The third Test between India and Australia is currently underway at the JSCA International Stadium complex in Ranchi and while it might not be as exciting as the first two Tests, there has been no shortage of the on-field action between the players of the two sides.
Umpire Chris Gaffaney was in on the action as well on the morning of the first session’s play as Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha led the fightback for the Indian cricket team. Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were on a spree of bowling bouncers in an attempt to trouble the Indian batsmen and get the crucial breakthrough. However, both the batsmen were unperturbed and going about their business and kept the runs flowing.
During the 140th over of the match, Hazlewood bowled another bouncer and it was an uncharacteristic hook shot from Pujara as the ball beat the top edge of the bat. It was half a shout from Australia and Gaffaney was seen raising his finger, but he then went on to scratch his head. It looked like he wanted to give him out and then withdrew the decision looking at the feeble appeal of the Kangaroos.
This is not the first time an umpire was in such a soup. In fact, just yesterday, a similar incident took place in the match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. During the last ball of the 3rd day of the Test, umpire Aleem Dar nodded his head before withdrawing his decision against Sri Lanka’s Suranga Lakmal. It turned out to be the right decision in the end as the review suggested that he was not out.
Just a few overs before the umpiring incident in the India-Australia Test, Saha was saved by a DRS decision. He was given out LBW in the 2nd over of the day, but he decided to review the decision and luckily for him, the ball went on to miss the leg stump.
Pujara too was saved by the DRS in the 155th over of the match after he was given out LBW by Ian Gould to a Nathan Lyon delivery.
With the 4th day’s play currently underway and India nearing Australia’s total of 451, it looks like the Test is heading for a draw. If so, the two teams will have all to play for in the final Test of the Border-Gavaskar series at Dharamsala which begins on March 25th.