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Yuvi shines, Ryder fumes, and Munaf runs

Yuvraj Singh shows good reflexes in the outfield Associated Press

Out you go, Yuvi
After his misadventure in the slips yesterday, Yuvraj Singh was shown through to more conventional field placings. Sachin Tendulkar was still unavailable, so another new man had to come into the slips: Gautam Gambhir, at first slip. VVS Laxman stayed at second, and Rahul Dravid took the third. Yuvraj did effect a run-out from cover.

201 and gone
Jesse Ryder brought up his maiden double-century with a stylish swivel pull to fine leg, but the release next ball wasn't quite favourable for New Zealand. He went for a big booming cover-drive, played the ball on, and was so frustrated he kept hitting the ground with his bat on the way back.

Run Munaf run
Late into the day, 153rd over on, and Munaf Patel wasn't really keen on running around. He found himself a place in the shade, deep and square on Brendon McCullum's off side. But that cruel Harbhajan Singh kept bowling short, making poor Munaf run to third man, then to point, and then to third man again, in successive deliveries. McCullum perhaps enjoyed the fun, and he tried to cut the fourth ball too, which was much fuller than the cutting length. In the end he pushed it to short third for a single, and Munaf could pant easy.

Tired? What tired?
India spent 154.4 overs in the sun, and one would have expected a tired Virender Sehwag to be more watchful than usual. You gotta be kidding. Three of the first four balls he faced, he hit for boundaries. That would have been good way to tell New Zealand they could be in for a good long haul themselves if he hadn't got out with 15 overs to go before stumps.

The home advantage
It was seen when India bowled that they spent time in getting the helmets out and then sending them back depending on whether they needed close-in fielders or no. But New Zealand know their grounds. Jeetan Patel came out with a helmet, and lifted a square lid at around short midwicket, opening up an underground compartment for the helmets, and left it there. Smooth.

Twilight watchman
For some reason India continue with their practice of using a nightwatchman, in perfect light, and perfect batting conditions. And that too a fast bowler who has just finished bowling 27 overs. Ishant Sharma couldn't survive the last six overs. At least India are consistent there: they sent in Ishant against Australia too, in Delhi last year, with the same consequence. Gary Kirsten said then: "Certainly, in all the cricket I have played in my time, and it's no different here, we always ask the No. 3 or 4 batsman if they want a nightwatchman. And it was requested that a nightwatchman be used. This is what happens every single time, in every situation, and there are very few batsmen who don't want a nightwatchman."