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Top 5 game changing moments in cricket

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Modified 23 Sep 2013, 13:48 IST

It was an “Apple falling” episode in the 17th century, which many believe, resulted in the discovery of the “Law of Gravitation”. Had Sir Issac Newton been desperately hungry when the apple fell on his head, we would not have known anything about the existence of gravity. Thankfully, he turned out to be a genius, who scratched his head and discovered a major breakthrough in physics out of nothing.

We might have also come across certain minor instances which later on went on to create a big impact on our own lives. This theory is applicable in sports too, and more so in a team game like cricket. A few minor occurrences on the field are more than enough to turn a game right on its head. How often have we seen a fall of wicket or a bad decision by the umpires changing the situation of a match totally, resulting in a victory or a defeat for a team? Sometimes, even nature has played spoilsport, denying a side a well deserved triumph.

Such moments which have shifted the momentum from one team to the other in the course of a match are called the game changers. We will go down the memory lane and try to recall five of those incidents which ended up having a huge bearing on the outcomes of some of the most important matches.

5. Steve Bucknor’s faux pas in Sydney Cricket Ground:

I was very much impressed when Simon Taufel decided to quit his umpiring job at a very young age of 41. To be an umpire, of course, you need not just be physically fit, but also have proper eyesight. Without the aid of a clear vision, your decisions are bound to go wrong, especially with regards to observing faint nicks off the bat or while scrutinizing leg before appeals. Taufel did a good job all throughout his career, and ensured that he quit his job before his eyesight let him down.

When Bucknor was umpiring in Sydney Cricket Ground during the Border–Gavaskar trophy in 2007-2008, involving Australia and India, he was 61. So, it is needless to point out his capability when it came to observing and hearing the proceedings on the field. The Kangaroos were looking down the barrel in their first innings with the scoreboard reading 139/6, thanks to some impressive spells by Ishant Sharma & Co.

It was then a game changing decision, if ever there was one, made by Steve Bucknor when a clear edge, pretty much audible when the ball flew past the bat of Andrew Symonds, off the bowling of Ishant Sharma, was given not out. The batsman was caught behind and everyone, barring the man in hot seat – Steve Bucknor, heard the nick. He ruled the decision in favour of the batsman and the Queenslander made most of the second opportunity given to him by scoring a whopping 162 runs in the first innings, taking his team’s overall score to 463. The match, in the end, was won by Australia, thanks to a few more dubious decisions by the umpires on the final day of the test. Had that decision been made rightly, India might have registered a comprehensive victory over the Aussies at the very famous SCG.

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Published 12 Nov 2012, 18:59 IST
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