Joe Root struck a brilliant century to put England ahead on the first day of the Rajkot Test on Wednesday, but his dismissal is likely to be discussed more animatedly.
The England vice-captain had eased his way to a 180-ball 124, when Umesh Yadav, bowling the 81th over with England on a solid 281/3 couldn’t believe his eyes. Root had just driven back a pitched-up delivery.
On his follow through, Umesh Yadav took a low return catch in front of him, but in a half-hearted attempt to celebrate threw up the ball in the same motion. Instead of catching it again, the speedster lost the ball, desperately turning to see it go to ground.
Joe Root seemed sure the bowler was not in control when the ball went to ground and asked the umpire for a review. Virat Kohli and Co., desperate for a break after the century stand between Root and Moeen Ali, were pretty sure as they spent agonising moments waiting.
A few replays later, TV umpire, Rod Tucker, ruled the catch was good, to the relief of the Indian camp. Joe Root walked away disappointed.
Root though was more upset with himself for not going on to make a bigger score. “I was just disgusted with the shot… Having seen the slow-mo replay, it does look out but when you speed it up it looks a bit strange. But at the end of the day, I was really lucky with an umpire’s call with an lbw earlier on (on 93). We have to take the rough with the smooth sometimes and just get on with it.”
Umesh Yadav didn’t seem as out of control as Herschelle Gibbs was when he prematurely tried to celebrate Aussie skipper Steve Waugh’s catch in the 1999 World Cup semifinal, only to let the ball slip and go to ground.
The rule says the fielder should be in complete control for it to stand. The England camp will view the replay again and again and feel it wasn’t ‘completed’.
It would have been a disaster had Tucker ruled in England’s favour as India had dropped both openers Alastair Cook and debutant Haseeb Hameed in the morning to cede the advantage to the opposition.
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