Deprived of the Decision Review System due to India’s steadfast opposition, umpires could be taking advantage of an anomaly in referral rules.
At least that seemed to be the case in the way Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed on Monday in the ongoing second cricket Test against Australia in Hyderabad.
The veteran right-hander appeared to have got the wrong end of the stick when he was declared out caught behind after a 15-ball 7.
It was the 125th over of the Indian innings and the Australians were trying hard to come back into the match in which opener Murali Vijay and number three Cheteshwar Pujara had severely dented their confidence with sublime hundreds.
Tendulkar walked in after Vijay’s departure and the veteran was just about settling down when he had to head back to the pavillion, out caught behind wicket by Matthew Wade off pacer James Pattinson.
What made the situation a trifle complex was the way onfield umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus handled it.
Erasmus was unmoved for quite a while despite vociferous appeals by the Australians before referring it to third umpire S Ravi, who, according to the rules, could only decide on whether the catch was taken cleanly.
But the process before coming to the conclusion is such that Ravi could also suggest whether the batsman nicked the delivery or not.
This might have helped the onfield umpires get rid of any doubts on whether the batsman nicked the delivery.
Similar drama had unfolded on the opening day as well when the Indians appealed for a catch of Moises Henriques.
The umpire, Erasmus again, referred it to the third umpire, a move which revealed that Henriques’ bat or glove had not touched the ball at all. Erasmus ruled in favour of the Australian after consulting Ravi.
But on Monday Tendulkar was not so lucky as after a long chat with Ravi, Erasmus raised the dreaded finger.
The Indian walked back without creating a fuss, but the dismissal did raise questions about the referral laws even though the end result was a correct decision.