South Africa v Australia, 2nd Test, Johannesburg, 3rd day November 19, 2011

A pink day at the Wanderers

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the third day of the second Test between South Africa and Australia, at the Wanderers

Colour of the day
The Wanderers was pretty in pink as the Gauteng Cricket Board teamed up with the McGrath foundation to host the first Pink Test outside Australia. Pink Tests are an initiative started by the McGrath foundation, a body started in honour of Glenn Mcgrath's late wife, aimed at raising money for and awareness about breast cancer. The banners of the stadium's main sponsor, Bidvest, were replaced with pink ones, and the scoreboard was decorated with pink on every side. Plenty of the 15,000 fans who attended the match were dressed in pink, some of them received pink caps and ribbons in a bid to raise awareness about the disease, and a message from Glenn McGrath was relayed over the big screen during lunch. There were also a mobile unit where women could learn how to perform self-examinations.

A fitting tribute
Basil D'Oliveira did not play cricket for South Africa but few men have had such an influence on cricket in the country, albeit not through his own doing. It was fitting, then, that the players and umpires lined up for a minute's silence before the first ball was bowled in recognition of D'Oliveira, who died overnight at the age of 80. The South Africa players also wore black armbands to remember D'Oliveira, who was born in Cape Town, played for England, and was at the heart of one of cricket's biggest controversies when England's tour of South Africa was called off in 1968 due to the South African government's refusal to accept his presence in the visiting squad. South Africa's isolation from international cricket followed soon after.

Toe-crusher of the day
Two weeks after being hit in the nets by Pat Cummins, Michael Hussey was still talking about the bruise the delivery had left on his body. Little wonder, then, that AB de Villiers was in serious pain after he copped a Cummins yorker on the foot shortly before lunch. de Villiers took off his shoe and asked for some attention from the physio, and there was a delay as the pain was numbed. It didn't seem to bother de Villiers in the long run: he was still at the crease when the players went off for bad light.

An unwarranted jeer
Ricky Ponting is used to raising the ire of opposition fans, but the widespread booing around the Wanderers when he came on to bowl late in the day was not a good look for the locals. A legend of the game, Ponting deserved better. For the record, his one over of gentle medium pace cost eight runs without a wicket. Ponting bowled some useful offbreaks during the recent series in Sri Lanka, but hasn't taken a Test wicket since 2005.

Fluff of the day
Brad Haddin, Australia's wicketkeeper, has already copped a fair amount of criticism for his skills with the glove and the bat, and it may get worse. Hashim Amla called AB de Villiers through for a quick single after driving to mid-off. de Villiers got off to a slow start and Usman Khawaja was quick to throw the ball to the striker's end, where, if Haddin had broken the stumps in time, de Villiers would have been out by some distance. Instead, replays showed that Haddin had taken a few seconds too many to remove the bails and had allowed de Villiers to get in comfortably.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo; Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South African correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 20, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    @srriaj317-Ponting is without a shadow if a doubt one of the greatest batsmen of the modern era! But his conduct on field was bordering on the despicable.He used to take umpires on at will,delivered sermons on gamesmanship and didnt follow any of them himself,and was arrogance personified!As a spectator i would hate to see that in any player! M S Dhoni cannot be compared to him as a batsman by any means,but he's still a grounded and scrupled guy compared to him.As for Harbhajan and Virat,i agree they are brash.No arguments.But we're not comparing countries here are we?

  • Dummy4 on November 20, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    Ponting will never be a legend of the game.

    Why? Because he has stretched the "Spirit of the Game" too many times with his ranting, snarling and gamesmanship.

    Whilst none can argue that he is one of the best batsmen of the modern era, few will remember him for that when he hangs up his gloves.

  • Bennett on November 20, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Surely ye jest jonathonjosephs,

    Holding can hardly be called a gentleman for his stump kicking abilities or his liberal use of bouncers.

    And Ponting is no legend. He was just lucky to be around when all of the great bowlers were either retired or on his side.

  • N. on November 20, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    Sundararajan from Chennai

    Ponting has been a great batsman---but that is it ! His success as a captain was largely due to the brilliant players in the team that he led---and his behavious and values---have proved him to be far from a gentleman or even a fair cricketer. Remember the Sydney Test and the Clarke catch "accepting the fielders' word ?". He should not be booed, but he certainly deserves to be rested for the rest of his life. He will never rank amongst the best gentlemen who played international cricket !

  • Dummy4 on November 20, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    Ponting is the legend of the game. As a matter of fact, he is the third best batsmen of recent time with JH Kallis being number one, SR Tendulkar at number two and RT Ponting at number 3. Many would argue that SR Tendulkar is the best but sadly for those people he actually has less average in Tests and ODIs than JH Kallis (and not to forget SR Tendulkar has scored chunk of his runs on flat batting surfaces of subcontinent as opposed to JH Kallis and RT Ponting who scored majority of their runs on seaming bowler friendly pitches.

  • Johnathon on November 20, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    There are two things one can be called in cricket that means the utmost respect. Those two words are legend and gentleman. Some players are gentleman, but not legends. Some are legends, but not gentleman. And some are both. Players like Murali, Dravid, Benaud, Sangakarra, Tendulkar, Hadlee, Kallis, and Holding are both gentleman and legends. Players like Ponting, McGrath, Flintoff, Steyn, Gayle, Zaheer, and Miandad are legends, but not gentleman. Perhaps that is why Ponting was booed? NOthing to do with his "legend" status, but his "gentleman" status

  • Dummy4 on November 20, 2011, 0:21 GMT

    agreed that Ponting is a legend but he is doing his reputation no good by continuing to play here ... it wd be best for him to just score a century and retire ...

  • theo on November 19, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    in 100 years time.. no one would remember RP's conduct or whatever you may be referring to @Mohit... People will however know his stats... and those guarantee he will be a legend. I even say this as an SA fan.

  • Sriraj on November 19, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    Ponting's conduct on the field has been better, if not par, than MS Dhoni's. Dhoni himself is a selective walker, has his choice of words with umpires and chose to appeal for the Ian Bell runout before being influenced by others to recall him. And Virat Kohli and Harbhajan Singh? Look at your own players Mohit. Ricky always played hard for the win and he IS a legend. We don't need people jealous of his 2003 WC final century to give out judgements on him.

  • Nazeer on November 19, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    @Mohit - could the reason behind Ponting's being boo'ed, infact be some leftover feelings after Ponting smashed 164 runs in the famous 438 game? At the very same ground? In front of the very same people?

    Sure Ponting isnt really seen as a legend right now, but he is. Over 12000 runs in both forms of the game? That in itself is pretty legendary.

    Maybe Ponting being boo'ed is due to the fact that he previously led one of cricket's most dominant teams, and is now in fact seen to be mortal. Thems my theories...

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