After the play on Day 1 of the ongoing Test in Ahmedabad, England captain Joe Root and head coach Chris Silverwood approached the match referee, Javagal Srinath in regards to a couple of decisions, or rather the speed at which the third umpire arrived at those decisions when the England side was fielding.
The first incident was when Shubman Gill edged a delivery to Ben Stokes in the slip as the fielder took a low catch and claimed it. The on-field umpire referred to the third umpire, Chettithody Shamshuddin with the on-field call as out. Shamshuddin overturned the decision to not out as he believed the ball was touching the ground and was not entirely in Stokes’ fingers.
The second event is the much more controversial one: Shamshuddin was unusually quick to make his decision – in India’s favour – regarding a stumping appeal by England of Rohit Sharma.
The third umpire saw just one angle of the camera – where there was a movement in Rohit’s foot and it wasn’t conclusive – and deemed the batsman safe. He didn’t look at other angles, not even the stump camera, and seemed certain that Rohit was inside his crease.
Joe Root asking for ‘consistency’ in the third umpire’s decision-making process
Joe Root, and the England players on the field, were visibly unimpressed with Shamshuddin’s coming to his final verdict this soon. Joe Root engaged with the onfield umpire and was heard asking for consistency in the third umpire’s decision.
These events occurred hours after the same third umpire saw several camera angles when India appealed for a catch of Jack Leach by Cheteshwar Pujara. Not to forget, in the second Test, the third umpire saw multiple camera angles when Virat Kohli was clean bowled!
This has left the visitors frustrated as they have asked for consistency in the third umpire’s decision-making process.
“The England captain and head coach spoke with the match referee after play. The captain and head coach acknowledged the challenges the umpires faced and asked respectfully that in making any decisions there was consistency in the process.
“The match referee said the captain was asking the right questions of the umpires,” an England team spokesperson told ESPNCricinfo.
This has also raised questions on having all the home umpires. In wake of challenges in travelling internationally in the pandemic era, the ICC has permitted boards to have all home umpires. Some players have earlier voiced their opinions against it and demanded that the umpires can do the quarantine as the players do.