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SportCricketIndian umpires face flak in New Zealand two-Test series

Indian umpires face flak in New Zealand two-Test series

Published: 8th Dec 2021 11:19 am

Hyderabad: As the two-Test series ended against New Zealand on Monday, the Indian umpires were in the news but for wrong reasons because of some poor decisions made in Kanpur and Mumbai. Incidentally, the majority of the ridiculous blunders went against India. With the home team umpires formula being continued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian umpires got another opportunity but unfortunately they made a few glaring mistakes that invited some harsh criticism.

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The three umpires who did on-field duties were Nitin Menon, who is in the ICC elite panel, Virender Sharma and Anil Chaudhary. The Indian umpires had come in for praise, particularly Menon, during the England series but it was poor shadow of that display in this just concluded series.

Former international umpire I Shivram was upset that the Indian officials were disappointing in their work against New Zealand. “After a nervy start in the first two Tests in the English series, they bounced back strongly in the next two Tests. Ever since the ICC’s decision to implement neutral umpires came to the fore, the Indian umpires had hardly any opportunity to officiate in Test series unless he was in the Elite panel. So given the present Covid-19 situation, a window was opened for the Indian umpires in the home series. I thought after a reasonable good start, they would come good in this series but they ended up in giving some poor decisions. However, Menon may have gone wrong with one or two decisions but overall he was consistent and good,’’ said the Hyderabad-based umpire.

The most obvious blunder was Virat Kohli’s LBW decision where at first on-field umpire Chaudhary failed to see the big deflection from the bat before hitting the pads and then third umpire Sharma, even with so many replays, failed to spot the deviation from the bat.

It created uproar in the social media and left Kohli fuming with anger. Legendary Australian leg spinner Shane Warne was shocked with the howler, especially with the third umpire. “This is simply – not out !!!!! We often discuss technology & its use / accuracy. The main problem@is the interpretation of the technology. Here’s a perfect example of the ball clearly hitting the edge of the bat first,’’ he said in his tweet.

Shivram said there could be mistakes here and there as sometimes it is difficult to see from naked eye. “But these types of decisions can put Indian umpires in a poor light. It is a clear deflection. How can they miss this? Obviously, something has to be done to raise the standard of the umpiring in India. Sadly, since four years, there is no Umpires Committee. I wonder who is reviewing the umpires in the last three years. It is a serious concern as now that there are a lot of domestic matches being conducted in the country. The BCCI should conduct yearly reviews and seminars so that umpires can be judged,and improved,’’ he added.

Veteran international umpire VK Ramaswamy also lamented about the Indian umpires’ shoddy performances in the series. “There were few mistakes and the most prominent was the LBW decision given by Chaudhury and Sharma’s blunder as third umpire. There is a urgent need to improve the standard of umpiring. We need to create good bench strength also,’’ he said.

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