Cricket

Livid over DRS reprieve for Dean Elgar, Virat Kohli vents on stump mic

With the Test and the series slipping out of their hands towards the end of Day 3 at Newlands and the Decision Review System overturning spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s confident LBW appeal against South African skipper Dean Elgar, Indian players used the stump microphone to air their displeasure against the host broadcasters.

By the time stumps were drawn for the day with South Africa on 101/2, needing 111 more runs to win the hotly contested series 2-1, clips showing Team India’s collective on-field outburst had gone viral on social media.

When Elgar survived the scare, he was on 22 and South Africa on 60/1. With the ball tracking showing the ball to be travelling over Elgar’s leg-stump, an agitated Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, kicked the turf. Ashwin walked close to the stump to say, “You have got to find better ways to win SuperSport (official broadcaster in South Africa).” To which, field umpire Marius Erasmus, who had adjudged Elgar out but was asked by the TV umpire to change his decision, said, “That’s impossible.”

READ | After DRS controversy angers Kohli and Co., India hit back to dismiss Dean Elgar in quest for history

Kohli, between overs, was heard saying: “Focus on your team as well when they shine the ball. Not just the opposition, trying to catch people all the time.” Another voice from the slip cordon shouted out: “Whole country is playing against eleven.”

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Back in 2018, it was the Supersports cameras that had caught Steve Smith’s Australia tampering the ball, the incident that gets referred to as the Sandpapergate scandal.

At the post-day press conference, Indian team bowling coach Paras Mhambrey was asked about the incident. “We saw it, you saw it. I think I leave that to the match referee to have a look at it. Nothing else that I can comment on (this) here. We all just want to move on with the game,” he replied.

About the comments picked up by the stump mic, he said: “Every individual out here is trying his best and sometimes in a moment like this, people do say certain things. But I think it’s only fair that we move on.”

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And this was not the first time that technology was called into question in this series. Mayank Agarwal’s leg-before dismissal in the first innings of the first Test was debated upon as well. When the opener was asked about that, he had said: “Well, to be honest, I’m not allowed to express my opinion on it. And I would leave it at that unless I want to be in the bad books and get my money (match fee) docked.” It remains to be seen if the Indian team’s adverse comments against the DRS decision would catch the attention of the match referee or ICC’s attention.

In the post-game analysis for Supersports, former South African player and commentator for the game Shaun Pollock spoke in support of the technology used.

“Hawkeye is something you rely on for decision-making. It’s an independent body. They do their level best with everything they have got. They have got their own cameras. I can understand the disappointment because they wanted the wicket but I think they went over the top a little bit. It’s scientific. They got each little point that they plot. And that’s how they work out where it goes. That’s a lot more scientific than any of us. We rely on them to make the decision and that’s what they have done.”

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