Rajasthan Royals v Kochi Tuskers Kerala, IPL 2011, Jaipur

Team-mates turned opponents

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Kochi Tuskers Kerala

Sidharth Monga

April 24, 2011

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Rahuld Dravid and VVS Laxman in discussion, Mohali, December 18, 2008
I thought we were friends, Jam © AFP
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The combination
Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman have been through a lot playing for India. Ask any Aussie about that. On Sunday night, though, they were on opposite sides. In a Twenty20 game. Amiss. Just wrong.

An interaction came in earnest when VVS Laxman initiated a single after an edge from Mahela Jayawardene rolled towards Dravid at slip. Turned out, Laxman had overestimated himself, and was yards short when Dravid's underarm throw broke the stumps. In another world, the correct world, they would have batted together, and would never have needed quick singles.

The return
To say Rajasthan Royals have missed Johan Botha, out with a hairline fracture on his finger, would be an understatement. They couldn't get him back soon enough. And he came back with immediate impact. The first ball he bowled turned in sharply across Jayawardene, hit the bottom of the thigh pad, and took the stumps. We've been expecting you, Mr Botha.

The bad blood
Rajasthan Royals and Shane Warne would have reason to feel they had put Ravindra Jadeja on the map, although those who follow domestic cricket might disagree. "Rockstar," Warne used to call him, but that was only for the first two seasons. Before the third, Jadeja allegedly tried to find himself a new team, and was consequently banned. Both parties lost. When Jadeja came out to bat on Sunday, there was nothing to suggest old wounds would be opened. No sledging, no verbals to welcome him. However, Warne was to bowl the first ball to him. Late in his delivery stride, he changed the grip, and let rip a bouncer. Jadeja ducked under it. Warne gave him a long, cold stare. "Lethal," said the big screen. Welcome back, Jaddu.

The Victorian
The other set of team-mates that came face to face was Warne and Brad Hodge. The battle of the Victorians, though, lasted only four deliveries. Warne was putting some serious revolutions on the ball, getting some dip and landing it on a length, around middle and leg. Hodge couldn't do much with the first. To the second he tried to go back, but the ball hurried onto him. The third Hodge swept well for two. Then the inconsistent bounce played up as Hodge went back to punch a shortish delivery through the covers, only for the ball to rise shin high, take the inside edge, and disturb the stumps.

The six
It was no surprise that on this slow and low pitch, with occasional uneven bounce, the first six of the match took 29.2 overs coming. Who should be the man to hit it, though? Rahul Sharad Dravid, with a slog-sweep over long-on. Who'da thunk it?

The what-goes-around-comes-around moment
Dravid might have run an ambitious Laxman out in Kochi's innings, but during the chase he showed he was getting on himself too. After playing beautifully for his 44, Dravid cut to third man and initiated the second, only to find out that he wasn't swift enough for it and needed a dive to save his wicket. The dive wasn't a-coming.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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