Dubious umpiring decisions have marred every one of the games of the bilateral ODI series between India and England, and the Mohali game has been no different.
Bad umpiring once again spoilt an otherwise brilliant game of cricket with the match witnessing three wrong decisions. While Team India were at the receiving end of two – Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma, England skipper Alastair Cook got one.
Cook, who had earlier rued the absence of the Decision Review System (DRS) in the ongoing tour, has one more reason to resent the Indian board opposition to the technology. Cook was looking set for a century when he fell to an umpiring blunder in the fourth ODI at Mohali on Wednesday.
The England captain would consider himself unlucky as the ball that dismissed him had pitched outside the leg. But umpire Sudhir Asnani thought otherwise and Cook was back in the pavilion for a solid 76.
The Englishmen then benefited from a couple of wrong decisions when the Indians started their chase. Gambhir, who hasn’t been in the best of nick, would have been hoping for the Gods to smile on him at Mohali. Instead some questionable umpiring cut his innings short.
In the sixth over of the Indian innings, the southpaw wafted a Tim Bresnan delivery but failed to make contact and the ball sailed into the wicketkeeper’s gloves. The opener was thus shocked to see the umpire raising his finger. Replays showed Gambhir had reason to grumble.
But the umpires weren’t done for the day. Rohit Sharma, who had been brought in from the cold to open the innings, looked set for a ton before poor umpiring took away that opportunity.
Sharma was on 83 when a Steven Finn delivery hit the makeshift opener on the pads and umpire Steve Davis gave him out LBW. A dubious decision since it looked as if the ball was going to fly past leg-stump.
There was another controversy with the umpires during the match. Davis was again in the thick of things when Finn was denied Suresh Raina’s wicket. The England pacer managed to get Raina to nick the ball to slip with India on 178 for 4. But, Finn’s right knee collided with the stumps and Davis declared it a dead ball.
Cook tried to talk Davis into changing his decision, but to no avail.
Talking about the incident after the game, Cook felt if Raina had got out at that stage, it could have helped his team's cause.
He said it was "frustrating" as they thought they had Raina but soon came to know that the umpire had ruled it as a dead ball. Finn had already been warned for a similar offence at Kochi.
He admitted that "there was a little bit of confusion". "Apparently, we had been told before, but I think in the heat of the moment, you are not entirely sure. We tried to clarify things. It is frustrating when such things happen. At that time, it wasn't pretty clear that we had been told before ... at the moment, emotions were high," he said.
"To be fair to the umpires, they had told us that this is the rule. It can be frustrating (when team starts to celebrate and the ball is ruled as dead). I wasn't totally sure. They had told us before. In Kochi, he was told (warned). I couldn't remember the conversation they had, lot of things go through your mind," Cook said.
Raina at that time was on 41 and went on to score an unbeaten match-winning 89.