India v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Nagpur, 1st day November 20, 2010

McCullum's misfortune, and Sreesanth's Sri Lankan connection

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

Turning point of the day
It happened before a ball was bowled. Brendon McCullum went down during the warm-up session and his captain Daniel Vettori rushed towards him. McCullum had a back spasm and New Zealand had to send Martin Guptill to open. Things went downhill from there for the visitors.

The anachronistic sight of the day (and of the series)
Sreesanth's headband. It took you back to the 80's and brought back memories of Rumesh Ratnayake, the swing bowler from Sri Lanka. Rumesh was almost defined by his headband; it was bigger and broader than the one worn by Sreesanth and it would appear like he had his forehead swathed in a bandage.

The ball of the day
It came from Sreesanth. He got one to straighten around the off stump and produced a nick from Martin Guptill. It wasn't as venomous as the delivery he bowled to remove Brendon McCullum in the first innings of the second Test but it was enough to dislodge a man who only knew he was going to open at the very last minute.

The save of the day
Since his injury, going for a catch in the first Test, Rahul Dravid has not been fielding in the slips. McCullum paddled one to fine leg and off went Dravid haring across from deep backward square-leg. And he put in a neat sliding stop to pull the ball in time.

The shame of the day
It rained for about 40 minutes last afternoon. There was no rain after that but the start today was delayed till after lunch. The outfield area, near the dressing rooms, was soggy. When would the Indian grounds start covering the entire arena like how it's done in Sri Lanka and in some other countries? Surely, it can't be because of a cash crunch?

The sorry sight of the day
Jesse Ryder, who strained his calf muscle during the day's play, and McCullum limped across the pitch during their partnership. The ball that Dravid saved, running all the way from deep backward square-leg and diving at fine-leg boundary, went for just one run.