England spinner Jack Leach felt two controversial calls went against him in Chennai.
England spinner Jack Leach said test cricket had experienced its own “VAR” moment after a video review controversy followed two debatable umpiring decisions on day one of the second Test against India.
Leach thought he had centurion Rohit Sharma stumped and Ajinkya Rahane caught at short-leg during his spell in the evening session at Chennai, but saw both appeals waved away as India made 6-300.
Ben Foakes’ sharp glovework went unrewarded when third umpire Anil Chaudhary made an unusually swift decision in Rohit’s favour, despite no obvious sign that the batsman had anything behind the line.
While that was at least a tight call, there was a clear error in reprieving Rahane after he was caught by Ollie Pope via pad and glove.
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England used a DRS referral to contest Nitin Menon’s ‘not out’ verdict, but were perplexed to see Chaudhary uphold it without having viewed the relevant footage.
England captain Joe Root indulged in an impromptu game of charades as he attempted to demonstrate what England were hoping to check, but there was an apparent breakdown in communication as play resumed without the necessary frame being studied.
India’s Rohit Sharma, pictured batting in Australia, survived a stumping appeal against England in Chennai.
As with Rohit (161) before him, Rahane was dismissed almost immediately afterwards, but match referee Javagal Srinath acknowledged the failure by reinstating England’s lost review.
“It’s a bit like VAR today, still controversial even though you’ve got the video there,” said Leach, in reference to football’s own flawed relationship with technology.
“There’s nothing I can do. At the time I was a little bit angry, but getting a wicket the next over makes it a little bit easier, and it’s not cost us too much.”
Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP
India’s Ajinkya Rahane. (File Photo).
Shedding some light on the Rahane incident, Leach appeared to confirm that England’s specific requests went unheeded.
“Out there, we were trying to get them to roll it through because we felt it (the contact) had come after. They checked for lbw, which we knew wasn’t out,” he said.
“They said they were checking it, and then the LBW came up, and we were saying, ‘No, no, no, check the other one’ and that was it. I got the impression that they hadn’t checked it.
“That’s all right, it’s obviously a mistake and these things happen.”
As for the less clear-cut stumping chance, which would have given Foakes a reward for his flawless work up to the stumps, Leach added: “Watching it from behind I thought it might get given, but from side on was hard to tell.
“Ben didn’t say it was definitely out, he wasn’t sure, but when we saw it we were hopeful.”