Yuvraj, Anderson get reprieves, India benefits
It was just the second ball of the day and Yuvi was batting on carried over score of 24 when a Graeme Swann delivery, which landed on the middle and leg and spun a tad bit, hit him right in front. The Barmy Army exploded in unison but Aleem Dar did not budge. At that very instant, the Punjabi lad would have thanked BCCI while England would have cursed them for the absence of a certain system which would have nailed the decision.
Almost a similar appeal was turned down when R Ashwin was bowling to the night-watchman James Anderson while England was batting. The umpire was Tony Hill this time. The only difference was Jimmy did not add a single run after the appeal while Yuvi added another 50.
A star is born
This comparison might have already been killed to death but Cheteshwar Pujara has definitely shown why he is being pitted in the same class as Rahul Dravid. True, he still has to prove his credentials outside of India or the sub-continent but two centuries and a crucial fifty against Aussies in all in six Test matches, augurs well for the future. And his well controlled and subdued celebrations are somehow good to see from a youngster.
He scored his fifty with a couple and got his hundred and double-ton with a 'classical' single. Gujarat might have gone Gaga over their much loved 'son' but on the horizon, he has just about started to rise (Sun).
In a 'Broad'er sense
He was all over the Men in Blue (rather white) when they toured England in 2011. In 4 matches there, he took 25 wickets at an exceptional average of 13.84 and economy rate of 2.28. In fact, he also scored 189 runs at a whopping average of 60.66 and strike-rate of 96.29 when India visited them in 2011. Here he has bowled 24 overs till now and gone for 97 wicketless runs. Apart from that, there have been a host of most extraordinary of appeals - two of the most prominent being the Ashwin one and the Yuvraj one. While the Yuvi appeal was pitching way outside leg, Ashwin's was missing the leg-stump by a huge margin. And it was not just about the appeals but the imploring done by Stuart Broad to 'get the decision out' of the umpire. Are you listening Mr. Chris Broad?
Getting on nerves
With all due respect to New Zealand and Bangladesh, in the last 30 Test matches, Dhoni has only managed to average above 40 against South Africa, and that too because of his record versus them in India. He has altered his batting style way too much from when he joined Team India and it is seemingly deteriorating further. He was once known for his strike-rate, even that has fallen way below his standards. Even today, he pushed and prodded his way to 5 runs off 37 balls before getting bowled in the most comical of dismissals. MSD definitely needs to work on his batting if India has to succeed in Test matches.
Taking India home from the South
Pragyan Ojha was born in Orissa but has played at the first-class level for Hyderabad while R Ashwin is a pure Madrasi (Chennaiite). First Ashwin batted well to support Pujara in his exploits and then the duo spun a web around England's batsmen later in the day. While Ojha started his Test career with a four-wicket haul in India's win over Sri Lanka, Ashwin opened his Test account with 9 wickets against the West Indies.
Even today, while the duo was bowling, the pitch would have seemed like a spinning cobra to the touring batsmen. Time for giving England a taste of their own medicine.