SK Turning Point: David Warner on receiving end of close umpiring decision
Catch the highlights of David Warner’s dismissal on hotstar
A sterling performance by their seamers with the second new ball had meant Australia needed 188 runs to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on Indian soil. As openers David Warner and Matt Renshaw began aggressively, it was evident that everything would boil down to the last couple of sessions on the fourth day.
With the fervent Bengaluru crowd passionately egging India on, the surface was deteriorating rapidly thus adding to the visitors’ travails. They were dealt an early blow when Renshaw was dismissed by a lifter from Ishant Sharma.
However, skipper Steven Smith joined Warner in the middle. If Australia were to chase down the target, this was the partnership that carried the most significance. Every delivery the left-hander faced, the more dangerous it would get for India. His struggles in the subcontinent notwithstanding, the situation was perfectly set-up for a quick-fire knock. The towering six against Ravichandran Ashwin added to the excitement in the arena.
In his very next delivery, the Tamil Nadu off-spinner responded with a fuller delivery near the off-stump. Looking to unfurl a sweep shot, Warner got himself entangled in an awkward position and missed the ball completely. As the drift generated by Ashwin with the hard new ball helped straighten the line, the umpire remained convinced and raised the dreaded finger at the culmination of a vociferous appeal.
After holding a brief discussion with his captain, Warner decided to challenge the umpire’s decision. As the protocol was being carried out to eradicate any preliminary issues, the crowd lay in wait with bated breath.
When the focus finally shifted to the all-important ball tracking bit, the tension in the atmosphere was palpable. Much to Warner and Australia’s dismay, both the impact as well as hitting the stumps turned out to be umpire’s calls. The southpaw was at the receiving end of an extremely close decision. On the other hand, the Indians had finally obtained the rub of the green in the Decision Review System (DRS).
With Warner departing for a 25-ball 17, Australia needed 146 more runs to go past the finishing line. In walked Shaun Marsh who had top-scored for his side in the first innings. Indian skipper Virat Kohli immediately brought Umesh Yadav into the attack.
A few overs later, the Vidarbha speedster got one to hit a crack and jag back sharply. Known to be a nervous starter, an unsuspecting Marsh hesitantly shouldered arms. After the ball crashed into his pads, the umpire believed that it would have gone on to smash the stumps and hence lifted his finger.
Having lost a review during the Warner dismissal, Smith and Marsh deliberated for some time before they persuaded themselves to not send the decision upstairs. Replays showed that the ball was missing the stumps by a considerable margin. Had the Australians reviewed, they would not have lost another wicket at a critical stage.
Things soon turned from bad to worse for the visitors as Smith was trapped in front by a delivery which kept unbelievably low. The Australian skipper’s helpless situation was evident when he looked towards the dressing room for DRS tips. A visibly irked Kohli intervened prompting the umpires to bring calmness to the proceedings.
Sensing the occasion, the hosts capitalised on Australia’s misery. Ashwin unleashed himself on the lower order to lead India to a euphoric 75-run victory which brought them back into the series. However, the situation could have panned out quite differently had the on-field umpire given the benefit of doubt to Warner.