Calcutta/Sydney: The competitive edge of the modern game has time and again tested the Spirit of Cricket. On Sunday, at the SCG, two controversial decisions were made and India, playing against Australia, on both the occasions.
The major controversy was related to Sachin Tendulkar, who was dismissed in a debatable run out. His captain Mehendra Singh Dhoni lashing out at pacer Brett Lee for standing on the way of the batsman.
The action unfolded after the final delivery of the seventh over bowled by Lee during Indias chase of a 253-run target, at the venue of the infamous Monkeygate scandal of 2008.
Gautam Gambhir called for a single to which Tendulkar responded only to be run out by David Warner. Lee was seen standing in Tendulkars way after running across the pitch while the Indian was sprinting towards the crease.
Tendulkar threw his arms up in frustration when the ball hit the stumps, making it clear that he wasnt happy with Lee blocking his way, but umpires Simon Taufel (at square leg) and Billy Bowden ruled against the batsman after some deliberation.
Dhoni, at the post-match press conference, was unsparing on Lee, saying the Australian pacer had no business to stand on way of Tendulkar.
I dont think that you can justify that Lee was going towards the point fielder. I dont think he had real business to go over there and to decide to stand just in front of Tendulkar. That means he (Tendulkar) will have to take a longer way across. That is my reading of that particular run out, Dhoni said.
Tendulkar was disappointed that he was given out despite the bowler (Lee) standing on his way, he added.
Lee, however, had his own story to tell. After the match, the Aussie speedster tweeted: Great win by the Aussies… Boys are very excited. Just for the record, I would never block the great man Sachin on purpose when is running.
Dhoni also took exception to the fact that Simon Taufel took the decision to rule Tendulkar out though the other on-field umpire Billy Bowden was nearer to the actual incident.
Dhoni also cited an example from a previous match to make his point. In Brisbane, in the first game (against Australia last week), when (Ranganath) Vinay (Kumar) was bowling, we had a slip and no mid-wicket. When the ball went to the point fielder, Vinay crossed over the pitch and to go towards the midwicket… But the umpires said (to Vinay) you are not allowed to do that. But he was doing something which was well within the laws of the game.
Another controversial incident in the match was the turning down of obstructing the field appeal against David Hussey and Dhoni maintained that umpire Bowden erred in not declaring the Australian batsman out after the Indians appealed.