BUMBLE ON THE TEST: Ben Stokes catch overturned without due care and attention

BUMBLE ON THE TEST: Ben Stokes’ ‘catch’ was overturned by the third umpire without due care and attention, but challenging them at every opportunity is totally wrong

  • The on-field umpire gave his soft signal for Ben Stokes’ catch as out 
  • As TV umpire you have to see every angle and the director must be on the ball
  • England got agitated and it’s wrong to challenge the umpire at every opportunity
  • While Jonny Bairstow looked like a walking wicket after his return from Sri Lanka 

England had a day to forget in Ahmedabad after they were skittled for just 112 having won the toss in the day-night third Test.

Zak Crawley top scored with 53 as England’s batsmen were put in a spin by Axar Patel, who took six wickets for India.

In their reply, the hosts ended the day on 99 for three with Rohit Sharma unbeaten after passing 50 once again…

England made Axar Patel look like a combination of Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan

England made Axar Patel look like a combination of Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan 

Turn it up, Auntie

A listen on the radio for me to start the day. On BBC’s sports report I heard about Chelsea, Leeds, Neil Lennon leaving Celtic, Tiger Woods’ accident, Scotland Women beating Portugal and England Women beating Northern Ireland 6-0. Only then came the Test. It’s an iconic series — more coverage please Auntie!

KP’s a dazzler

So over to talkSPORT for the start. They’ve got a stellar line-up and the first session was brilliant.

Neil Manthorp is as good as it gets as a radio commentator and he was on while Kevin Pietersen and Darren Gough provided the batsman and bowler’s perspective of the pink ball. Gold star to KP — he was spellbinding.

Jonny Bairstow looked like a walking wicket after he had played so well at No 3 in Sri Lanka

Jonny Bairstow looked like a walking wicket after he had played so well at No 3 in Sri Lanka

Jonny’s lost his mojo 

I still can’t understand Jonny Bairstow going home after playing well at No 3 in Sri Lanka. Then he misses two Tests and is thrown back in against one of the best bowling attacks in the world. He looked like a walking wicket before falling to Axar Patel’s first ball, which didn’t spin. When a batsman’s in form, keep him going.

It’s pitch perfect 

I’ve got no complaints about this pitch. Yes, there was turn on day one but that’s OK as long as the surface is prepared. Aakash Chopra on the radio said India got it wrong playing three spinners — they only needed two! 

As Steve Harmison said when the captain walked in, ‘Here’s Joe Root to put out another fire’. Sadly, this time he left his hose at home.

Batsmen were so naive

Yes, there was turn but England made Axar Patel look like a combination of Shane Warne, Derek Underwood and Muttiah Muralitharan. I saw Patel at Durham and thought he would be a decent stand-in for Ravindra Jadeja but he’s not this good. England’s batting was so naive. They weren’t organised and got stuck on the crease.

The TV umpire overturned Ben Stokes' low catch without due care and attention

The TV umpire overturned Ben Stokes’ low catch without due care and attention

England got agitated and it's totally wrong to challenge the umpire at every opportunity

England got agitated and it’s totally wrong to challenge the umpire at every opportunity

Lowdown on Stokes

Back to the TV in time to see that disputed ‘catch’ by Ben Stokes. The clue to me was that the fella closest to it, the on-field umpire, gave his soft signal as out. And the TV umpire overturned it without due care and attention. You have to see every angle and the director must be on the ball — 95 per cent of low catches are out.

Respect the umpires!

England got agitated. I was hard on Virat Kohli in the last Test and I repeat there is no place for berating umpires. But in my view Stokes and Root stopped short of open dissent. Back in the day, you would get short shrift if you dared question a decision. Now the umpire is challenged at every opportunity. It’s totally wrong.


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