Third umpire’s decision to give Indian captain Virat Kohli leg before was baffling in spite of a clear inside edge on the first day of Mumbai Test against New Zealand.
Ajaz Patel was on a roll and had already got two wickets and was getting a lot of purchase from the wicket and brought one ball - to which Kohli put his bat and pad forward. Anil Chaudhary, the on-field umpire put his finger up and Kohli reviewed it immediately. Replays clearly showed that there was an inside edge but the impact of the ball hitting the pad was also simultaneous and the third umpire said because the on-line field umpire’s decision was out, there was not enough evidence to overturn the decision.
My debate here is that if the on-field umpires’ decision was not out, the third umpire would have ruled not out. This is a pattern usually followed by the third umpires. We have a third umpire so that he can take his own call and rectify the decision. We have seen many a times that a doubtful catch depends on the decision of the on-field umpire who is quite far and his signal to the third umpire of out or not out stays.
The third umpire should be given the right to change the decision as long as he feels the right decision is made and not be influenced by the on-field umpires’ decision. What is the use of a third umpire when he cant change the decision which is right?
Virendra Sharma had a terrible first Test match as on-field umpire and he continued his poor run again as third umpire. It’s time ICC takes drastic measures to ensure such mistakes by third umpires don’t happen again as the third umpire is a cushion to rectify the mistakes of the on-field umpires. Wasim Jaffer, the former Indian opener, summed up that common sense should have been used by the third umpire in making the decision but he further added that common sense is not so common these days!
- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is a Vice-Chairman of Danube Group