Sri Lanka v India, 3rd Test, P Sara Oval, 1st day August 3, 2010

The price of over enthusiasm

Plays of the day for the opening day of the third Test between Sri Lanka and India at the P Sara Oval

Cost of enthusiasm
After a heady debut, Suresh Raina ran into vagaries of Test cricket, and ironically it was his enthusiasm that hurt him. In the 16th over, Kumar Sangakkara edged a beautiful delivery from Abhimanyu Mithun towards second slip, but an enthusiastic Raina - stationed at third slip - lunged to his right and dropped it. The face of VVS Laxman, who was settled behind it to take the catch, told the story. Sangakkara added 52 to his score.

Sharp at silly point
M Vijay, the other youngster in the side, wasn't quite setting the field alight at cover, but when brought close in, he made the difference. In the last over before lunch, he stuck his left hand out to field one push from Tillakaratne Dilshan, who also took two steps down the pitch. Before Dilshan could get back, Vijay transferred the ball into his right hand, and flicked it to MS Dhoni who ran the batsman out. Those who have followed Vijay's performance at close-in positions won't be surprised. He got Michael Hussey out in a similar fashion in his debut Test. More incredibly, though, in a show of lightning reflexes and presence of mind, he nearly ran Jacques Kallis, the backing-up non-striker, on more than one occasion in Nagpur.

Sangakkara throws it away again
Kumar Sangakkara had batted beautifully for his 75 and looked set for a third century in three Tests when he found Virender Sehwag at long-on with pinpoint accuracy. This was a repeat of his Galle mistake when he did the same with Sachin Tendulkar at deep midwicket. His reaction, when he stood disbelievingly in the middle of the pitch, even as Pragyan Ojha shouted in his face as though he had set up the dismissal, suggested that he wanted to kick himself on the backside.

Cost of enthusiasm, part II
Mithun has impressed the coaching staff here with his fitness, energy and commitment on the field, but he almost took himself out using all three qualities. Chasing one at the boundary, he ran so hard he couldn't stop himself from going over the ropes and through into the players' area, landing on the concrete steps with his spikes on, before falling. Thankfully he came out without an injury, with a sheepish smile on his face.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo