London: Indian skipper Virat Kohli is stumped as to why the bails aren’t falling off in this World Cup even after the ball hits the stumps. Why are they stubborn and denying bowlers wickets and that too at crucial stages of the match?
Five times since the tournament commenced a bowler has hit the stumps and the electronic ‘zing’ bails have lit up but stayed firmly in place. It got discussed after Australian batsman David Warner escaped after he had edged India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah on to his leg stumps but the bails were not dislodged. This strange happening began from the opening match when England spinner Adil Rashid hit South Africa’s Quinton de Kock stump but the ball went to the boundary. In the New Zealand — Sri Lanka match at Cardiff, Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne played New Zealand pace bowler Trent Boult on to his stumps but the ball failed to dislodge the bail. In the West Indies-Australia match, it was worse. Chris Gayle was given out caught behind off Australia pace bowler Mitchell Starc, but the decision had to be overturned when TV replays show the ball hit his off stump rather than bat. It also happened during the England-Bangladesh match at Cardiff when Bangladesh’s Mohammad Saifuddin miscued a pull off Ben Stokes on to his off stump. The bail popped out of the groove but refused to fall.
All these incidents were similar to what happened to UAE pacer Amjad Javed during the 2015 World Cup when he bowled Ireland batsman Ed Joyce but the bail shuffled from the groove and refused to fall off. The incident was described by many as the ‘Luck of the Irish’.
Kohli reacting to the Warner incident said the incident needs to be looked into at the earliest. “I mean, this is not something which you don’t expect at the international level. I think with the technology it’s great. The lights come on and you know it’s very precise when you actually make something happen with the stumps. But you literally have to smash the stumps really hard, and I’m saying that as a batsman. If I see something happening like that, I’d be very surprised, also. And these are fast bowlers. These are not your medium-paced bowlers.”
Kohli revealed that Mahendra Singh Dhoni had examined the stumps and bails closely. “MS (Dhoni) said we checked the stump hole, as well. The stump was not in very hard, it was actually loose. So I don’t know what’s actually wrong with the stump, the outer coating of the stump. I have no idea what’s going on due to the lights coming on, if the stump is too thick or too rigid or I have no idea. But I’m sure no team would like seeing stuff like that when you actually bowl a good ball and then you don’t get the guy out, the ball hits the stump and the lights don’t come on, or the lights come on and the bail comes back on to the stump. I haven’t seen that happen so many times in the past.”
Should the rules be changed whereby a batsman is declared out if the light flickers and even if the bails do not fall? A journalist jokingly remarked: “Maybe the weight of the cricket ball needs to be increased now.”