India v Australia, 3rd Test, Delhi, 3rd day October 31, 2008

The buzz around the Kotla

Cricinfo staff

For what seemed an eternity, the players lay on their tummies © Getty Images

Good morning Haydos
Just before play started, Matthew Hayden kept Zaheer Khan waiting. For two minutes, he gardened on the pitch, on the non-strikers' end too, and then when Zaheer was getting ready to run in, Hayden squatted and made Zaheer wait again. Then he got what he asked for. A fired up Zaheer delivered a sharp, accurate bouncer which Hayden failed to negotiate and was hit in the helmet. A concerned Simon Katich walked up to his partner to check on him. Hayden hadn't seen the last of it though as the third ball of the over, another bouncer, hit his shoulder.

Angry young fielder
India didn't start with Ishant Sharma today. One can't be sure if that riled him up, but the moment he got an opportunity to have a shy at the stumps, he absolutely let it rip. Katich had played it straight to Ishant at mid-on, and dashed off for a single in a frenzied manner. Ishant took aim and broke the middle stump into two, shattering the stump camera in the process.

Beeroz Shah Kotla
At least once each during their umpiring careers, Aleem Dar and Billy Bowden have officiated in matches where bees have attacked the field and held up play. It happened to Bowden in Vishakhapatnam, during the India-Pakistan one-dayer in 2005 and Dar faced it in Kandy, during the England-Sri Lanka Test in 2007-08. The bee attack seemed inevitable when the two united for the Kotla Test.

This one was an assault like no other. For what seemed an eternity, the players lay on their tummies, waiting the bees to go away. As the players pondered whether to bee or not to bee, everybody had a good laugh. Ishant, fielding at the fine-leg boundary, was the only brave man standing. Sachin Tendulkar, covering his ears with his hat, sported a bee-tific smile, and Hayden rolled on the grass like a child. Bowden tried to be brave and started moving first, but the bees put him back in his place. Sourav Ganguly was, as expected, the last one to get up once the bees went away. All in all, what a bee-mer.

Gettin' jiggy with it
The IPL has not left the Kotla. Popular local music blares at every break in play, however small, and none of the players have taken a liking to it. Just after mid-day drinks, Virender Sehwag ran in to bowl to Hayden, but the music didn't seem to stop. Hayden lost his concentration and had to pull out of the second delivery. He also did a little jig to suggest he may as well start dancing if the music didn't stop. We can't be sure whether the whole thing affected Bowden's concentration, because Hayden was given lbw off the next ball to a delivery which may or may not have gone over the stumps.