India v Australia, 3rd Test, Ranchi, 4th day March 19, 2017

Plot watch - Jadeja's rough

ESPNcricinfo staff
Dark patches outside the left-handers' off stump caused Australia some concern, but the rest of the Ranchi pitch continued to play well
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The trajectory of the Ravindra Jadeja delivery that spat out of the rough to bowl David Warner © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Pitch watch
The pitch continued to be good for batting on the fourth day. The only worry for Australia was that 83 overs from Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood, most of which were from over the wicket, had created a rough outside the left-handers' off stump, and they had five of them. Through the day, there was speculation about how Ravindra Jadeja would exploit the dark patches. When Steve O'Keefe tried to bowl into that rough, he didn't get much purchase, even when he pitched it wide outside the right-handers' leg stump.

An over into the rough from Steve O'Keefe © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

But Jadeja gives the ball more of a rip and he did get a few balls to jump out of the rough at the end of the day, including the delivery that bowled David Warner. In an over to Matt Renshaw, he beat the outside edge more often than the inside one with balls that Renshaw expected to turn but went straight on. The doubt over whether the ball will spin from that rough or not will cause problems for Australia's left-handers.

Some balls turned and some didn't when Ravindra Jadeja attacked the rough outside Matt Renshaw's off stump © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Aggression watch
Cheteshwar Pujara's meditation at the crease seemed to turn the playing field at the JSCA International Stadium into a monastery, with even the chirpiest of Australia's fielders seemingly taking a vow of silence. Then, in the final 30 minutes of the day, everything came alive. There was plenty of chatter around the bat when India began to bowl. Three vociferous appeals for lbw seemed designed more to intimidate the batsmen than get a decision from the umpire, considering there was barely a discussion on whether to review the not-out calls.

Virat Kohli was animated during India's eight-over burst at the end of the day © Associated Press

The most bizarre moment, though, occurred when Virat Kohli reacted to David Warner's dismissal by repeating the mock shoulder clutch that Glen Maxwell had performed to rile Kohli up on the third day. Had Kohli taken a wonderful diving catch, the celebration may have been understandable as a message that no injury could stop him, but since he was just a spectator as Jadeja castled Warner, it just came across as odd.

DRS watch
After causing so much discussion and debate during the series, the DRS clearly did its job on day four, overturning an erroneous decision by Ian Gould; he had given Pujara out lbw, but the ball was missing leg stump by about a foot. Then it was Australia's turn to be desperate with their reviews, wasting both on caught-behind appeals when the ball had gone nowhere close to the bat.

The funniest review of the day, though, was when Chris Gaffaney reviewed his own decision right in the middle of giving it. After a half-hearted appeal for caught behind against Pujara, Gaffaney appeared to raise his finger, but seemingly when he saw just how unconvinced the Australians were, he moved his hand to his head to fiddle with his hat, an old trick that has been used by, among others, Raman Sharma and Billy Bowden.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Smit1307 on March 20, 2017, 8:37 GMT

    If Warner would have been batting well and India in need of wickets, at that time such sledging, intimating batsmen is acceptable, as it is in the interest of the game. But sending off his after hes out makes no sense. It is just arrogance. Kohli is having bad time with the bat in this series is no big deal. He has been batting well continuously, hes bound to get affected by law of averages. If he wants to be ulta=ra aggressive, than be it but when batsmen is playing at that time. Once he is out, just focus on the next wicket and let him go.

  • luckyflyer on March 20, 2017, 6:38 GMT

    The players just see it as a bit of banter on the field but here, we are, in the comments section, arguing about who mocked whom. I bet even they just have a laugh and let it go. Why can't we?

  • TestCricRox on March 20, 2017, 6:19 GMT

    Pathetic from Kohli, cringe worthy, obnoxious and not the way you'd want any young child to emulate, I'm indian and waiting for the first article/post on such behaviour of his, and i sincerely hope the article is penned by an indian.... as the great big scorer of life would say when you go up, its not weather you won or lost, its how you played the game....yeah he is a great batsman-very close to our best ever, but he also tops in a few other unwanted lists.... i'd never have the same fondness or affection for vk as for several others that wore the hallowed india blue cap in the past and played with intensity and to win yet with more class, dignity and respect.... cricinfo i request you to please publish

  • SaifQazi on March 20, 2017, 5:45 GMT

    I dare say, his form (or rather lack of it) has brought about this change in him, where he has been over-expressive to compensate for the lack of runs. Admittedly, this has been a high-voltage series, not limited to on-field performances from either sides. But Kohli, I thought, had learnt to restrain himself, put his head down and perform. He was a different player in Australia last year against the same side. He was performing and letting his bat do the talking, even if the Australian were chirping in his ears.

  • dinosaurus on March 20, 2017, 5:25 GMT

    What offends me most about VVS using Phil Hughes' death as a weapon to bludgeon the Aussies with is not as much the appalling bad taste (what a way to treat a fellow cricketer's death!!) as it seems almost to suggest that "the only good Australian is a dead Australian" We've lived a hundred years with the horrific consequences of thinking like that, and many participants from "the other side" now get together frequently at old soldiers' gatherings. Like the cricketers these old solders know only too well how tough it was for everybody!

  • osadiq1 on March 20, 2017, 5:08 GMT

    To the Indians criticizing Maxell and backing Kohli, you all might have forgotten but the world hasn't when Jadeja mocked an Australian player when he was limping a few years back in India. Its just a matter of time when Kohli's antics will indeed get him in trouble. Also, don't forget that the other 2 of the Big 3, even voted against you.

  • Cricinfouser on March 20, 2017, 5:05 GMT

    Virat is fast becoming a mockery. He should just shut up and let his bat do the talking

  • Hurry on March 20, 2017, 3:53 GMT

    Neverthless I'm not for any sort of aggression other than scoring/defending/wicket taking/catching abilities. That's the way to answer. For sure there will be a different teams emerging as Rank 1 as changes are for ever to be there. The most important thing is to stay humble.

  • Aaron Hs on March 20, 2017, 3:23 GMT

    "For all those criticising Kohli, look at yourselves. Where is he and where are you" - I'm a semi-retired mid-thirty year old, and I spend most of my time sailing, drinking, and watching cricket in the greatest country on earth. Kohli is an immature Test Captain that is probably in a room all on his own, arguing with himself. What a sound argument that is BTW. Seems Virat's fan boys and their poor defense of his behaviour seem to be a direct reflection of the man (or child) himself.

  • cricfan43358910 on March 20, 2017, 2:50 GMT

    I could understand if Kohli had done that if Maxwell had been dismissed, but Warner? Warner hasn't done anything in this series to warrant such a send off. It's just a pathetic show of sportsmanship from Kohli.

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