Virat Kohli hasn’t had the best of time with the bat in this short series against Australia. He’s had little time to stay in the middle with the willow. And that stint was short in the second innings of the Bangalore Test too. But this time it wasn’t the poor decision making of letting go of a Steve O’Keefe delivery to have the stumps taken as in the first Test or an equally bizarre call to not offer a stroke to a Nathan Lyon delivery that would have him caught leg-before. The decision this time lay in the on-field umpire and then the TV umpire’s hands that saw his exit from the crease.
On the third day of the second Test, as Josh Hazlewood ran straight in the 35th over, he caught Kohli leg-before or that’s what the Australian fielders thought with their appeal with the ball staying low.
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As the ball stayed low, Australia appealed for a lbw and it was given out immediately and Kohli responded by taking the review without considering with his partner. He looked extremely confident with his decision. Replays go on to highlight that it is not an easy decision for TV umpire Richard Kettleborough to make. The bottom part of the bat is close to the bat when the ball hits the pad. Ultra Edge suggests the impact is at the same time – bat and pad at the very same time.
Kettleborough wasn’t 100 per cent certain either as he tells the on-field umpire, “There is no conclusive evidence to confirm it’s bat first,” he said. With that, Hawk Eye comes into the picture. The decision sticks with the impact in line, ball going on to hit the stumps marginally and the call from the ground said out and that’s what it remained. And with that, Kohli’s fate was sealed despite the third umpire not being certain that it was pad first.
The call did create some confusion over DRS and many weren’t pleased.
— Prabhu 🏏 (@Cricprabhu) 6 March 2017
Hazlewood says he heard some wood in the Kohli LBW and wasn’t sure but everyone else was. pic.twitter.com/afUGbsn2NG
— Peter Lalor (@plalor) 6 March 2017
Hot spot would have conclusively solved the Virat Kohli LBW review. Should be made mandatory for marquee series. #IndvAus
— Aditya (@forwardshortleg) 6 March 2017
Kohli’s frustration was clearly visible as he walked back and you can’t help but feel sorry for the Indian skipper and bring in to question the technology. One can wonder what is the point of using technology, which is there to negate human errors, and then turning to the human decision when there is uncertainty.