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

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

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  • Rajan 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.

  • Nik 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.

  • John 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!

  • TR 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.

  • Dummy4 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 !

  • Peter 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.

  • Andrew 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!

  • John 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.

  • Anthony 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.

  • sri 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.

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