Virat Kohli dismissal sparks furious debate over TV umpires and DRS

Test cricket
Virat Kohli New Zealand

India captain Virat Kohli suffered a controversial leg before dismissal on day one of the second Test against New Zealand leaving the cricket world divided and match officials under the spotlight on Friday.

Kohli was given out for nought after a delivery New Zealand’s Mumbai-born spinner Ajaz Patel struck him on the pad and the third umpire upheld the call of on-field official Anil Chaudhary.

India’s skipper was quick to ask for a review of the decision feeling certain that he had made contact with the ball with his bat before it had thudded into his pads.

However, TV umpire Virender Sharma watched several replays, some angles of which suggested the ball could have hit the bat first, but was unable to make a decisive call.

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On the tv broadcast Sharma was heard saying, “Ball and bat and pad appears to be together. I don’t have any conclusive evidence to overturn that.”

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An understandably hot under the collar Kohli returned to the pavilion after having a word with the other on-field umpire Nitin Menon and lashed out at the boundary rope with his bat.

“Just to say it was ‘inconclusive evidence’, I think it wasn’t the right call. Disappointing decision,” Former India batter Wasim Jaffer told ESPNcricinfo.

Former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori said: “For me it seemed obvious there was an inside edge. For one man to sit there and try and make such a crucial decision, maybe the match referee can step in”.

However New Zealand cricketer-turned-commentator Simon Doull backed the umpire’s call and said the officials followed all the protocols to reach the decision.

“There was no conclusive evidence that the ball hit the pad first. So, I think the process was followed. The process was right,” Doull said on commentary.

Doull’s defence of the decision focused on the process rather than the actual decision.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan wrote “NOT OUT” on Twitter while tagging a video of Kohli’s lbw.

Ex-India batting coach Sanjay Bangar said, “Clearly, it was an error on part of the umpire.”

The decision came at a crucial juncture with Patel, who got all four Indian wickets, getting two scalps in one over as India slipped to 80-3 after a solid opening stand.

Mayank Agarwal hit an unbeaten 120 to pull India up out of trouble and leave them on 221-4 at close of play on a weather-affected day at the Wankhede Stadium.