in second innings.

  • raj60 on March 24, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    Helmet maker should print his name on top so that he will get good exposure everytime Rahane bats.

  • sando31 on March 24, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    About time we showed some spirit and fight. For the first time in the series we let india know we were up to the fight, and i have no problem with the show of aggression. India have always been succeptable to a bit of banter and its about time they got it. But, one must ask where this aggression and fight has been all series. The aus team had just seemed to be just going through the motions before this.

  • j_knolls on March 23, 2013, 21:38 GMT

    This lad is going to be in a world of trouble in SA if he's so unlucky to be chosen on the tour!

  • TRAM on March 23, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    It is not fair to comment low of Rahane. He needs to be given many more chances, just like any other new player in to the team is. I will support ANY youngster even if he has never ever played any form of cricket than one 40+ year old who is sitting in the dressing room without any maturity appropriate for his age.

  • on March 23, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Poor Guy, His name itself is so dangerous...Every time he plays he has jinxed the team....All the Ajinkya Rahane Lovers do you see the Difference between him and Raina ? Raina tears these guys apart every time he bats...May be you still think he,Rahane, should Open the innings not come way down !

  • Chris_P on March 23, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    I have heard talk of Rahane & reviewed his fc performances, but technique wise, he is going to have HUGE problems on fast bouncing pitches. This is something he will need to address before embarking to South Africa. That is the value of preparing all types of pitches, certainly for domestic comps, to enable batsmen a complete intorduction to various pitches. You're correct, Webba 84, the bat always make the definitive statement. Dhoni knew what he was doing, the umpires, no doubt also knew, Warner, if he was that upset, should have brought it up with his skipper to make the enquiry. @Bluefunk, totally agree, techniques against short pitch bowling are very poor by everyone. Even the Indian batsmen touring Australia in 1978 (from recollection) never got hit against Thommo due to their correct technique in avoiding short pitched bowling.

  • Meety on March 23, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Best of luck Rahane, but that file pic is going up onto the wall of EVERY fast bowler's office around the world. Will need to sort that out because helmet or not - he'll get himself seriously hurt!

  • landl47 on March 23, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    @bluefunk: while I admire the courage of batsmen in the pre-helmet days, it's a very good thing helmets were brought in. I saw Ian Gould, then the Middlesex W/K and now an elite umpire, hit a fearful blow on the head by Colin Croft, the WI quick bowler. Gould was knocked out cold and taken to hospital. Fortunately he recovered but that blow might easily have done him very serious injury, maybe even killed him. I wouldn't want to see that happen again to anyone.

  • OzWally on March 23, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    Based on what we saw from Rahane today, he's going to be in a lot of trouble when he plays on a pitch with just a modicum of bounce. And @Sachin_VVS fan, Dhoni had to go to the left of Pattinson and run on the pitch? He couldn't of gone to the right around him? And that was the 2nd occurrence not the 1st.

  • sachin_vvsfan on March 23, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @HatsforBats i am not sure how many times dhoni tried running down the pitch. But i saw one instance where pattinson was blocking his way(intentionally or not) and he was forced to run on the pitch. If that was the only occassion he ran down the pitch then i dont blame him at all.

    And warner shows the same aggressive signs and he will most likely will throw away his wicket in second innings.

  • Webba84 on March 23, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    Warner should try talking with his bat a bit more. He might provide us Aussie fans with a win instead of cringing embarrassment that way.

  • on March 23, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Bluefunk - spot on mate -and as the one who has that skullcap now - let me assure you - had he been hit, that would have been of no use...

  • Clyde on March 23, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    Very interesting, bluefunk. I was an opening batsman pre-helmet. I would suggest we kept the bad still and tip on the ground so it would not disturb our balance and head movement in avoiding the bouncer. Only after we reckoned the ball was hitable did we move the bat. Also so as not to interfere with head movement, we kept our bodies as still as possible for as long as possible and took a lot of hits on the shoulder and ribs. Nowadays, and this may correspond with the coming of helmets, a lot of batsmen perform all sorts of movements of bat and body that may interfere with getting the head out of the way.

  • on March 23, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    A fight too late but still well done Lyon. Also, why maxwell was given bowl so late. I believe he was not played as a specialist batsman role only.

    I think this is the worst batting lineup ever of Australia.

    I remember how Hayden lofts, Langer defences, Ponting pulls, Martin drives, Lehmann flicks and Gilchrist cuts. Then McGrath swings, Lee yorks, Gillespie bounces and Warne spins. It was a long time ago.

  • vj3478 on March 23, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    It just proves that Rahane is good at domestic level only......

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on March 23, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    not a great day for Mitchell Johnson. bowling all over the place and poor fielding

  • HatsforBats on March 23, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    And yet Siddle was given an official warning with no prior unofficial caution while Dhoni gets away with running down the middle of the pitch multiple times.Seems fair. At least Dhoni will be batting last.

