Cricket greats for close calls to go to 3rd umpire

Published: Thursday, April 8, 2004, 23:18 [IST]
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Mumbai:Former Test stars Dilip Sardesai and Sandeep Patil on Thursday blamed "substandard umpiring" and poor batting by the Indians for their shocking nine-wicket loss to their arch rivals Pakistan at Lahore.

Former middle order batsman Sardesai said in Mumbai. "Umpiring was bad, but I was disappointed with India's batting performance. They (Indian batsmen) did not bat to their potential and were over confident which caused their down fall".

"None of the Indian batsmen were willing to stay at the wicket. They should understand that just winning one Test match in a series is not good enough as the Pakistanis have the knack of coming back strongly when pushed against the wall", he added.

"The Pakistanis did that in the One-day series. After losing the first match at Karachi, they came back strongly to win the next two and the Indians should have been more professional and planned things out even before the secondTest match", Sardesai said

Patil, who has coached the Indian team before, said. "There is no doubt that umpiring was substandard. I think it is time for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to interfere and ask the umpires to refer all close decisions the third umpire".

"There is lot at stake when two Asian giants like India and Pakistan clash, including the reputation of the players. I think ICC should take up such cases and at least on a trial basis, refer close decisions to the third umpire", he added.

Blaming too much of One-day cricket for the way Indians batted, Sardesai, said "batting is supposed to be our strength but our batsmen played too many shots even before settling down. They should be clear in their mind that they are not playing a one-day game, but a five-day Test match.

"On fast wickets against quick bowlers, the batsmen should try and stay at the wicket till the bowlers are worn out before going for their shots but our batsmen, particularly V V S Laxman went for shots too early and the actingcaptain Rahul Dravid was run out needlessly,".

Former India skipper Polly Umrigar said, "The Indian batsmen, including Sachin Tendulkar, should curb playing One day shots in a Test match.

"In the first innings Sachin tried to flick a ball pitched on the off stump to the fine leg boundary and was plumb in front of the wicket. This is not the first time he is getting out this way but still persists with that shot,"

"Agreed, One-day cricket has improved the standard of fielding and running between the wickets but unfortunately it has also ruined Test cricket as the matches are over by the third or fourth day itself. The second Test at Lahore got over within three and a half days", Umrigar said.

"I think it is now time for the Indian think-tank to sit down and chalk out a plan so that their batters give a better performance in the third and final Test at Rawalpindi (April 13) and bat responsibly", he added.

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