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India vs England: Joe Root, England & a Spate of Debatable Decisions by Third Umpire

Poor, Joe Root. You gotta feel him. The England skipper has done everything right so far in this series, or at least he would like to think so. He batted superbly for his double ton in the opening Test at Chennai, to take his team to a solid victory, and since then has been fighting a battle against 11 Indian players and the third umprire, as it would appear, from the second Test onwards.

India vs England: Joe Root, England & a Spate of Debatable Decisions by Third Umpire

Poor, Joe Root. You gotta feel him. The England skipper has done everything right so far in this series, or at least he would like to think so. He batted superbly for his double ton in the opening Test at Chennai, to take his team to a solid victory, and since then has been fighting a battle against 11 Indian players and the third umprire, as it would appear, from the second Test onwards.

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At times he has had small victories, but has been just the opposite on most occasions. It all started in the second Test in Chennai, where England bowlers were trying to come back in the match. On the second ball of the 75th over, left-arm spinner Jack Leach made Ajinkya Rahane glove one to the forward short-leg fielder. India was 248 for four wickets and Rahane was on 66. While the England players appealed, the umpire declared ‘not out’. On review, the snickometre showed no spike as the ball went past the inside edge of the bat.

The third umpire — Anil Chaudhary, declared the batsman not out. However, the umpire did not watch the entire replay that later showed the ball popping up and brushing Rahane’s gloves while going to the short-leg fielder. The decision only meant that Rahane got a ‘life’, and England lost another of their three reviews. Although that did not hurt England much — Rahane was out soon after — but it was a glaring umpiring error, one that should have never happened.

In the same Test, in fact just a few balls prior to the Rahane incident, third umpire — perhaps indeliberately, had saved Rohit Sharma, who was batting on 159. The batsman’s foot was on the line when he was ruled not out for a stumping chance. Once again the error did not cost much, but could have done damage to the morale of the visiting team.

Not much has changed since. After being bowled out for 112 on the first day, Root would have wanted a few decisions to go his way, but that didn’t happen. Rohit Sharma was caught on the line once again as Ben Foakes dislodged the stumps. But third umpire wasn’t convinced. With the batsman still out there, that could tilt the match in India’s favour rather rapidly.

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In another instance, Shubman Gill was caught out at slips by Ben Stokes for a nought, and the soft signal by the umpire by out. But after seeing several replays, the decision was overturned. Although this time, the official had made the correct decision.

England, especially Root would now know, what it was to be like Anil Kumble on the tour of Australia in 2008. Of Course, the DRS wasn’t available then, but nothing can really explain how things have panned out till now. Only if his team can make a dramatic comeback from here on, would his fight against the odds be complete, and this English team is more than capable of doing that.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking