Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay. (Credits: BCCI)

Out-of-favour India opener Murali Vijay was fined ten percent of his match fees for expressing dissent over an on-field decision by the umpires on Day 1 of the Ranji Trophy match between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka at the NPR College Grounds, Dindigul, on Monday. The opening batsman, in fact, was just one of the number of Tamil Nadu players showing displeasure over the calls of umpires Nitin Pandit and Anil Dandekar.

While the players made sure to not express their feelings verbally, their body language made their feelings clear. One particular incident that caught the attention took place just two balls before tea in the 70th over of the day, Ravichandran Ashwin and Co were furious after their appeal for a caught behind appeal batsman Pavan Deshpande was turned down by straight umpire Pandit. A visibly disappointed Ashwin and the rest of his teammates surrounded the pitch.

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Pandit was then seen talking to Ashwin as he tried to bring the matter under control. On the other hand, Dandekar was seen holding Murali Vijay’s hand as he tried to calm down the batsman. There was no conclusive evidence on whether the batsman had edged the ball or not and thus the umpires gave the benefit of doubt to the batsman.

Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay (PC – Getty Images)

The TN team management later confirmed that Vijay has been fined 10% of his match fee. After the day’s play ended, Tamil Nadu coach D Vasu downplayed the incidents by saying that they are part and parcel of the game.

“Probably, in the heat of the moment, players would have reacted. But I think you also have to be mindful of the fact that today cricket is played very differently and everybody is being watched. Bad decisions and good decisions are part of the game. We have to take it in our stride and move on,”said Vasu,

Karnataka, who opted to bat first, ended the day at 259/6 with Devdutt Padikkal (78) and Pavan Deshpande (65) making notable contributions. For Tamil Nadu, left-arm spinner M Siddharth claimed two wickets for 33 runs on his debut while Ashwin, K Vignesh and B Aparajith picked up a wicket each.