  • ravi_hari on March 23, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    A typical Aussie performance as we know. The first time they showed grit and determination and ready to take the fight to the enemy. I think Watson led better than Clarke. He had attacking fields to Lyon and looked to take wickets all the time. Eventhough the openers were running away with the match, he kept setting attacking fields and shuffled his bowlers well. Though bringing in Lyon late, kept him through when his rythm was excellent and was picking wickets at regular intervels. Giving short spells to pacers was good as they kept the pressure on and helped Lyon get the wickets. An absorbing day and the real test for Indians will come in the 4th innings as for the first time they might have to fight very hard to win. If Aussies manage to reduce the lead to 20-30 and put up another 250 on the board, the fourth innings will be very interesting. Watson should open with Warner and Cowan should come No.4. If Aussies get to a good start, they can consolidate and push for a win.

  • bluefunk on March 23, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    There has been much recent debate here on Cricinfo and elsewhere on whether Test cricket is no longer as tough for the batsmen as it once used to be; plays like Rahane getting pinged on the helmet today provide interesting grist to this particular mill. Once upon a time, batting techniques simply had to be good enough to avoid blows like these. There just was no option to sacrifice technique and take the blow instead, knowing the helmet will handle it without causing any significant discomfort to the batsman. Cases like this just increase my respect a bit more for the likes of Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander and Sunny Gavaskar; Gavaskar I think scored a 85-ball hundred against the mighty Windies on this very ground in 1983, facing the likes of Holding and Marshall, wearing only a floppy sun-hat with a skull-cap underneath...

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  • bluefunk on March 23, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    There has been much recent debate here on Cricinfo and elsewhere on whether Test cricket is no longer as tough for the batsmen as it once used to be; plays like Rahane getting pinged on the helmet today provide interesting grist to this particular mill. Once upon a time, batting techniques simply had to be good enough to avoid blows like these. There just was no option to sacrifice technique and take the blow instead, knowing the helmet will handle it without causing any significant discomfort to the batsman. Cases like this just increase my respect a bit more for the likes of Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander and Sunny Gavaskar; Gavaskar I think scored a 85-ball hundred against the mighty Windies on this very ground in 1983, facing the likes of Holding and Marshall, wearing only a floppy sun-hat with a skull-cap underneath...

  • ravi_hari on March 23, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    A typical Aussie performance as we know. The first time they showed grit and determination and ready to take the fight to the enemy. I think Watson led better than Clarke. He had attacking fields to Lyon and looked to take wickets all the time. Eventhough the openers were running away with the match, he kept setting attacking fields and shuffled his bowlers well. Though bringing in Lyon late, kept him through when his rythm was excellent and was picking wickets at regular intervels. Giving short spells to pacers was good as they kept the pressure on and helped Lyon get the wickets. An absorbing day and the real test for Indians will come in the 4th innings as for the first time they might have to fight very hard to win. If Aussies manage to reduce the lead to 20-30 and put up another 250 on the board, the fourth innings will be very interesting. Watson should open with Warner and Cowan should come No.4. If Aussies get to a good start, they can consolidate and push for a win.

  • HatsforBats on March 23, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    And yet Siddle was given an official warning with no prior unofficial caution while Dhoni gets away with running down the middle of the pitch multiple times.Seems fair. At least Dhoni will be batting last.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on March 23, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    not a great day for Mitchell Johnson. bowling all over the place and poor fielding

  • vj3478 on March 23, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    It just proves that Rahane is good at domestic level only......

  • on March 23, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    A fight too late but still well done Lyon. Also, why maxwell was given bowl so late. I believe he was not played as a specialist batsman role only.

    I think this is the worst batting lineup ever of Australia.

    I remember how Hayden lofts, Langer defences, Ponting pulls, Martin drives, Lehmann flicks and Gilchrist cuts. Then McGrath swings, Lee yorks, Gillespie bounces and Warne spins. It was a long time ago.

  • Clyde on March 23, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    Very interesting, bluefunk. I was an opening batsman pre-helmet. I would suggest we kept the bad still and tip on the ground so it would not disturb our balance and head movement in avoiding the bouncer. Only after we reckoned the ball was hitable did we move the bat. Also so as not to interfere with head movement, we kept our bodies as still as possible for as long as possible and took a lot of hits on the shoulder and ribs. Nowadays, and this may correspond with the coming of helmets, a lot of batsmen perform all sorts of movements of bat and body that may interfere with getting the head out of the way.

  • on March 23, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Bluefunk - spot on mate -and as the one who has that skullcap now - let me assure you - had he been hit, that would have been of no use...

  • Webba84 on March 23, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    Warner should try talking with his bat a bit more. He might provide us Aussie fans with a win instead of cringing embarrassment that way.

  • sachin_vvsfan on March 23, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @HatsforBats i am not sure how many times dhoni tried running down the pitch. But i saw one instance where pattinson was blocking his way(intentionally or not) and he was forced to run on the pitch. If that was the only occassion he ran down the pitch then i dont blame him at all.

    And warner shows the same aggressive signs and he will most likely will throw away his wicket in second innings.