Roseau, July 11: A good competitive series in the Caribbean between the West Indies and India was marred not just by rain, but by the deluge of poor umpiring decisions. The lousy decision-making prompted some Indian players to quip that such was a stratagem to promote the use of the Decision Review System (DRS) straight away.
The horror run from the on-field officials began as early as the 1st one-dayer which unfolded at the Port of Spain. Both sides benefited from faux pas as Rohit Sharma wouldn't have proceeded to 86 if a justified lbw shout from leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo hadn't been turned down. In the Windies' Innings, Ramnaresh Sarwan survived three shouts, two of which came after he was caught plumb in front.
Marlon Samuels was fortunate not to see the dreaded finger go up when a Praveen Kumar leg-cutter that got to the pads on the way to the middle stump saw the umpire unmoved.
The third and the fourth ODIs too suffered from this erroneous trend. Virat Kohli was sent packing after a suspect lbw decision, while Kieron Pollard was also headed back to the pavilion after a catch that came off his pad instead of his bat.The fourth ODI spelled trouble for Samuels again, who found himself given out LBW when the ball's trajectory was clearly missing the stumps.
Umpiring in the Tests was just as horrendous. So much so that the first match at Kingston's Sabina Park all but brought the curtain down on umpire Daryl Harper's career. A half a dozen decisions went wrong against India and three against the West Indies, almost threatening to change the outcome of the game.
The real shocker came when India captain M S Dhoni's was dismissed thanks to a glitched TV replay. However, there were other umpiring gaffes too. Asad Rauf declared Raina caught at forward short leg with replays showing that the ball had made no contact with the bat. In the same match, Darren Bravo suffered similar ill-fortune when the umpire raised his finger on a caught-behind appeal.
Most recently, Windies captain Darren Sammy was wrongly given out caught at forward short leg of Harbhajan Singh's bowling.The ICC would do well to scrutinise this atrocious lack of consistency on the part of the umpires and reprimand the culprits accordingly.