Brisbane: There are two aspects to fielding - to stop runs and to help claim wickets. While the Indians managed to do the former well in their match against Australia on Sunday, scores of lifelines were dished out as well.
The recent success of India in the ongoing series has been credited considerably to excellent fielding from youngsters in the side. At 24, Rohit Sharma has not been an exception, not at least till the match at Gabba. He was the first culprit in letting Australian batsmen thank their stars. The first over of the day and Zaheer Khan found the Matthew Wade's outer edge. It was a regulation catch at first slip, Tendulkar the man who could have netted it. Instead, a diving Sharma from second slip attempted to stage a spirited dismissal only for the ball to promptly pop out of his hands. Australia 3/0 instead of 1/1 with Wade adding 45 to his name before falling to Sharma off his own bowling.
Sharma could not be kept out of action for long. 33rd over and Michael Hussey smacked Suresh Raina over short mid-wicket. Sharma leapt in the air and although it was a nearly impossible chance, Sharma made it look like his reflexes had got the better of the shot. He however let the ball pass between the cusps of his hands. Australia 139/2 and luckily, not 137/3.
Hussey got another boost when Umesh Yadav mistimed his jump at mid-off only to floor the ball that hardly required a jump in the first place. The bowler, Zaheer again, was left walking back to his mark in slight dis-belief. Hussey scored 59.
Television commentators also got points to discuss when skipper MS Dhoni was found guilty of being at the wrong side of the stumps letting go off run-out chances. This happened twice and Dhoni has managed to use his part-stylish-part-orthodox manner to cause damage previously. On Sunday, it did not click with the run-outs.
Although Indian bowlers managed to keep a constant check on the run-rate till the slog overs, the eventual score of 288 on a batting friendly track at Gabba could have been slashed considerably had the chances (and half chances) been held onto.