New Zealand v India, 3rd Test, Wellington, 3rd day April 5, 2009

Wily McCullum out-thinks Dravid

Plays of the day for day three of the third Test between New Zealand and India in Wellington

The wiles of McCullum
When Rahul Dravid premeditated a paddle sweep off Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum started moving even before the shot was played but could not reach the ball. Dravid tried the same shot again later in the over but this time McCullum was quicker in moving down leg side and took the catch. It was a moment of amazing alertness from the wicketkeeper with the opposition on 184 for 1, leading by 366. It brings to mind a shot played by Manoj Tiwary in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal but, on that occasion, it was the batsmen who won the battle of the bluffs. Reproduced below is Cricinfo's commentary of that shot:

88.1 Suresh to Tiwary, FOUR, Bluffmaster, Manoj is premeditative in going for paddle sweep, Badrinath at first slip sees it, and starts running towards leg slip, Manoj feels it, and withdraws from the sweep and opens the face towards where the slip would have been. Shot of the day

Hot dessert
Gautam Gambhir went into lunch on 96 not out, in sight of his sixth Test century. Off the first ball he faced after the break, Gambhir stepped out to Tim Southee and crashed it through covers to bring up his hundred, his second of the series. There must be a bit of Virender Sehwag in Gambhir.

The revelation and the elevation
Sehwag said on television at the start of the day that Zaheer Khan, in Napier, had promised the batsmen a five-for in Wellington if they managed to draw the match. Zaheer kept his word yesterday.

The upper-cut has been one of the most profitable shots in this series. Even Dravid is playing it. But what if the ball is wide and too high to reach? If you are Gambhir, you jump a foot in the air and then guide it over slips. For a six.

Museum still saves daylight
There has been enough confusion around the end of daylight-saving in New Zealand. But like museums often do, the New Zealand Cricket Museum held on to time. They didn't pull their clock back by one hour, so according to them, the game started at noon.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo