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ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the third day in Mumbai
George Dobell in Mumbai
November 25, 2012
Wicket of the day
Might this have been Sachin Tendulkar's final Test innings in Mumbai? There was an audible gasp of shock as Tendulkar was trapped leg before by a Monty Panesar delivery that did not spin and may well have been a bit quicker. It was the second time in the match that Panesar had claimed his wicket and sustained a grim run of form for the 39-year-old. Tendulkar has now not reached 20 in his last six Test innings and, as he returned to the pavilion, it was hard to avoid the feeling that, after a career in which he has defeated all opponents, he may have finally met a foe he cannot beat: time.
Near miss of the day
Had R Ashwin produced a direct hit, or even a half decent throw, Alastair Cook would have been run out for 90 in just the third over of the morning session. Responding to an optimistic call for a single from Kevin Pietersen, Cook was well short of his ground. As it was, Ashwin threw wide and allowed the England pair to pick-up an overthrow.
Milestone of the day #1
A flowing drive through extra-cover for four off Harbhajan Singh was a suitably classy way for Alastair Cook to reach the 22nd century of his Test career. Not only did that mean he had scored four centuries in four successive Tests as captain - a feat that no-one has previously achieved - but that, aged just 27, he joined Wally Hammond, Geoffrey Boycott and Colin Cowdrey as the record century scorer for England in Test cricket.
Milestone of the day #2
Cook was soon joined on the landmark figure by Kevin Pietersen. Just as Cook had, Pietersen reached his milestone with a suitably characteristic stroke: a reverse sweep off Harbhajan that went for four. Whatever the controversies that marred the end of the South Africa series, Pietersen has now produced three match-shaping Test centuries in his last eight Tests.
Mix-up of the day
Matt Prior one again looked in fine form until, sent back by Stuart Broad, his desperate dive to recover his ground was beaten by a good pick-up and throw from MS Dhoni. There had never been much chance of a run: the ball had only travelled a few yards into the off side as the delivery, from Ashwin, thudded into Prior's pads and the bowler appealed for lbw. It was a key moment, too. Prior's departure precipitated a collapse and, with England losing their last four wickets for just seven runs, India were able to restrict the first innings deficit to 86. It might have been considerably more.
Controversy of the day
Jonny Bairstow was caught at silly point by Gautam Gambhir as he tried to turn one spinning across him into the leg side. But replays showed the ball, while being juggled by Gambhir, had touched the visor of his helmet and should, therefore, have not been declared a fair. Perhaps neither Bairstow nor Gambhir noticed the ball had touched the helmet, or perhaps neither of them were fully aware of the intricacies of the laws, but neither they, nor the umpires, noticed anything untoward. But, with Bairstow's wicket also bringing the lunch* interval, England team director Andy Flower, approached the match referee and the umpires. They replied that, as Bairstow had left the playing area and tea had been called, the only way the decision could be reversed was if the India captain, MS Dhoni, rescinded his appeal. Dhoni subsequently declined to do so.
*19:13GMT, November 25: The article had previously said tea interval. This has been corrected.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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