In the sixth over of India's innings, Shikhar Dhawan got a short ball that was wide enough for him to throw his arms at it. He did so, and managed to get it to the third-man boundary. It must have felt great, as the last time he hit a four was a month and three days ago, on day two of the Boxing Day Test. In the second innings there, Dhawan scored a duck. Then he was dropped for Sydney. And in the three ODIs that followed, he scored 2, 1 and 8. In the interim, India had a few nets sessions. You can't hit fours there. Dhawan would hit three more fours - one off an inside edge - before toe-ending one to Jos Buttler. Not quite an end to what has been a wretched summer for him.
Suresh Raina is a scratchy starter, especially when India are in a bit of a strife. It was a little surprising to see him walk out at No. 4 when India had lost two in relative hurry, and when Moeen Ali was on and in rhythm. The Brisbane dismissal was on observers' minds when he just walked past one under pressure. Four balls into his innings, under pressure of having scored just one, Raina proceeded to produce a near replay of the Brisbane dismissal. Same premeditated move down the wicket and away from the line of the ball, beaten in the flight, and for a change this time, he played a limp shot as opposed to looking to defend when completely out of position as he did in Brisbane. This shot just brought a thick edge, and another quick dismissal.
The variable bounce
In the 43rd of India's innings, MS Dhoni faced the kind of delivery that has built the legend of the WACA Ground. This Anderson delivery was pitched just short of a length, and had no right rising so steeply that it missed the hands Dhoni put in front of his face to fend, and then hit him flash on the badge on his helmet. The expected reaction then was for Dhoni to hang back a little, but later in the over, when Anderson pitched one a little shorter than previous delivery it stayed low enough to be hitting the middle of the stumps. Good luck surviving that. Dhoni didn't.
Ian Bell's brilliant catch to end Stuart Binny's innings - a sharp, full-length diving effort, far to his right at first slip off the bowling of Steven Finn - was reflective of England's improving ODI cricket. A few weeks ago, Bell, who also took a sharp catch to account for Axar Patel, was unable to retain his place in the side and but for the decision to drop Alastair Cook, would probably not be playing now. Would Cook have taken such a catch? Perhaps, but there is little doubt that Bell's return has improved England in the field.
Until a year or so ago, any description of Chris Woakes would invariably include the description "lacks a yard of pace". Not any more: Woakes has consistently been the quickest member of England's attack in recent times and one delivery in his first spell reached 145.7kph, which translates to 90.5mph. And, if it the WACA's characteristic bounce encouraged him to bowl just a little short in that first spell, his second spell (1 for 7 off three overs) was excellent. It was further evidence of Woakes' increasing importance to this England side.