Australia captain Tim Paine, whose gritty 73 helped his team win the opening Test against India, got the rub of the green going his way when he survived a close run-out call during day one of the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday.
The incident happened in the 55th over of the day after Australia won the toss and elected to bat first. The score was 142/5 and Paine was batting on 6 off 16. Cameron Green, up against R Ashwin, drove the ball to mid-off and set off for a single. His skipper, at the other end though, was late to react and had to sprint hard to have a chance of completing the run.
Umesh Yadav, fielding at mid-off, picked up the ball cleanly and released a one-bounce throw which was slightly wide. But wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was quick to gather the ball and whip off the bails.
To the naked eye, it looked touch and go and the on-field umpire had no hesitation in taking it upstairs. And that’s what let to a bit of a controversy at the MCG.
Third umpire Paul Wilson, who happens to be an Australian, saw a number of replays from either side before saying: “There’s no conclusive evidence to show the bat is on the wrong side of the line, so the bat looks like it could have a bit over the line. My decision is not out.”
Watch the incident here:
Now, although India didn’t have to pay a heavy price as Paine was soon dismissed by Ashwin for 13 off 38, there were many on social media, including a number of former cricketers, who reckoned that Wilson got the decision wrong and Paine should’ve been given run-out earlier. A close look at the replays did suggest that the right-hander didn’t have any part of his bat over the line when the bails came off.
This incident also highlighted the significance of West Indies captain Jason Holder’s recent comments about having neutral umpires for international matches.
“I don’t understand a situation where we’re having home umpires,” Holder had said after the recent Test series in New Zealand. “If we can travel and do a quarantine, I don’t see why an opposing (team) umpire can’t do the travel and quarantine. If players are making the sacrifice and go on the road and continue cricket then I feel as though the umpires should do the same. If it’s a case where you get a home and an opposing umpire to do a Test match then I think that’s fair.”
Here are some Twitter reactions to the Paine incident on Saturday:
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