Also See: Scorecard | Match Report | Cricket's Most Famous Moustaches
Good start by Shikhar Dhawan: A man with two pierced ear lobes got up, after making a desperate dive to get into the crease. With the 100th run in the pocket, he took his helmet off, raising his arms, with a smile aimed at the heavens. The shots that helped him enter the history books, were crisp and convincing. Dhawan’s strength is his superbly balanced stance, which ensures that he gets behind the ball at all times. The timing was excellent, and in full display, when he was essaying the cover drive, as also the ones that were driven on the up. The left-hander doesn’t play away from his body, but uses his feet to move towards the pitch of the ball. His inside-out shot against the spinners, with the feet criss-crossing like scissor blades, only added to Australia’s misery. Half-trackers and full tosses were given the respect they deserved, with the 27-year old’s gloves displaying pre-planned intent and restraint. Was he really playing his first Test?
Yes he was. India must be saying thanks a ton, for the fastest Test century on debut. The man with the moustache clearly deserved the Man of the Match award.
Murali Vijay Ho:
This right-hander needs width to play his shots, and when he is offered the room, he will go to any length to hit a four. He leans into the shot right away, with the bat swinging in, in the direction of the gap between the fielders. Vijay’s flick brought up with the wrists rolling over the ball, is something special, with the left knee moving forward and receding. Stepping out to the Aussie spinners, Vijay sent the ball flying over long on, and to cow corner with an ease and style that is truly his own.
Bhuvneshwar on top in Mohali:
After going wicketless in the first inning, Bhuvneshwar Kumar accounted for David Warner, Ed Cowan and Steve Smith, to put India in the driver’s seat on day four. While Warner gifted his wicket to Bhuvneshwar, Cowan fell leg-before-wicket. But the best wicket was clearly his last one in the match. Right-hander Smith’s defence was opened up by a ball moving in, with the batsman’s foot nowhere near the pitch of the ball. The Aussie was stuck in the pose for a full second, as he struggled to come to terms with the dismissal.
Jadeja vu for Michael Clarke: Ravindra Jadeja had dismissed Michael Clarke three times before he flew down to Mohali. Once the third Test got underway, three became five. Coming in at No.3 in the first inning, Clarke took one step forward, only to beaten by the late turn. Opposite number Mahendra Singh Dhoni did the rest, and the Aussie skipper was sent back for a first ball duck. In the second inning, Clarke played across to Jadeja, with the edge going on to hit the pad only to make its way into Pujara’s hands at short leg.
Leave it to Smith: While he might have scored 92 (first inning) with the bat, Steven Smith clearly had trouble getting a decent grip behind the cricket ball. The leg spinner bowled half-trackers that Shikhar Dhawan managed to paddle sweep without having to get down on one knee. His full tosses too were promptly put away to the fence. So when the man managed to snare Sachin Tendulkar on the following day, he did surprise everyone.
Not out at No.3: Coming in at No.3 in India’s first inning, Cheteshwar Pujara wasn’t very happy when he was given out leg-before-wicket to Peter Siddle, off what was a big inside edge. Phillip Hughes, who came in at one drop, in Australia’s second inning, was also given out lbw, when the ball was hitting the pad, with the stance on impact outside leg stump. On both occasions, the umpire in question was Aleem Dar.
Three fours from Dhoni: India made a mess of what should have been a straightforward chase by losing four wickets. When Sachin Tendulkar ran himself out, it was left to Ravindra Jadeja and Mahendra Singh Dhoni to take India home. The duo survived some anxious moments, before Dhoni struck three fours off Starc to give his side a 3-0 lead in the series.