India v Australia 2008-09 / News

Plays of the day

The slow-profile Australians

Cricinfo staff

October 20, 2008

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Matthew Hayden may have pulled Simon Katich with him in playing one shot too many at the start of the Australian innings on the fourth day © AFP
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Serial offender, part II
Early in the morning, with India pushing towards a big lead, Australia could have thought of only one saviour: Father Time. And so came an over rate of 12 to 12.5 for an hour. In a short spell, Shane Watson pulled out of his run three times. Without saying it was a deliberate time-wasting ploy, commentator Sunil Gavaskar couldn't resist having a dig or two. Don't know how the Australian papers, the sensationalist ones, will see it, though.

When luck becomes ploy
Mitchell Johnson was very lucky with the down-the-leg-side dismissals in the first innings. The way Virender Sehwag went for a similar ball to his first innings' dismissal it seemed an action replay was being enacted live. The ball from Johnson was shortish, hip-high, and would have been a big wide in a one-dayer, but Sehwag went for it, and barely missed edging it. That was on the first day, Johnson tried it to similar effect today. 'Australian for stock ball', eh? Just in case Foster's use it, they know where the copyright lies.

Suicide, and how?
Chasing 516, Matthew Hayden and Simon Katich came out swinging. The first ball of the innings was hit over mid-off, not convincingly at all. So while he scored 29 off 20 balls, he was not playing his natural game. He looked to manufacture shots, and minutes before tea he had tried one shot too many. The sadder part was, he perhaps pulled Katich with himself. The latter played a hopeless shot to give Harbhajan Singh two wickets in an over. One can imagine Hayden trying to muscle his way out of a lean patch, but whatever happened to Katich?

Why don't you walk, mate?
In the 37th over of India's second innings, Johnson should have had Sehwag. But the umpire, Asad Rauf, didn't think so. That was also the end of the over, and Ricky Ponting was seen having a chat with Sehwag during the changeover. Ponting did all the talking, and Sehwag did all the shaking of the head. Don't know what the minutes of that conversation were, but if Ponting had suggested Sehwag to walk if he had edged, it had some effect on the latter. The next time Sehwag edged, he walked. It was a thick edge, though, so he really didn't have any choice.

Cheer of the day
It was a sad moment for the sparse crowd when Sehwag got out in the 90s, for only the second time in his career. But he was entertaining the crowd and, when he was out, there was a huge cheer when, instead of Rahul Dravid, Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked out on a day India needed quick runs for a huge total before declaration. Not that the crowd meant any disrespect to Dravid, just that they found Dhoni a better proposition in the circumstances.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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