For a large part of the second day of the 500th Test involving India and New Zealand, it has been the visitors who have held the upper hand. Tom Latham and Kane Williamson have smothered the spin of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja very effectively to get their team off to a good start with the bat.
The going seemed very easy until the third delivery of the 37th over, when Latham attempted a sweep shot off the bowling of Jadeja. The ball hit the bat and scooped up to the short leg fielder KL Rahul, who gleefully pouched it.
The Indians went up in unison, and expectedly so. Umpire Richard Kettleborough, however, was not willing to take a hasty decision and went to his co-umpire to discuss the situation. He ultimately sent the matter upstairs and also gave the ‘soft signal’ on the field, that he thought it was not-out. Importantly, he also indicated that he thought the ball had come in contact with Rahul’s helmet before he eventually caught it.
It was when the replays were revealed that things took an interesting turn.
They indicated that the ball had hit Latham’s bat, hit the pad and gone up. But Rahul, who was stationed at short leg, fumbled the ball, and in the process, the cherry hit the strapping of his helmet after coming in contact with his chest. This meant that the verdict had now turned in favour of the left-hander.
As per the laws of the game, specifically Law 32, the rule states that a catch can be deemed fair only if the ball embraces the body of the catcher or gets lodged accidentally into his clothing or into the pads, as it could be the case in certain situations with a wicket-keeper.
The law also clearly states that if the ball hits any part of the catcher’s helmet, which in Rahul’s case it had, the catch will not be deemed fair.
As a result of that, Latham was declared not out by the third umpire, amid disappointment in the Indian camp.
Here is the video of that catch(Video courtesy: Indian cricket team)
It has been a tough start with the ball for India, with both batsmen showing tremendous application with the willow in hand. A wicket at that stage would have been a huge boost and could have opened the floodgates as well for the hosts.
But it wasn’t the case and India’s wait to break the partnership only got extended.
Earlier in the day, the hosts added 27 runs to their overnight score of 291 for 9 before being bowled out for 318.