Friday Jan 14, 2022
Indian skipper Virat Kohli's frustrated stump mic rant has taken the spotlight after he and his teammates expressed their frustration over an overturned leg before wicket (LBW) decision that went in favour of South African captain Dean Elgar in the 21st over of the final innings of the fiercely-fought third and final Test match at Newlands.
While Indians reacted with dismay and anger, Pakistanis highlighted a similar incident that had occurred back in 2011 during the World Cup when a straightforward LBW decision was reversed in favour of Sachin Tendulkar.
Reacting to the social media controversy, where netizens were quick to highlight the injustice faced by former spinner Saeed Ajmal, the cricketer said: "When the Sachin Tendulkar decision from the 2011 World Cup was overturned on review, I was told that the technology should be trusted [and] is accurate."
Speaking about the Indian cricketer's reaction, Ajmal said: "Today those same people are saying the technology should not be trusted [and] is not accurate."
The former cricketer further said that when an obvious decision goes against you, you then realise how difficult it is to accept.
"There is no way my delivery to Sachin Tendulkar from the 2011 World Cup was missing the stumps, just like the Ashwin delivery to Elgar today wasn't missing the stumps," he further added.
It is pertinent to mention here that during a crucial stage on the third day of the third Test, the ball from off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin hit Elgar below the knee roll of his front pad, in line with the stumps.
He had, however, pushed forward and was well outside the batting crease. The ball-tracking technology showed it was bouncing just above the stumps.
Kohli then went up to the stump microphone at the end of the over and reportedly shouted: "Focus on your team while they shine the ball. Not just the opposition. Trying to catch the opposition all the time."
The relevance to the decision was not obvious but Kohli was probably referring to the "Sandpapergate" controversy when host broadcaster SuperSport's cameras caught Australia's Cameron Bancroft using sandpaper on the ball during a Test at Newlands in 2018.
Indian vice-captain KL Rahul and Ashwin both appeared to accuse SuperSport of influencing the ball-tracking device.
Rahul was heard to say, "The whole country is playing against 11 guys."
Ashwin, who had celebrated what he thought was a vital breakthrough, said, "You should find better ways to win, SuperSport."
Elgar, star of South Africa's successful run chase in the second Test, was on 22 and the total was 60 for one when the incident happened with South Africa chasing a target of 212 runs to win the match and the series.
Elgar added only eight more runs before he was out — also after a successful review, this time by India after he had been given not out for a catch by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant — in the last over of the day.
Ajmal also said that he had watched Dean Elgar review a few times, adding there is no way that the ball was going over the stumps. "The ball hit him on the knee-roll and he was out," he added.
— With additional input from Reuters