India v West Indies, 3rd Test, Mumbai, 1st day November 22, 2011

Plenty of spills

S Aga
Plays of the day for the first day of the third Test between India and West Indies in Mumbai

Spills of the day
With the pitch offering true bounce, R Ashwin kept the West Indies openers in check. Though both Kraigg Brathwaite and Adrian Barath showed admirable patience in defence in the first two sessions, Ashwin never made it easy. Unlucky for him, VVS Laxman, one of the safest catches, let off Braithwaite twice. The first chance came when the batsman was on 36 and was slow responding to a sharp offbreak that trickled past the inside edge of Braithwaite's bat towards the feet of Laxman at backward short leg. Laxman was slow to respond as the ball raced past him. Then when he was on 56, Braithwaite was beaten once again by Ashwin's turn. This time the ball sailed towards Laxman's right hand but he reacted quickly and the ball deflected off his hand.

Laxman wasn't the only culprit. Rahul Dravid, the man with the most number of Test catches, was at first slip when Darren Bravo, on 33, was beaten by the straighter delivery from Pragyan Ojha at the start of the final hour of day. Attempting to push in front of square, Bravo's thick edge went straight to Dravid at first slip. Dravid was in a good position, with both hands cupped, but the ball hit his thumb, allowing Bravo to escape.

Shot of the day
At the stroke of tea and new to the crease, Darren Bravo could have been forgiven some circumspection. But when Virender Sehwag dropped one short outside off stump, he rocked back and stroked the ball through the covers for four. On a sluggish outfield, the timing caught the eye, as did the placement, with the ball neatly bisecting mid-off and the deep fielder.

Ball of the day
Having been slapped with one of the shots of the day (a powerful on-drive along the ground) by Kirk Edwards in his previous over, Ashwin responded by delivering from closer to the stumps. With his high-arm action he delivered a faster off-break, which pitched outside off stump, cut sharply past the forward defence of Edwards' limp bat, before hitting the thigh pad and sailing over the stumps. It was a near miss and Ashwin and India could not believe the best ball of the day had not bought a wicket.

Bravo fumes, then celebrates
Bravo reached his half-century with an outside edge against Ishant Sharma, which zipped between the two-slip cordon and the Virender Sehwag at gully for a four. Instantly, Bravo whipped his bat in disgust as he realised he could've easily left alone the second new ball. Few moments later, the highest run-maker in the series, raised his bat to celebrate the fifty and stay alive till stumps.

The last ball before morning drinks was tucked off the pads by Brathwaite. Barath's interest in a second run wasn't reciprocated and as he turned back to ground his bat, MS Dhoni ran to collect the throw and took him out as the momentum carried him forward. A winded Barath had to be helped to his feet.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manesh on November 23, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    @Shamshir Hussain. yes, a man played 25 yrs cricket with 99 century need ur certificate. FULL STOP.

  • gopal on November 23, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    @deval - i dont doubt sachin as one of legends but frankly even i believe he is not as good as many others in taking on pressure situations. I remember his 175 against aus and it was the moment when i thought will he be able to take us past the finish line he got out. Good players stay their to finish things not leave it for others.

  • deval on November 22, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    @biju: sachin has played more then 600 innings so far and its obvious that there can be many instances when he wasn't the match winner in pressure condition that proves nothing as he has the highest man of the match award which itself proves he won more match PER match then any other player, lets not talk about all performances for 21 years, he won match scoring 100 not out in FOURTH inning against England, he scored 175 chasing memoth target against aussie almost put them at winning situation, there have been many uncountable instances like that, in SA during 3rd test if he didn't score 148 in second inning India lost the series by 2-1, they says he score century and India lost, he has most centuries in won matches for India, why no buddy is saying Dravid scored 3 centuries in England and India lost all THREE matches!! it was not his fault it was the other team members who didn't supported him.. Stop comparing or judging the great players none of us deserve to do so

  • deval on November 22, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    @asim khan: sachin "IN" australia matches 16 runs 1522 best 241* ave 58.53 century 6, now lets see record "IN" australia for "best" pakistani batsmans, one of the best pakistani batsman of all time, javed miandad IN australia averages 38, Inzamam ul haq averages 30 IN australia, and in this EASY Indian batting condition the all time great Aussie Ricky Ponting averages JUST 26!!!! take that... and stop feeling jealous from SRT!!! Sachin has one of the best record against Australia IN australia when they have Shane warn, McGrath, Gillispie, Brett Lee, Tait, Johnson, Clark, and what not... Don't forget his TWO centuries in 3 test in SA against STEYN, MORKEL, tsotsobe, and don't forget his match saving inning at perth at an age of 19 and in England at almost the same age, just because he was not at his best in England last series doesn't prove anything, he still was second highest Indian scorer in that series with couple of fifties while not at his best

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    Well, I am sure they have prepared a perfect flat track so that Tendulkar can get 100 here. What a shame. They are playing for a player not for the country. But still I know that Tendulkar can't score even on this flat pitch.. FULL STOP

  • U V on November 22, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    @Asim Khan.. Just see his Record in Austraila dude u will get to know his class. no words required by any to answer u

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    Well said Asim. Pitch tailor made for Sachin's 100th 100.

  • Anit on November 22, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    India may pay heavily in Australia with lot of old players in the team just like what happened in England.

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    This is good test for india. After West Indies scored more than 500 how India will bat. We need to see. Because Austaralian tour coming. Their not spin supporting pitch. we can expect pacy pitch and also more runs from them. we need to face like that cituation. Under pressure sachin will not perform, sure. He cannot score century this time also. We have so many experiece in this case.

  • gordon on November 22, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    Windies young batters are learning and improving with every game. They will beecome a good batting team in another year and will be able to compete with everyone. They are gaining confidence and realizing that indeed they have what it takes and they do not have to dibby dabby at the wicket trying to survive.. I believe that Barath and Brathwaite have the ability and patience to become a good opening pair. Give them a bit more time. I also believe that the bowling, which up to now has been keeping us in games (to the extent) will fall behind the batters because of their inconsistency with line and length. You can't be wayward in the bowling and allow the indian openers to race away to 80 runs off 15 overs as has happened before, letting them get their eyes in without a challenge. Edwards for one can be a handful but he is just as likely to bowl follishness. Roach, poor guy, he has regressed. Rampaul is the most dependable. Sammy has been an inspirational captain but has to go soon

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