Trent Bridge, July 31: In the 88th over of India's first innings of the second Test again England, English premier seamer Stuart Broad burst into an elite club. Indeed, he became the 17th Englishman and the 39th cricketer overall in the 134-year old history of the game, to take a hat-trick. What made the three wickets of a trio of consecutive balls all the more sweet, was that it occurred at his home ground in Nottingham.
His victims were Indian captain M S Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar. But eventhough, Broad's feat will go down as a glowing achievement in the annals of Test Cricket and the stuff of cricketing folklore for years to come, good fortune and a incomplete, transitory decision review system (DRS) played their part.
While, the first wicket of the hat-trick which fell with Dhoni unwittingly edging an outswinger to slips and the third scalp which Broad effected by clean-bowling Praveen Kumar, were both genuine dismissals, the wicket in between was an error of judgement by the umpire. Bhajji got a thick inside edge onto his pads, a minute but crucial detail that the on-field official missed. Consequently, the dreaded finger went up and Harbhajan was on his way back.
But before departing, Bhajji slumped on his haunches in despair. India had only itself to blame for such a misfortune. After all, an adamant BCCI had objected against the use of the DRS for lbws, owing to its qualms over the hawk-eye technology which simulates the trajectory of the delivery in question. Had such a facility been in place, Bhajji would have survived and Broad would have been deprived of his hat-trick.
The words of English coach Andy Flower who had said that a controversy over a limited DRS was just waiting to erupt, will come back to haunt the Indian side, who now find themselves as the wrong end of the technology.