Border-Gavaskar Trophy: 4th Test, Day 3 - The Quick Flicks
Maxwell as an opener:
At WACA, Perth earlier this year, Glenn Maxwell opened the batting for Australia and hit an attacking half century against West Indies. Today, the Australian team management expected a similar performance from IPL‘s latest million dollar man. But another million dollar man, Ravindra Jadeja dismissed him for eight. The move to score quick runs against Indians did not work and Australia were reeling on a wicket where the ball was turning fair and square.
The celebration of the day:
David Warner gave a few Indians a grand send-off yesterday. Today it was India’s turn to give Warner a fitting farewell courtesy some of their spontaneous theatrical celebrations.
The opening bowling combination for Australia:
For the third time in the history of Test cricket, Australia opened the bowling with two spinners. Maxwell became the first Australian in 84 years to open the batting and bowling in the same Test match. And the move paid off when Maxwell picked up Murali Vijay’s wicket early on in the innings.
The Capital effect:
New Delhi was witnessing a Test match after almost 1.5 years and there was a big crowd assembled on Sunday. The surprise was however the joint appearance of Finance Minister of India, P Chidambaram and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley. Seated beside IPL chairman and MP, Rajiv Shukla, it was refreshing to find the leaders of two political parties which otherwise are at loggerheads on most issues, come together to enjoy a game of cricket.
A tale of two missed hat-tricks:
Ravindra Jadeja’s first two balls after lunch got him the wickets of Steven Smith and Mitchell Johnson. He was on hat-trick for the second time in his Test career but failed to achieve the landmark. Siddle pushed Jadeja towards covers and ran for two runs. It was an anti-climax in the end.
Nathan Lyon, earlier in the day had picked up the wickets of Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha to finish the Indian innings. He was on a hat-trick in the 2nd innings. Murali Vijay stepped out of his crease off the very first delivery that spun a mile. Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade failed to collect the ball and effect a stumping.
Siddle’s tryst with history:
Peter Siddle became the first player in 136 years of Test cricket to score twin fifties at No. 9 position. He also became the first person to top-score in both the innings of a Test match batting at nine.
Aleem Dar’s intervention:
After an absorbing opening session, the teams were heading back to the dressing rooms. Australian ‘keeper Wade and India’s Virat Kohli had a heated conversation and before both the youngsters continued with their verbal volley, umpire Aleem Dar stepped in and cooled down the tension.
A celebration that crossed the line:
When Ishant Sharma uprooted James Pattinson’s middle stump, he aggressively gestured Pattinson to go to the dressing room. Sharma was taken for runs in that over and he reacted aggressively. Ishant might have to visit Ranjan Madugalle in his office since that gesture went overboard and is certainly a punishable offence under ICC’s Code of Conduct.
The catch that could have turned the match:
Australia were on a roll when they picked up the wickets of Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar and Ajinkya Rahane in a matter of five runs. Australia were on a look out for another couple of wickets. Nathan Lyon induced an edge off Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s bat but the chance went begging since ‘keeper Wade failed to hold onto that chance. Lyon would have had his maiden ten-wicket haul in Tests.
A winning hit from Mahendra Singh Dhoni:
Once again it was Dhoni who hit the winning runs for India. Surprisingly, he is always there in the middle, hitting the winning shots when India has won important games. At the World Cup final, against New Zealand in Bangalore, in the third Test match at Mohali and in Delhi to finish off a 4-0 victory against the Australians, Dhoni was the one who either hit a six or a boundary and finished off the match in a grand fashion.