| West Indies seamer Pedro Collins in action during Day II of the second Test against India in Chennai Friday. (Reuters)
Chennai: On the eve of the second Test, Sourav Ganguly had a wry smile written all over his face when quizzed on whether he was hoping for better luck from the umpires. But as the second day suggested, nothing much had changed.
One will struggle to keep count of the number of times the Indian skipper has been a victim to the umpires’ whimsical ways. A first-ball duck at Chepauk will only be the latest addition to that ever-growing list.
As umpire Asoka de Silva raised the index finger to Dillon’s appeal, after the thick inside edge wrapped on to his pads, the motley gathering could not hide its amazement.
A dismayed and ‘furious’ Sourav walked off in a huff. He shut himself inside the dressing room for the remaining part of the day to hide his feelings.
“Don’t ask me anything about the dismissal. You never came for my comments when Wavell Hinds was at the receiving end of a harsh decision on the opening day,” was how Michael Holding reacted on the issue.
Rumours were doing the rounds that Sourav might incur the wrath of the Match Referee for breaching the code on show of dissent. It may have been fuelled by his visit to the Indian dressing room after the end of the day’s play.
But Mike Procter squashed such rumours. “There has been no word from the umpires. If the umpires don’t report on the incident, I cannot take any action against the player concerned,” Procter told The Telegraph.
This was the second time in the series that De Silva had erred in deciding Sourav’s fate. To avoid a crowd backlash, the giant screen at the stadium blacked out the replay of the dismissal.
“I know the umpire can make mistakes but they should always be dead sure before giving the final verdict. A player’s career is made and broken by such faults,” said a former India Test cricketer.
It was time the International Cricket Council (ICC) seeks the role of the third umpire in ruling leg before decisions.
During the ICC Champions Trophy in Colombo recently, the on-field umpires could consult the third eye only to verify whether the ball had pitched in line of the leg stump.
An overhaul of that seems necessary.