13th January 2022: With 20.3 runs already happening in South Africa’s second innings, the Proteas look set to pull India’s total down in the fourth article. Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen look comfortable with the crease. Meanwhile, Indian bowlers have struggled to extract reactions from the surface where they perform various tricks when hitting the ball.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who is bowling 21stone To finish, take a deep breath, assess the severity of the situation, and decide to unfold a subtle change. By the way, he saw Elgar put his front foot on a stump, meaning the latter seemed vulnerable to armballs.
So the Indians cheered when Ashwin shot the ball into the middle and beyond the stumps and trapped Elgar in front. This is the wicket they want. Not just because of Elgar’s ability, but because the Indians may have grown tired of his presence, especially in the fourth inning.
However, this soon made its way to the perimeter as the South African captain opted for a scrutiny. At first, there was a tendency not to do so. But he was reluctant to go upstairs, considering he is arguably the hosts’ most important hitter.
The first image confirms that no bats were involved. The gathered India began to rejoice. Then, a side angle appeared. It shows that Elgar has made decent progress, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to overturn the decision.
In the end, the ball tracking casts a damn image—one that shows the ball bouncing off a tree stump. Remember, it was a dismissal, and even the batter didn’t think to review until his partner told him to. Kohli was furious, and the voices of Indian players grew louder. Arguably, this will define the outcome of an upside-down test series. Pooh!
After making a decision, Unsurprisingly, India expressed their disappointmentThere’s nothing wrong with doing this either, considering that technology (especially DRS) has so far not been fully deciphered by mortals. But the way they do it is shocking. In short, this is unacceptable.
As you can see here, the ball is exactly the length the ball should go over the stump. pic.twitter.com/Eta59tHJXw
— James Norton-Brown (@JamesNB95) January 13, 2022
Virat Kohli, long praised for his enthusiasm and propensity to keep his heart on his sleeve, took off his hat in disgust and re-watched the ball-tracking image in disbelief.
Shockingly, however, he then gave a monologue into the stump microphone, in which he quipped: “Focus on your team when they serve. Not just the opposition. Always trying to get people.”
Not only did Kohli hint at the broadcaster’s involvement in the decision, but he also digs into how they helped unravel the infamous Sandpaper Door scandal in 2018. In common parlance, this is called killing two birds with one stone. In this case, it is an unprovoked stone-throwing against an entity that has no say in the incarnation.
Others, who have recently become the norm, emulated and amplified Kohli’s initial indiscretion. KL Rahul was said to have said the whole country was playing against 11 men, and Ashwin commented: “You should find a better way to win, SuperSport.”
Unsurprisingly, the incident has been divisive. Some claim India should be forgiven for muttering these words at a tense moment – which the team’s bowling coach backed up in a press conference. However, this happens when a few swear words are frantically spit out. Not when three players imply a larger narrative than actually exists.
However, the low point of this whole saga is that this has happened before. Earlier in the Cape Town test, Mohammad Shami was warned to venture into the danger zone.
A giant replay appeared on the big screen, suggesting he wasn’t in the danger zone of disrupting the delivery when he was warned. By the way, this replay was witnessed by Kohli, who immediately accepted it with Marais Erasmus. He allegedly even told him, “please pay attention to everything now”.
What he didn’t know, however, was that Shami was fouling every time before being punished. But because Kohli made the point, everyone felt that India was the wronged team. But in fact, it’s not.
A few months ago, at Lord’s Cricket Ground, Kohli found himself surrounded by a similar controversy. As the lights dimmed on day 4, the Indian captain, who had been sacked for another low score, was busy officiating the game from the balcony.
The batsman in the middle had a polite word to the officials about the lights, but surely there was no need for Kohli to stand on the terrace, wave his arms and force the referee to make a decision in India’s favour?
Over the past few years, Kohli has developed a reputation for being too verbal to his credit (or damage, based on your loyalty). There’s nothing wrong with welcoming a batter out of his comfort zone with a few verbal volleys. By the way, this is the main reason why India appears so fearless under his leadership, whether they are playing at home or abroad.
However, the kind of debacle he had in Cape Town wasn’t good enough. Not only did he accuse the broadcaster of wrongdoing with zero evidence, but he acted as if the sport, the DRS and every little detail revolved around him and the Indian cricket team – an attitude not suitable for the Indian captain and Someone admired by more than a billion people.
Kohli is aggressive and has his heart on his sleeve. This is totally fine. But a line must be traded – a line that distinguishes between acceptable and unacceptable.
So far in South Africa, Kohli has looked a bit more edgy than usual – probably due to everything that’s happened in recent months, from the acrimonious elimination at the T20 World Cup to his dismissal from the ODI captaincy.
He was unable to adequately control his emotions, which led to a situation that India and their Test captain could not have. Interestingly, he probably won’t be reprimanded for his antics, since apparently there’s no rule for someone insulting the broadcaster.
“Hawkeye is an independent agency,” notes Shaun Pollock, and Mark Nicholas agrees that’s a point worth making…
— CricXtasy (@CricXtasy) January 13, 2022
From one perspective, Coley directly contributed to the idea of lawmakers considering tweaking the rules. Another more hateful aspect is that his behavior leaves a lot to be desired.
As far as perceived technical errors go, there may be no errors at all. To the naked eye, Elgar looked like he had been knocked to death in the front. But with the backlash of offers and the fact that Mayank Agarwal was given a suspended sentence a day earlier in very similar circumstances, it doesn’t seem as absurd as India and Kohli said. Even so, are broadcasters responsible for this? Hawkeye is an independent institution after all.
Technology can sometimes go wrong. In an ideal world, this shouldn’t happen. But the world we live in is the same for everyone. The world has seen Josh Hazlewood bowling AB de Villiers, just for the ball tracking to show the ball will go over the stump.
*Breaking glass pic.twitter.com/0LtsaSCkkb
— Tyson Otto (@totodtsport) June 15, 2016
It also saw Cheteshwar Pujara hit below the knee in a match against Ajaz Patel (Mumbai, 2021) and still survive. Also, it has seen that ball tracking may have picked the wrong batting spot (Jos Buttler vs Shardul Thakur, 3rd ODI Pune) during the India-England ODI Series in March 2021.
No player makes a fuss like India and Kohli in Cape Town. From that perspective, maybe it’s time for them to understand that they’re just another team (and player) in the cricket ecosystem and that nothing revolves around them.
Their confusion and disappointment over possible DRS blunders is justified. But the dissatisfaction they expressed was certainly not. The fact that we’re still debating a separate LBW decision – hours after it actually happened, tells you that something wasn’t quite right.