India v Australia, 2nd ODI, Nagpur October 28, 2009

Bounce India at your own peril

Siddle finally lands it in the middle
So far in this series, Peter Siddle hasn't enjoyed starting off his spells. In the first ODI in Vadodara, he started off the innings with five wides and a four off the first legitimate delivery. He then came back for a second spell, in the 27th over, and was hit for four first ball. Then came the legendary start to the third spell, a wide, a single, a six, a four. In Nagpur, again, he started the second over of the innings with a wide. In his subsequent overs, though, he has looked the best bowler on show, especially with his hostile pace today. Finally, in his fifth spell of the series, Siddle blemished his trend of bad starts to spells, bowling a full delivery just outside off to Gautam Gambhir, in the 34th over, which was sliced to third man. Never too late for a good start.

Rude welcomes
Gambhir got it from Siddle, MS Dhoni from Ben Hilfenhaus. Gambhir got two bouncers first up, fending the first one, then getting hit on the shoulder. Dhoni's welcome was worse - he took his eyes off a nasty bouncer which hit him on the back of his head, and luckily at the edge of his helmet. Inches lower, and Dhoni's innings would have been settled. Both batsmen, though, went on to hurt Australia later.

Whose fault is it anyway?
Mitchell Johnson to Dhoni - batsman looks for a quick single, Johnson looks to run back to the stumps to collect, and they meet midway, in a nasty collision. Dhoni fell over, his helmet - again the object of Aussie attention today - came off as he fell. Nobody's fault, hence nobody could blame the other party with conviction. Just looks were exchanged, filmy style.

When not to get out
Dhoni's plan of late, even in domestic one-dayers, has been to call for the batting Powerplay in the 35th over, after the mandatory ball change. On the last ball of the 34th over, though, Gambhir was run out, delaying the umpire's helicopter signal. India did make good use of the restrictions when they arrived, five overs later, taking 47 runs.

This is how to start
A sight all Ishant Sharma fans have been missing - the ball landing just back of a length outside off, then kicking and holding its line. Shane Watson wasn't expecting it when Ishant started his spell, and played at a ball he would have been better off leaving alone. Once he saw the bounce, Watson did the best he could, taking the bottom hand off, and edged but the ball had enough on it to carry low to first slip. Here's to more such Ishant deliveries.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo