The Telegraph
Saturday , December 8 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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When Alastair failed to realise ‘ground’ reality

Pragyan Ojha reacts during the third Test match, at the Eden, on Friday. (PTI)

Calcutta: Alastair Cook’s momentary lapse in concentration led to his bizarre dismissal for 190 on Friday, after spending 492 minutes at the crease.

The England captain was backing up to Kevin Pietersen on strike when he tried to return to his crease after realising that a run was not on.

Pietersen had clipped one to the square leg region where Virat Kohli threw the ball to the non-striker’s end. Cook was trying to tap his bat down and make his ground. As the throw had come in, he took evasive action inches before touching the bat down. Kohli’s direct hit found Cook’s bat in the air.

As the Indians appealed, on-field umpires Rod Tucker and Kumar Dharmasena was on the walkie-talkie with the third umpire. Tucker then spoke to Mahendra Singh Dhoni before declaring Cook run out. This was done only to explain the protocol behind referring it to the third umpire.

This was the first time Cook had been run out in a first-class match.

Law 38.2 dealing with a Batsman not Run out says: “...a batsman is not out Run out if (a) he has been within his ground and has subsequently left it to avoid injury, when the wicket is put down.”

Cook had not returned to his crease before taking evasive action, and the umpires could not therefore enact Law 38.2.

Jonathon Trott, who was involved in a 173-run stand with Cook for the second wicket, described the dismissal as freak. “It was sort of a very strange and freak dismissal. Alastair should have put his bat down first and then lifted. That way he would not have been out. I think he was trying to do that but was caught in between,” Trott said. “It was disappointing for him and the team to get out at 190. He was close to another double hundred.”

Trott reckoned his captain must be very upset at the manner of his dismissal. “He must be disappointed but he is not one who expresses too much of emotion, but deep down he’ll be upset. Of course, he should be happy with the job he did,” he said.

Trott reckoned it was a good day. “It was a good day for us as we could bat in the manner we wanted to at the start of it… We didn’t want to put much pressure on ourselves having had a good day yesterday. We just needed to back that up... Alastair and I tried to continue the good work and take up from where he and Nick Compton had left off. It was pleasing that I had a good partnership with Alastair but I am disappointed that he did not get a few more…”