Mumbai: Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal off Pragyan Ojha was mired in controversy after the ball had hit Gautam Gambhir’s helmet grille at silly point before the fielder had completed the catch.
Ojha’s third ball of the over turned out to be the last before lunch as all, including the batsmen and the umpires walked off, thinking that the catch had been completed successfully.
TV replays later confirmed that the ball struck Gambhir’s helmet before he took the catch, which would mean dead ball. But Bairstow clearly didn’t know the laws because he walked off.
Law 32.3 (e) that deals with catches says: A catch shall be considered to have been fairly made if: “A fielder catches the ball after it has touched an umpire, another fielder or the other batsman. However, it is not a fair catch if the ball has previously touched a protective helmet worn by a fielder. The ball will then remain in play.”
England’s team director Andy Flower reportedly approached Match Referee Roshan Mahanama for the decision to be reversed. Flower was told that since Bairstow had left the field, it could only be done if Mahendra Singh Dhoni withdrew his appeal on the umpires’ request.
Dhoni apparently refused to do so. Gambhir, at the end of the day’s play, said he knew the ball had hit the grille before he completed the catch, but was not aware of the Law. “It happened in such a quick time, that by the time I realised itů” he said.
“I personally felt that when we went into lunch that once it hits your body and then the grille, that’s out. Just didn’t come straight off the grille. It just happened so quickly that later on I got to know. I haven’t had a word with MS that whether we wanted to call him back or not.”