Running out of patience

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Let's get this out there off the bat: David Hussey should have been given out for handling the ball, Sachin Tendulkar was correctly adjudged run out.

Let's get this out there off the bat: David Hussey should have been given out for handling the ball, Sachin Tendulkar was correctly adjudged run out.

Hussey had no right to palm off the return throw. The velocity of Suresh Raina's fling from short cover was never going to hurt the batsman. Copping the ball to the hip or, at worst, the fleshy thigh would have been a far safer option for the Australian. Passing off the elevation of his hand as an involuntary reaction is dubious. There is a reason these types of incidents don't happen often – players largely have enough time to react accordingly, in the spirit of the game. Hussey did not, and ultimately got off scot-free for his sin.

He was likely to make his ground at the striker's end in time regardless of his right-handed intrusion or not. Raina wasn't fast enough to truly trouble the quick single. Multiple television replays showed that the batsman was beating the ball. The letter of the law needed to be followed, though.

Law 33 in the great game's rule book states: 'Either batsman is out handled the ball if he wilfully touches the ball while in play with a hand or hands not holding the bat unless he does so with the consent of a fielder. A batsman will not be out under this Law if he handles the ball to avoid injury.'

India's argument is a clear-cut one: Hussey, in no real danger of being injured and without the permission of the fielder, purposefully struck the ball, still in play, with his person – and this was entirely to the disadvantage of India. Case closed, and certainly no need for the deliberation, ifs and buts that eventually left the final decision to third umpire Simon Fry.

Although robbed by Hussey, India had no reason to feel hard done by two hours later.

Lee had every right to chase Gautam Gambhir's dab to the off-side. The bowler had as much reason to change his mind and stop dead in his tracks as team-mate David Warner swooped in from point. As much as Lee would love to have eyes in the back of his head, he doesn't, and had no idea Tendulkar opted for the outside track rather than the inside lane. The Indian's choice was unbeknown to the Australian. There was nothing devious about Lee's movements. If anything, he was ultimately stationary in order to avoid a potential hindrance at the striker's end.

The fact that it was a beloved national icon fast running out of time in his bid to secure that 100th international century, and not a regular Joe Indian that was run out, makes the uproar all the more questionable. One has to speculate that, were it a Ravindra Jadeja or Suresh Raina thwarted by Warner, not nearly as much of a rumpus would have ensued.

Ultimately, if the ICC and its umpires are going to give and take in some instances and not others, exact statutes need to be written into the rules. As specific as the game's governing body think their regulations are, there remains too much room for interpretation. A fan-base demanding hard and fast outcomes in incidents such as the ones that lined Sunday in Sydney are all too often being left in limbo or worse, jaded, by Hussey v India- and Lee v Tendulkar-esque irregularities.

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