India v New Zealand, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 5th day November 8, 2010

Vettori flaps and Harbhajan smacks

ESPNcricinfo staff
Plays of the Day from the fifth day of the first Test between India and New Zealand in Ahmedabad

Chicken-flap of the day
Daniel Vettori did a Jason Gillespie. He flapped his arms as he ran up to bowl to Harbhajan Singh, who stopped him just before release. Vettori acted as if he was annoyed. Harbhajan smiled and so did the close-in fielders. Gillespie did that to try and disturb the focus of VVS Laxman in that Test in 2001. Harbhajan should take it as tribute to his batsmanship.

The escape of the day
In the third over of the day, Harbhajan Singh drove the ball to the left of mid-off and ran. It was the same position from where Martin Guptill ran Virender Sehwag out yesterday evening. Vettori was the fielder this time, but he missed the stumps. Harbhajan survived. India escaped.

The shot of the day
Harbhajan Singh walked down the track and slapped - a fierce flat-batted forehand down the line- a short-of-length delivery to the left of the startled bowler, Chris Martin. The crowd roared. Martin looked quizzical, while Harbhajan looked at his partner Laxman, who smiled.

The howler(s) of the day
VVS Laxman got a thick inside edge on a forward defensive poke. Daniel Vettori screamed and suddenly, Steve Davis stirred into action. Laxman looked as if he had been sucker-punched. It was Zaheer Khan's turn to sport a similar expression after the next ball. Vettori and Davis were on a hat-trick, but Pragyan Ojha played kill joy.

The smack of the day
Jeetan Patel flighted a delivery around the off stump line. It was during the first hour of the day and the game was not yet safe for India. Most batsmen would have defended or off driven it. Harbhajan Singh reverse swept it to the untenanted backward point boundary. A clever cricketing shot or an unnecessary risk? Or is that the essence of Harbhajan? Take your pick and tweet now.