Final stroke of the brush

Halfway into the final session of Day Three, Nathan Lyon and the close-in fielders appealed for a bat-pad catch against Virat Kohli. None of them exercised their lungs too strenuously, knowing fully well that Kohli hadn't edged it. The spectators at the Feroz Shah Kotla, however, roared a collective, eardrum-shattering "howazzaaaaat" and groaned when they realised it wasn't out.

India, chasing 155, were 119 for one. Under such circumstances, it wasn't that blasphemous an act for a Delhi crowd to urge the umpire to send a Delhi boy back to the pavilion. Especially when Sachin Tendulkar was padded up to come in next, to play what would most likely be his last Test innings on home soil.

When India began their chase, few would have expected that they would coast in this manner. All through the day, conversations in the press box had revolved around how much of a lottery batting had become on this pitch.

Australia seemed to be thinking along the same lines when they began their second innings 10 runs behind, having taken only 13 deliveries to scalp the last two Indian wickets. In walked Glenn Maxwell and David Warner, an opening pair with a distinct Twenty20 whiff about it, ostensibly sent out to throw the kitchen sink at the new ball for as long as they could before that inevitable unplayable delivery came along. They scored 15 before the first one showed up.

The perfect bowler

In Ravindra Jadeja, India had the perfect bowler for these conditions. He came on first change, and immediately got to work, hustling the ball through at a pace that gave the batsmen no time to use their feet. Some of his deliveries hit cracks, some landed on unmarked spots, and everything was stump-to-stump, forcing the batsman to play.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.