There is nothing like a good low-catch controversy to fire up cricket fans. It is easily one of the most debatable aspects in cricket. And the ICC World Test Championship Final 2023 wouldn’t end with one of those, as Shubman Gill’s dismissal on Saturday by a Cameron Green catch got people talking on both sides.
The fourth day of the Test saw Australia add quick runs in the first half of the day and declare their second innings at 270 for eight. Losing their top three in the chase, India were 164 for three in pursuit of a mammoth target of 444 at the end of day’s play.
Australia declared at 270 for eight, setting India a target of 444 runs.
Like their first outing, openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill were proactive at the start of India’s innings. The batters unfurled a series of attractive punches, pulls and drives to help India go at nearly run-a-ball for the first seven overs. Australia had their first success when Gill edged a Scott Boland delivery to Green in the Gully region, and the all-rounder was judged to have grasped it fairly by the TV umpire. India walked back at 41 for one at the end of the second session.
Here’s a look at the law pertaining fair catches:
Shubman Gill’s reaction on social media suggested he was not pleased with the decision. Something tells us he is not actually applauding the catch):
Cameron Green was, of course, asked about the catch (and the subsequent reaction from the crowd later in the day). Here’s what the Aussie all-rounder had to say after the match:
On the catch itself:
Yeah, I think at the time I definitely thought I caught it. I think in the heat of the moment, I thought it was clean and threw it up and obviously showed no sign of any doubt basically. And then it’s left up to the third umpire and he agreed, so yeah.
On how hard he works on his fielding:
Yeah, I think ever since I’ve grown up - Yeah, no I put a lot of time and effort into it. I think growing up, always try to get myself in first or second slip and I have done that basically my whole junior career. So yeah, I back myself that I can take a few nice catches and yeah, a bit disappointed the first day dropping that one, but yeah, it’s always nice to repay basically.
On the crowd reacting strongly to the chat:
Yeah, obviously the Indian crowd are so passionate. And yeah, obviously one of their favourite guys, Shubman Gill, got out and I think that’s what they’re all kind of looking forward to watching. It is what it is and we move on.
India pacer Mohammed Shami had come for the press conference, and he said:
One could have (TV umpire) taken some time, it’s the World Test Championship final, not a normal match that you let go. It should have been checked better, zoomed in, but it’s okay, it’s part of the game.
When I saw it live, I knew it had carried to him on the full, but I wasn’t sure what the action was after that from all replays we have seen.
I actually think some part of the ball did touch the ground and it is the interpretation of the umpire that as long as the fielder has complete control of the ball before the ball hits the ground then it is out.That must have been what the umpires’ interpretation was and I think that is exactly what happened.
It carried probably six or eight inches off the ground then there was another action after that.
There will be a lot of talk about it I am sure and there will probably be more talk in India than in Australia. Everyone in India will think it is not out and everyone in Australia will think it is out.
Later on Sunday, after the end of the match, India captain Rohit Sharma and his Australian counterpart Pat Cummins were asked about the dismissal.
Here’s what Sharma had to say:
I mean, the third umpire should have seen a little more replays, a little more of, you know, how the catch has been held. I think it was three or four times he saw and he was convinced with it. It’s not about whether it was given out or not out, you need to have a proper and clear information about anything. It’s just not about the catch, it can be about anything. That was, that is something that I was a little disappointed with - the decision was made quite quickly. When a catch like that has been taken, you need to be more than 100% sure because it’s a final and we were at that important stage of the game as well. So that was to me a little disappointing. And more camera angles should have been shown. There was only one or two camera angles that were shown. We’ve got more angles in IPL. We’ve got 10 different angles in IPL. I don’t know why in a world event like this, there was no ultra motion that was seen or any kind of zoomed image was seen. That is what I was a little disappointed with.
Cummins backed Richard Kettleborough:
I thought it was a fair catch. Green was an absolute screamer and obviously we’re just players, we’re out on the field so we leave it in the umpire’s hands and personally, probably the best umpire in the world, he knows the rule books, he’s seen every angle. I’d probably back his decision more so than emotional, passionate fans that are looking on a big screen from 100 meters away.
Here are some more reactions to the controversial dismissal:
With inputs from ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone