“Why there cannot be sort of an ‘I don’t know’ call for the umpire?”- Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli wasn
Virat Kohli wasn't impressed with the umpires on Thursday.
Wasiq Agha
Modified 19 Mar 2021

Virat Kohli has offered his take on the controversial dismissal of Suryakumar Yadav’s in the fourth T20I against England in Ahmedabad on Thursday. The Indian captain admitted that he was perplexed by the on-field call of 'out'.

Suryakumar Yadav’s blistering innings came to an abrupt halt after Dawid Malan took a catch in the deep. But replays seemed to suggest that the ball touched the ground before the Englishman could take it completely in his grasp. However, the lack of conclusive evidence meant that the on-field call could not be overturned.

Talking about the incident in the post-match presentation, Virat Kohli said that when the ball goes beyond the 30-yard circle, it becomes very difficult for the on-field umpire to definitively decide whether a catch has been taken cleanly. So, the soft-call signal rule may have to be revised in such cases to remove any ambiguity.

“If it’s a half-and-half effort and the fielder is in the outfield, I don’t think the umpire from square leg would see that clearly and make a conclusive call. So, the soft signal becomes that much more important. It’s a tricky one. I don’t know why there cannot be sort of an ‘I don’t know’ call for the umpire as well. Why does it have to be a conclusive one? Because then that overturns the whole decision completely. Similar to the argument we have with the umpire’s call as well,” reflected a bemused Virat Kohli.

Many fans and experts disagreed with the third umpire’s decision of staying with the on-field decision on Thursday. Yet, despite multiple replays, no conclusive evidence against the contrary emanated, so the third umpire had to stay with the on-field umpire's call.

Although Virat Kohli admitted that the decision didn’t prove costly, as India beat England by eight runs, he pointed out that the game could have turned with that contentious decision. He said in this regard:

“I think these things are something that can really really change the course of the game. Especially in a big game. We are on the other side, but there could be another team bearing the brunt of this.”

Virat Kohli wants to see a change in the on-field umpire's call rule

Virat Kohli called on the game’s custodians to have a rethink about the rules regarding the umpire's call or the soft signal. The Indian captain wishes to have no grey areas in the interpretation of rules, saying:

“You want these things ironed out as much as possible. Keep the game simple; keep it linear. Have one set of rules which are not sort of grey areas which we don’t understand and sometimes we do. It’s not ideal, especially in a high-pressure game that has a lot of things riding on it and has a lot at stake. It’s important to have a lot of clarity in the field.”

Dawid Malan bore the brunt of fans' ire, as it was perceived that the Englishman didn't take the catch cleanly but claimed it nevertheless.

While Virat Kohli didn't directly criticise Malan, he slyly referred to an incident concerning his team in the Test series when discussing the controversial Yadav dismissal.

“There was an instance that happened during the Test series when I was next to Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane). He clearly caught the bal,l but I wasn’t sure, and when I asked Jinks he wasn’t sure and we went up straight away,” said Virat Kohli.

The likes of VVS Laxman, Graeme Swann, Wasim Jaffer and many other former players opined that it was a mistake from the on-field umpire to call that 'out', as that could've had an impact on the result of the game.

Published 19 Mar 2021
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