Day three of the series-deciding third Test between South Africa and India came to an end with some blockbuster entertainment in Cape Town.
It was in the 21st over that R Ashwin flighted one that straightened enough after pitching as Dean Elgar was beaten trying to play a forward defensive stroke. Straightaway, umpire Marais Erasmus gave it leg before wicket but Elgar went for DRS, which – much to the surprise of pretty much everyone – ruled that the ball would miss the stumps due to bounce.
It seemed rather inexplicable instinctively, but to be fair technology doesn’t work on instincts. The broadcasters showed in the next over that another similar delivery too bounced over the stump and Elgar had got a huge stride forward.
It seemed more to be a technical one rather than umpiring or broadcasting error but the Indian team were furious. The first reaction, however, came from umpire Marais Erasmus who immediately said “That’s impossible!” as he was changing his decision.
Funnily enough Elgar, after seeing that he was beaten, had started walking before he came back, reported PTI. The South African captain had a wry smile on his face too. An angry Kohli kicked the ground in disgust and then used the stump microphone to good effect.
Here’s what was heard over the stump mic over the next few moments:
Apna kaam karte rahenge (let’s keep doing our own work): Rishabh Pant
Surely, find better ways to win Supersport (broadcaster): R Ashwin
Focus on your team as well when they shine the ball eh? Not just the opposition... trying to catch people all the time: Virat Kohli
Well done DRS, very well done: Virat Kohli
Whole country playing against XI guys: Unknown
Making the sport look bad now: Unknown
It is worth noting that India were already quite miffed with DRS during this series. In the first Test, Mayank Agarwal was given not out LBW and the ball tracking returned a surprise decision to which Mayank had said later in the day that he didn’t want to comment so as to not to cop a fine.
However, for the record, the playing conditions state that DRS technology is acquired through approved vendors. As former SA captain Shaun Pollock said in the post-match discussion, it is an independent process.
When pressed to comment about Indian players’ remarks against DRS and the broadcasters, India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey added: “Every individual out here is trying his best. Sometimes in a moment like this, people do say certain things. It’s a game. I think it’s fair we just move on. Everyone is trying their best. Emotions do come into play sometimes.”
South Africa fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, when asked to comment on the matter after the day’s play, said the Indian players’ reaction showed their frustration at the moment.
Here’s what Ngidi had to say:
“Reactions like that show a bit of frustration. And sometimes teams capitalise on that. You never really want to show too much emotion, but I guess we could see clearly right there that emotions were high.
“That probably tells us that maybe they are feeling a little bit of pressure. That was a good partnership for us as well. So they really wanted to break that partnership.
“Those feelings ended up showing there. But at the end of the day, I think everyone reacts differently to certain situations and probably what we saw there, probably how those guys were feeling at the time.
“Yes (we trust DRS). I mean, we’ve seen it on numerous occasions being used all around the world. It’s a system in place and that’s used in cricket.”
A short while later, there was another LBW appeal against Elgar in Bumrah.
At the end of day’s play, Shaun Pollock and Dinesh Karthik discussed the independent nature of DRS on Cricbuzz.
Finally, the day’s play came to a close with DRS going India’s way. As Kohli decided to review an appeal for caught behind down the leg side off Bumrah against Elgar, the technology concurred with the Indian captain and his South African counterpart had to walk back. At stumps, the discussion was all around the stump mics.