Pune, March 22 (IANS) India skipper Virat Kohli has backed Sunil Gavaskar’s stance while demanding the removal of umpire’s call in cases of leg-before decisions where the umpire’s not out decision stands even if the ball is shown clipping the stumps.
Kohli also took a dig at foreign teams like England for not upholding the spirit of the game when it comes to claiming catches even though the same is expected of India when they travel overseas.
“According to me, the umpire’s call right now is creating a lot of confusion. When you get bowled as a batsman, you don’t expect the ball to hit more than 50% into the stumps to be considered as bowled. So when the ball is shown clipping the stumps, the bails are going to fall. From a basic cricket common sense, I don’t think there should be debate on that. When the ball is clipping the stumps, it should be out, whether you like it or not you lose the review,” said Kohli while speaking to the media in a virtual media interaction.
“And that is how simple the game has to be. If it hits the stumps or misses the stumps, it doesn’t matter how much it is hitting. It is creating a lot of confusion as you have mentioned already,” Kohli added.
“Look, I have played for a long time when there was no DRS (Decision Review System). The umpire made the decision. Whether the batsman liked the decision or not, it stayed like that. Vice-versa, if the umpire gave it not out and it was out, it stayed like that – whether it was marginal or not,” he said further.
Late last year, Sunil Gavaskar had questioned umpire’s call. The former India captain was reacting to the dismissal of Aussie batsman Steve Smith who was bowled down the leg-side during the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“I think the Steve Smith dismissal shows that even when the ball clips the stumps, its speed is so much that it can remove the bails. If you are appealing for leg-before wicket and if the ball is going to clip the stumps, the speed is such, even spinner’s, that the bails will come off,” Gavaskar had told ABC Sport then.
Kohli also pointed at the futility of the soft signal. He had also questioned it after the end of the fourth T20 International that saw an in-form Suryakumar Yadav get dismissed to a catch that had no conclusive evidence. Yadav was still given out because the soft signal was out.
“One more factor that needs to be considered is how a fielding team responds to a dismissal that is claimed 9and is given out through soft signal). Again you have to question what the spirit of the game is and what those guidelines are. Because if things like that happen with the Indian cricket team overseas, then you are talking about a totally different type of conversation of the spirit of the game,” said Kohli.
“It is a serious, serious thing that needs to be considered. Because there is a lot at stake in the future. There are big tournaments. And you don’t want some grey area factors in the game which leave you with no clarity to be the defining factors of those big tournaments and victories.”