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India vs Australia | Stubborn Zings Bails Leave Kohli, Finch Nonplussed

Karthik Lakshmanan |June 10, 2019, 10:49 PM IST
India vs Australia | Stubborn Zings Bails Leave Kohli, Finch Nonplussed

London: The use of Zings bails have come under scanner once again with David Warner becoming the fifth batsman in 14 matches this World Cup to be reprieved after the bails did not dislodge from the wicket in Australia's match against India at the Oval on Sunday (June 9).

Warner inside edged Jasprit Bumrah onto the base of the stumps but stubborn bails meant he batted on. There were plenty of similar instances in the IPL too, with the problem even going back to the previous World Cup.

A microprocessor in each bail detects when both spigots, or edges of the bail, have become dislodged from the stump's grooves. The zing illuminates within 1/1000th of a second when the connection between the bails and the stumps is broken.

While it makes for interesting viewing and helps the umpires, the wiring, LED and battery make the bails heavier. It is estimated that the weight of a zings bail is around thrice that of a normal bail.

With issues around the bails increasing, the ICC is reportedly taking note.

"The bails not dislodging is a concern," said a source. "But the matter has not been discussed officially yet.

"The weight is not an issue. The zings bail are heavier than normal bails but are lighter than 'storm bails'. Whether it's an issue with the groove or stump hole needs to be seen."

The storm bails are ones that umpires use for heavily windy conditions. Interestingly, the laws also permit umpires to dispense with the use of bails in such conditions.

The Marylebone Cricket Club has specifications for bails' sizes, but does not have any restriction on weight.

According to the MCC, the bails, when in position on top of the stumps:

– shall not project more than 0.5 inches/1.27 cm above them.

– shall fit between the stumps without forcing them out of the vertical.

The bails should conform to the following specifications:

Overall length 4.31 inches/10.95 cm

Length of barrel 2.13 inches/5.40 cm

Longer spigot 1.38 inches/3.50 cm

Shorter spigot 0.81 inches/2.06 cm.


The ICC's playing conditions allow for use of technology in the form of zings bails.

Both captains on Sunday's game said the issue must be looked into.

"I mean, this is not something which you expect at the international level," said Kohli. "I think with the technology it's great. The lights come on and you know it's very precise when you actually make something happen with the stumps. But you literally have to smash the stumps really hard, and I'm saying that as a batsman. If I see something happening like that, I'd be very surprised, also. And these are fast bowlers. These are not your medium-paced bowlers.

"I don't know, and MS (Dhoni) said he checked the stump hole as well. The stump was not in very hard, it was actually loose. So I don't know what's actually wrong with the stump, the outer coating of the stump. I have no idea what's going on due to the lights coming on, if the stump is too thick or too rigid. But I'm sure no team would like seeing stuff like that when you actually bowl a good ball and then you don't get the guy out, the ball hits the stump and the lights don't come on, or the lights come on and the bail comes back on to the stump. I haven't seen that happen so many times in the past."

Finch, meanwhile, said it was 'unfair' on the bowlers.

"We were on the right end of it today, but it's a bit unfair at times, isn't it? And I know David hit the stumps pretty hard," said Finch. "But it does seem to be happening more and more, which is unfortunate, because you'd hate to see something like that happen in a World Cup final or a semifinal or something like that. That you've done the hard work as a bowler or a fielding side to set a player up or get the mistake and it not be rewarded. There may be something, but I'm not sure what you can do. I don't know how much lighter they can make the bails."

Zings bails are manufactured in Australia and were approved by the ICC in 2012. Since then, they have been employed in multiple ICC events and T20 leagues around the world.

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

5 4 1 0 8 +0.81
4 3 0 1 7 +2.16
4 3 0 1 7 +1.02
4 3 1 0 6 +1.55
5 2 2 1 5 -0.27
5 1 2 2 4 -1.77
5 1 3 1 3 +0.27
5 1 3 1 3 -0.20
5 1 3 1 3 -1.93
4 0 4 0 0 -1.63

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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