Indian batting legend VVS Laxman has weighed in on the 'soft signal' controversy that erupted in the fourth India-England T20I in Ahmedabad. Laxman called for a complete 'rethink' on the same, especially when deciding out-field catches.
India's top-scorer in the match, Suryakumar Yadav, was contentiously given out caught at deep fine-leg, as there were doubts whether Dawid Malan had taken the catch cleanly. Crucially, on-field umpire K N Ananthapadmanabhan gave the soft signal as 'out' even when he was too far from the action.
The third umpire took a while, sifting through numerous replays, before declaring that there was no 'conclusive' evidence to overturn the call.
Writing in his column for the Times of India, VVS Laxman questioned the legitimacy of the on-field umpire's decision when he was too far away from the action.
"I believe there must be a rethink on the soft signal as a whole. How can the on-field umpire state with any certainty that a catch has been taken cleanly 70 yards away when even technology leaves itself open to interpretation," said VVS Laxman.
According to the game's rules, the on-field umpires provide a soft signal. TV umpires can't overturn the same unless they are certain that the call is wrong.
Going back to that game, had the on-field goal been 'not out', the third umpire would have 'upheld' that call, as there wasn't 'conclusive evidence' to overturn the same.
"No praise can be too high for Hardik Pandya" - VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman also commended Hardik Pandya for his performance in the fourth T20I. After not bowling for almost a year, the all-rounder looked at his best with the ball, taking two wickets while conceding only 16 runs.
Laxman said in this regard:
"No praise can be too high for Hardik Pandya, who only went for 16 in his four overs and picked up two wickets in a game where the scoring rate was well in excess of nine. Credit to him for having put in the hard yards following major back surgery, and to bowling coach B Arun for ensuring Hardik retained his zest for bowling. I still feel India should consider an extra bowling option."
With the series now evenly poised at 2-2, the all-important fifth game starts in Ahmedabad on Saturday.