Plays of the day

Dravid's 15th six

Sidharth Monga in Napier

March 29, 2009

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Rahul Dravid pulls, New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Napier, 4th day, March 29, 2009
Rahul Dravid sends the ball over long-on © Associated Press
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The six
In the 46th over of India's innings, Rahul Dravid did something he has done only 14 times in his Test career, and not once since May 2007. He had just been beaten by a straight ball from Jeetan Patel, when he saw an over-pitched flighted delivery. He got onto the front foot and swung cleanly over long-on for only his 15th six in Tests. To put that figure in perspective: Sunil Gavaskar hit 26, Geoffrey Boycott hit eight, and Chris Tavaré none.

The banner of the season
There have been quite a few but one at McLean Park today read: "Doull for PM". However the real winner is: "Jesse is our dad", two days after a reader wrote to Cricinfo saying "I want Jesse's babies."

The longer walk
Yesterday Dravid was an irritated man after he got out. He had thrown away a century and a collapse had followed. Today when he got out, Dravid's reaction was similar, but for a different reason. He hadn't hit the ball when given out caught at bat-pad. It was an innings of immense concentration that ended in an unfortunate manner and the reaction was natural. Dravid shook his head even as New Zealand appealed, and was visibly shocked when the finger went up. He kept hitting the ground with his bat until he left the ground.

New-ball bogey no more
Dravid's second-innings dismissal came in a similar situation to his first - minutes before tea just before the second new ball was due. New Zealand ran through the Indian batting line-up with the new ball on the third day, but today the new ball traveled to all parts of the ground. Sachin Tendulkar hit three boundaries in the third over with the new ball: a tickle from outside leg, a whip off the pads, and a lovely cover drive on one knee.

Bull's eye again
Iain O'Brien had struck the blow which cost Tendulkar a possible double-century in the Christchurch ODI, when he had to retire-hurt on 163 with five overs to go. Today, two balls after he had been punched to the boundary by Tendulkar, O'Brien went for a bouncer. Tendulkar tried to pull but the ball didn't rise as high as he expected. Tendulkar got hit in the ribs again roughly in the same area as the first hit.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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