The Tendulkar effect, and Dhoni's stumping skills
Most crowd-pleasing act of the day
It was the moment Sachin Tendulkar came on to bowl. As ever, he tousled his hair after he gave his hat to the umpire, flicked the ball from one hand to the other, licked his finger, and set his field. As ever, the crowd (if you could call the sparse gathering that) roared and cheered. As ever, Tendulkar walked up like Shane Warne from that extremely short run-up. There was to be no minor miracle, though, as he ended up bowling lot of tripe and was taken out of the attack.
Best fielding act of the day
Among the wicketkeepers today, MS Dhoni is the best when it comes to stumpings. It's quite a sight. The hands collect the ball and immediately move down towards the stumps. Many others gather the ball and tend to cushion that take by moving the hands slightly back. Not Dhoni. He collects and swoops down. He did it today to remove Brendon McCullum who had no time to stretch his back leg inside the crease. One other keeper who did this better and quicker, and with more grace and style, was Sadanand Viswanath . Oh, what a keeper he was.
Shot(s) of the day
The back-foot punch through covers: It seems like it would turn out to be Kane Williamson's signature shot. It's a shot he repeatedly played today with elegance and power. It was unfurled against spin and seam. It made you sit up and notice the very first time he played it today; it was the first ball after lunch and he pressed back to crunch Harbhajan Singh through covers to collect a boundary.
Athletic act of the day
Suresh Raina, at silly point, advanced towards a defensive push before his legs gave way and he ended up doing a split. Laughter. The next ball was punched hard to Raina who made a reflex stop, turned around and sported a big smile.
The slip of the day
It was a beamer from Sreesanth. It was around 138 kmph, if you believe those speed guns, and it screamed towards Williamson. Luckily for Williamson, it wasn't at the face; it dipped just above the waist and Willamson somehow managed to stab it out. Sreesanth immediately apologised. The Indian slip cordon got together for a chat. Wonder what was said.
The drop of the day
Jesse Ryder had reached a scratchy 11 when he lashed out at a length delivery outside the off stump. The ball flew off the edge at some speed and Rahul Dravid spilled it. It was a tough chance, but having got both hands to it quickly, Dravid would have expected to hold on. It would have been his 199th catch. Ryder's luck changed after that.