Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sydney Test ( Cricket )

The Sydney Test between India and Australia will go down in history for more than one reason and umpteen wrong decisions. More than the players, it was the umpires who influenced the result of the match. The second Test would have very well gone in India’s favor but for the poor umpiring.
On-field umpires Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson have got it wrong more than ten times and most of them were ruled against India. Andrew Symonds, centurion in the first innings, got at least three lives, one inferred by the TV umpire. Symonds himself admitted of being out at the score of 30. Skipper Ricky Ponting got two lives. Similarly, in the second innings Michael Hussey got thick edge of RP Singh before Dhoni caught it but Mr. Bucknor thought otherwise. Of course, these are some of the instances of Australian innings.
Umpiring was equally horrendous during India’s batting. Wasim Jaffer was given out in the first innings off a no ball. In the second innings, Steve ‘Slow Death’ Bucknor lifted his index finger even when the ball caught behind was deflected of Rahul Dravid’s pad. Mark Benson, decided not to lag behind and asked Ganguly to leave as Michael Clarke caught him off Lee’s delivery in slips. The TV replays showed Clarke didn’t collect the ball neatly. Even if one ignored this, nobody could overlook Clarke’s followthrough. He didn’t complete the catch as the ball touched the ground as fell and rolled.
It seemed Team India is up against two teams, Australia and the Umpires. Had umpiring been upto the mark, the Border-Gavaskar series might have been levelled in Sydney.
Bucknor’s erroneous outing in India’s last tour Down Under in 2003-04, fetched him zero from Sourav Ganguly in captain’s report. It seems Bucknor is determined to sustain his score and his decisions have not only influenced the match but his fellow umpires. It’s time BCCI and the cricket followers raised their voice against poor umpiring and take substantial action.

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