Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2013, Bangalore April 20, 2013

Watson strikes in his first over of 2013

The Plays of the day from the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals in Bangalore
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The over
Quite a few in Australia would have watched in anguish as Shane Watson ambled into bowl an over in competitive cricket for the first time in 2013, also on the day it was announced he has given up Australia's vice-captaincy. He began with a gentle half-volley, which Chris Gayle duly dispatched for four. However, that golden arm had not gone anywhere as he went on to dismiss Tillakaratne Dilshan later in the over.

The reception
Rahul Dravid was the opposition captain, but he was playing in his own backyard. There are days when he is the first person into the Chinnaswamy Stadium at dawn, to use the National Cricket Academy facility. The crowd gave him a fitting welcome, with a roar first at the toss and then when he came out to bat. The cheer was so loud Dravid actually paused a second before he could speak.

The shot
This one from Ajinkya Rahane evoked - and these words are not being used loosely - Sachin Tendulkar. When Ajinkya Rahane charged at Ravi Rampaul in the fifth over, Rampul pitched the ball short and got it to rise as high as Rahane's chest. Rahane, though, went ahead with - wait for it - the drive, and lofted it clean over long-off for a six. Rahane didn't last much longer, but this was a shot to savour.

The contest
Two local boys went at each other as another local, Dravid, watched on in the 10th over. R Vinay Kumar began with a bouncer to Karnataka team-mate Stuart Binny, and the latter pulled him wide of long-on for four. Not convinced with that pull shot, Vinay came back with one more bouncer later in the over. Only this was shorter and higher, and Binny still pulled from the front foot, getting an almighty top edge. The wicketkeeper Arun Karthik then ran back almost two-thirds of the way to the boundary and completed a good catch over his shoulder.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • goldeneraaus on April 20, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    So irritating to read arrogant and ignorant comments like hoodbu.. Watson wasn't confident enough in his body to bowl in India and he wanted to make sure he could get some continuity in his test cricket for once.. he said from the outset that he would use IPL as a way of easing back into it, and openly talking about how he missed bowling during the India series.. people are way too harsh on this guy.

  • hoodbu on April 20, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    Clearly, bowling in the IPL is more important to Watson than bowling for Australia. No wonder he's giving up vice captaincy

  • goldeneraaus on April 20, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    So irritating to read arrogant and ignorant comments like hoodbu.. Watson wasn't confident enough in his body to bowl in India and he wanted to make sure he could get some continuity in his test cricket for once.. he said from the outset that he would use IPL as a way of easing back into it, and openly talking about how he missed bowling during the India series.. people are way too harsh on this guy.

  • hoodbu on April 20, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    Clearly, bowling in the IPL is more important to Watson than bowling for Australia. No wonder he's giving up vice captaincy

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  • hoodbu on April 20, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    Clearly, bowling in the IPL is more important to Watson than bowling for Australia. No wonder he's giving up vice captaincy

  • goldeneraaus on April 20, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    So irritating to read arrogant and ignorant comments like hoodbu.. Watson wasn't confident enough in his body to bowl in India and he wanted to make sure he could get some continuity in his test cricket for once.. he said from the outset that he would use IPL as a way of easing back into it, and openly talking about how he missed bowling during the India series.. people are way too harsh on this guy.