Mohali:The way a man is perceived - by his peers, by the public, by the world at large - can change greatly in a day of Test cricket. The Indian fielders gave Shane Watson a few verbals in the morning session because they saw him as the most vulnerable among the Australians, a bit of a softie in that department. Watson, though, didn't allow that, or other tactics, to get to him and was around to block the last ball of the day having scored 101 off 279.
Watson stretched way forward to that ball from Pragyan Ojha, defended, tucked the bat under his arm and walked back. Rahul Dravid at slip was the first man to congratulate him. Then came Suresh Raina, all the way from midwicket, followed by Harbhajan Singh, who had played cat-and-mouse with Watson all day long. Zaheer Khan, who'd had a spat with Ricky Ponting earlier before bowling a superb spell of reverse-swing to bring India back, called out to Watson from the other end of the ground. Watson was perhaps too spent after more than six hours of fierce concentration and had to be nudged by Tim Paine to look Zaheer's way; he acknowledged the generous applause with a raise of the hand.