0940: Peter Siddle just sent down his first delivery in Test cricket, which reared off like an ill-tempered mule and whacked Gambhir on the helmet. Gambhir apparently has not lost his memory and recognises Sehwag. Sigh of relief across the stadium.
1021: The nearest cricket stadium was some 700km away. So my entire childhood was intrigued by the curiosity to know what players did during the over breaks. Finally, I arrived at my own conclusion that everyone stood still and were allowed to move only when broadcast resumed. It was a shock of my life when I saw them actually moving in front of my eyes during those breaks.
1027: Siddle is bowling from media end and the sightscreen behind Haddin displays a general insurance advertisement with the punchline 'Muskurate Raho'. Well, it's asking for too much, especially when you are hit around the park. At best, Siddle can only grin and bear it.
1039: Brett Lee, India's ambassador to Australia and son of the Mohali soil in IPL, greeted media with a chaste 'Sat Sri Akaal' on Wednesday. Siddle believes otherwise and welcomed Gambhir with a whack on the helmet this morning. Sehwag greets Watson with a boundary. Diwali greetings all around.
1054: The presence of Peter Roebuck in the press box puts me in August company this October 17. Tall man, taller nose (pardon my journalistic exaggeration. A journalist sans exaggeration is SRK minus stammering or spreading of his arms, whatever you like). His trademark sun hat lying on his desk, besides the laptop which he assaulted to pen this nice piece on Tendulkar. Wanted to talk to him but do I really fancy meeting someone who drove Richards and Garner out of Somerset and was jailed for caning three wards? Maybe some other day.
1104: With the Oz attack looking as toothless as the lady who played Indira Thakrun in Satyajit Ray's masterpiece "Pather Panchali", this is the only way they can hope to get Indian wickets. Gambhir and Dravid in an almighty mix-up but fortunately there's no damage. It turned out Gambhir was calling in Punjabi and Dravid was responding in Kannada. I always felt Indian cricket is in badly need of a lingua franca.
1222: The brand new car (I'm not paid, why should I mention the brand?) is perched on the edge of the boundary ropes under a harsh sun. I guess by the end of the fifth day, it would simply evaporate. Friends here are not amused by my thoughts and attribute the perceived banality to the vile lunch we had here. Thanks to the largesse of an Oz company (same reason for not naming them), my peers have turned beer barrels.
1248: After Siddle aimed at his head, Gambhir this time had a full-blooded Ponting throw hit his calf muscle. He clearly has reasons to fear for his life and limb. Hope Gambhir has got his insurance papers right.
1303: So far, Brett Lee has been as effective as Gandhism on gangsters. Imps insist Ponting needs to get Preity Zinta here to hug Lee. Well, I have nothing to say on this issue. I mean, why gild the Lillee...err...lily?
1326: Well, well. They just showed a Preity Zinta poster and Lee removed Dravid! That should be enough to establish the infallibility of my theory and silence the Doubting Thomas.
1444: Peter Siddle just made history by sending down the first ball in the post-tea session. Tendulkar glided it to third man, ran three and the bar was set higher for posterity. Brian Lara, just pushed off the pedestal, must be texting his congratulatory message in his palatial mansion at Trinidad's capital. Take a bow sir.
2009: Talk about controlled aggression.
"I have been around for 19 years and all these 19 years I did not play to prove anything to anyone, not in my first year not in the 10th, 15th or 19th year...I'm not here to react to what X,Y,Z is writing about me or saying about me. People will say lot of things, not necessarily they are always correct. I don't take their opinions seriously. ...so many things are being said and written and not necessarily those are right. Those are only opinions. What I feel within is more important. People tend to give opinion about what's going in my mind, so I don't know how they can figure out what's going in my mind, which is something even I can't figure out at times...As long as I enjoy I'll play. I don't need X,Y,Z to tell me when I should stop or when I should continue. When I stared, no one told me you should start or you should continue, so nobody needs to tell me now either."I have never seen anyone masking his aggression better. In the press conference, it was Tendulkar all the way.