Umpire Virender Sharma took an unexpected decision in the India A vs South Africa A second ODI clash on Saturday when he called back Axar Patel after declaring him out.
The incident took place on the first ball of 18th over of India A’s innings. Patel flashed his bat at a wide yorker from Marco Jansen but could not get bat on it. There was no bat involved but the sound of bat hitting the ground led to Jansen half-heartedly appealing for a caught-behind.
Umpire raised his finger but called the left-handed batsman back to bat as he realised his mistake after witnessing the 25-year-old shell-shocked by his decision.
It was one of the rare instances where the umpire took a major decision. The umpiring standards have been under the scanner of late. From Kumar Dharamsena awarding one extra run in World Cup 2019 final to Joel Wilson not giving Ben Stokes out at a decisive moment of the third Ashes Test. Virender’s gesture comes as a surprise to all.
After the major ‘U-turn’, South Africa A players were not happy with the umpire. However, skipper Temba Bavuma kept his cool and accepted the umpire’s decision.
Here are a few reactions to the bizarre turn of events:
I have seen fielding captains calling back batsmen in the past after they were given out wrongly but today something extremely rare happened at #INDAvSAA
Umpire Gave #AxarPatel out, Axar showed disappointment Umpire called him back.
— 🇮🇳JAFFER Imam🇮🇳 (@absoluteJAFFER) August 31, 2019
— Kundan Singh (@Kundansh99) August 31, 2019
India A Vs South Africa A, the umpire took a DRS on himself and called back Axar Patel. pic.twitter.com/wvcoQceC8a
— RaulTee (@rahul07uc) August 31, 2019
To Axar Patel’s horror, umpire Virender Sharma given Axar out caught behind.
Axar was shocked and started walking.
Virender Sharma then realized the error. Called Axar back.
— PK 🇮🇳 (@iPkoppula) August 31, 2019
SA A players appeal.
Umpire: That’s OUT!
Axar Patel is shocked at the decision and is pissed.
Umpire: Hey guys, it’s not out. Let’s continue.
— IdlySambhar (@ChiggyViggie) August 31, 2019
The southpaw’s wicket was crucial given the stage of the match. India A needed 20 runs from 23 balls and Patel’s wicket would have added more pressure.
The Gujarat all-rounder got out in the next over which led to a minor batting collapse causing jitters in the India A dugout. But, Krunal Pandya kept his cool and helped India A win their second win in the ODI series by two wickets with six balls to spare.
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