Virat Kohli takes a dig at England over Dawid Malan's controversial catch in the 4th T20I

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli
Modified 22 Mar 2021

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has taken an implicit swipe at the England team over the 'soft signal' controversy that erupted in the fourth T20I.

Kohli argued that had Team India claimed a similar dismissal overseas, it would have led to altercations about the 'spirit of the game'.

Dawid Malan contentiously caught Suryakumar Yadav - India's highest scorer in that particular game - on the fine-leg boundary. England fielders celebrated and Malan claimed the catch, but replays showed that he might have grassed it.

However, the third umpire found no conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field umpire's 'soft signal' which was out.

Addressing a press conference ahead of India's ODI series against England, Virat Kohli called the soft signal a 'grey area' that needs to be addressed.

"One more factor that needs to be considered is how a fielding team responds to a dismissal that's claimed. It's also about somewhere defining soft signals which is again, you have to question what the spirit of the game is and what those guidelines are. If things like that happen with the Indian cricket team overseas then you are talking about a totally different conversation of the spirit of the game and so on and so forth. It is a serious, serious thing that needs to be considered because there's a lot at stake in the future, the big tournaments and you don't want some grey area factors in the game," said Virat Kohli.

According to the game's rules, the on-field umpires provide a soft signal in a way to express their views on a potential dismissal. TV umpires can't overturn the same unless they are certain that the call is wrong.

The issue became contentious as many experts and players questioned how an umpire's decision, taken yards away from the action, could have any value in impacting the third umpire's call.


"Umpire's call is creating a lot of confusion" - Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli will be back in action in the ODI series
Virat Kohli will be back in action in the ODI series

Virat Kohli also expressed his dissatisfaction with the 'umpire's call' system currently applied to LBW appeals. Taking a dig at the same, Virat Kohli remarked that it is convoluted and is creating a lot of 'confusion'.

"I have played a long time and there was no DRS. If the umpire made a decision, whether a batsman liked it or not, it stayed like that and vice versa, whether it was marginally or not. According to me, the umpire's call right now is creating a lot of confusion. When you get bowled as a batsman, you don't expect the ball to hit more than 50% into the stumps to consider yourself bowled. So when the ball is being shown as hitting the stumps, the bails are going to fall," said Virat Kohli.

The 32-year-old expounded on it further:

"So from a basic cricket common sense, I don't think there should be any debates on that. If the ball is hitting the stumps you should be out, whether you like it or not, you lose the review. And that's how simple the has to be. It either hits the stumps or misses the stumps, it doesn't matter how much it's hitting and those kinds of things because it's creating a lot of confusion."

For now, Virat Kohli will be back in action - and so will the soft signal and umpire's call - when the teams renew acquaintances in the three-match ODI series. The first match will begin at 1:30 pm IST on Tuesday, March 23.

Published 22 Mar 2021, 17:09 IST
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