Of umpiring follies, unfair ban and more

Published: Monday, January 7, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Benson and BucknorBangalore: The second Test between India and Australia at SCG will be remembered for all wrong reasons: umpiring follies, Aussie fielders claiming catches that weren't complete and legel, Aussie batsmen not walking despite huge nicks, Aussie skipper misleading umpires and above all a match referee handing the Indian offie Harbhajan three-Test ban over racial abuse in a loop-sided verdict et al. In fact these follies marred the fiercely fought great game of Test and Team India were denied a much deserved draw. Lets find out how everything went against India.

Day 1: English umpire Mark Benson did not give Ponting out, caught down leg side by Dhoni off Ganguly, when replays showed that Punter nicked the ball when on 17 and went on to make 55. And it is shame Ponting stood his groud despite a huge nick.

Day 1: Indian players' appeals fell on deaf ears as senile and confused Steve Bucknor ruled Symonds not out despite the batsman getting a thick edge off Ishant when on 30 (Australia 193/6) and he went on to make 162 not out. And how can you expect a Aussie batsmen to walk...

Day 1: Third umpire Oxenford gave Symonds benefit of doubt despite the replays clearly showed that the batsman's foot was off the ground when Dhoni stumped him. And the burly Queenslander was on 65.

Day 2: The senile Jamaican umpire Bucknor did not refer a stumping appeal by Dhoni against Symonds off Kumble to third umpire despite the fact that Symonds foot was outside the crease. Symond's score 148 (Australia: 421/6). How on earth this sell-by-date (as Ravi Shastri said) umpire is still in elite panel despite the glaring errors he make and continue doing it 'consistently'.

Day 2: It is Bucknor again who failed to notice Lee overstepping the crease time and again as is shown in TV replays and in the end Lee got a wicket off no-ball. Wasim Jaffer was at the receiving end.

Day 4: Englishman Benson turned down RP Singh's appeal for caught behind against Hussey when the batsman was on 45. Replays showed that Hussey nicked the ball (Australia 188/2). Why is that umpires refrain from referring to third umpires when it is sheer impossible to hear the nicks infront of the packed and noisy crowd and that too at SCG one of the big stadiums.

Day 5: Bucknor, who noramlly takes time to give his decisions, was spontenious uphelding the Aussie appeal for caught behind for Dravid off Symonds when the ball was missing Dravid's willow by miles. Dravid was on 38. (India: 115/3). This was a crucial blow for the visitors.

Day 5: Benson rules Ganguly out after consulting Ponting on the legitimacy of Clarke's catch. Replays clearly showed the catch wasn't completed. Ganguly was on 51 (India: 137/6). And that was a deathly blow to Indian hopes.

In the end it was Australia's 15 verses India's playing eleven. That was too much for visitors to handle: On-field umpires for their follies which they committed so consistantly with India at receiving end always. Match Referee Proctor voilating the very norm of natural justice slapped Bhajji with three-match ban over racial slur despite no clear-cut evidence. Ref took into account the dispositions of Ponting, Hayden and Clarke while ignoring the most balanced and respected cricketer Tendulkar's testimony. Third umpire, a Aussie, too contributed to Australian cause when he gave Symonds benefit of doubt when it was pretty clear from TV replays that batsman foot was in the air when Dhoni dislodged the bails. And to top it all Australian players trampled upon the spirits of the game. This is just not cricket Aussies...


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