Nothing is perfect in this mundane world. We remain busy in correcting each and everything throughout our life. On the cricket field, there are often incorrect decisions taken by the umpire that are then corrected in the reviews that follow. With the advancement in technology, the defined rules of cricket can be easily observed during a match. But one glaring error caught the attention of one and all in a recently concluded second test match in Chennai. It not only drew straight notice of the television viewers, but also the cricket experts.
It is more often argued that technology also fails like human errors do. The cricket match rules do say an unsuccessful review can be reinstated by the match referee in the game of cricket if it had occurred due to a failure of technology. Though Indian cricket team had won the second test match against England lately, the flaws were given proper rectification.
As the replays suggested, Ajinkya Rahane should have been given an out after a delivery from Jack Leach brushed his glove on the way to the short-leg fielder. The TV umpire, Anil Chaudhary, failed to check the correct passage of play and declined England’s review in the 75th over as Rahane prodded forward to a good-length ball from Leach. Certain doubts and clarifications were cleared later.
It is unclear if Sharma informed Chaudhary of England’s clarifications or if Chaudhary was provided the footage that he had requested by the broadcasters. It appeared that all the angular perspectives were not clearly provided to the third umpire by the broadcaster. However, subsequent replays showed that the ball, after passing the bat, had made contact with the batting pad, and then bounced off the glove to Ollie Pope at short leg.
Meanwhile, the English players who saw the replay video on the big screen quickly pointed out the point to umpire Sharma that they were actually reviewing for a catch off the glove. A few minutes later, England reinstated its review by match-referee Javagal Srinath, who must have viewed the entire footage and made use of the snicko that is used in televising cricket to graphically analyse sound and video, and show whether a fine, noise or snick occurs as ball passes bat. It was invented by English computer scientist Allan Plaskett in the mid-1990s.
Beyond the usual questions about the game skills, players’ experience and umpires final decision etc., what really uncovers our understanding of the test matches is how the answer to technical questions finalised. As the fielding players need to know how to raise the right, practical questions in order to determine if the wrong ruling is as properly taken up as they claimed. More importantly, to put the protest, the more experienced the team manager remains, the more applied the pointed questions should be.