In a rather bizarre and unique follow-through, Ravichandran Ashwin was seen running sideways through the popping crease, obstructing umpire Nitin Menon’s view while approaching the non-striker. Animated discussions followed thereafter, with Menon, Ashwin and skipper Ajinkya Rahane involved.
Ravichandran Ashwin unleashed another dimension to his bowling during Day 3 of the ongoing Kanpur Test. This time though, it wasn’t about the release, but of the follow-through.
With Tom Latham and Kane Williamson at the crease, Ashwin operated from round the wicket with his run-up directed slightly sideways towards his left, as he followed through the popping crease in direction of the non-striker, while passing through umpire Nitin Menon's vision. As per the laws, the bowler was well within his rights with his follow-through, since he wasn’t stepping onto the danger area.
However, it did appear to disturb the umpire’s view, as the bowler finished his action right in front of him, and was likely to obstruct the non-striker while completing a follow-through in case he’d go for a run. The sequence called for a discussion between the two, with skipper Ajinkya Rahane getting involved soon after. The umpire seemed to suggest that he wouldn't be able to make a decision in case of a close appeal. Ashwin however, persisted with the style of bowling, during which he also managed to beat the two batsmen on a few occasions.
On-air commentators, Sunil Gavaskar and Simon Doull pointed out that the bowler coming in way of the non-striker could well mean that he could be stopped from doing so unless the latter agrees on changing his position. Earlier, Ashwin had a moment of misfortune when a loud leg-before appeal against Tom Latham was turned down, and the hosts didn’t review the call, only for the replays to show three reds on ball-tracking.
Umesh Yadav trapped Williamson leg-before at the stroke of lunch, and the visitors stood at 197/2 in response to India’s first-innings score of 345, with Latham unbeaten on 82.
Nitin Menon : "You are obstructing my vision"— CRICKET VIDEOS 🏏 (@AbdullahNeaz) November 27, 2021
Rahane: "He's not running on to the danger area."
Nitin Menon : "I can't make the LBW calls."
Ashwin: "You are anyways not making any" 😋😂#INDvNZ | #NZvIND #INDvsNZ pic.twitter.com/VDovbwLBXL
A different point of view?
Blaming umpire is no good, players failed to take the drs.— Bruce wayne (@savemartha_bat) November 27, 2021
If it is one or two mistakes in a match by umpire it can said player's mistake but umpires in this match look like worse than street level.— Mr Nobody (@Me_MrNobody) November 27, 2021
Yesterday three times Latham was given out when it is not and today two times players given not out.
That's there umpiring Nitin Menon.— Pradip Kumar Parida (@PradipK25097574) November 27, 2021
R Ashwin is the only cricketer who finds himself in controversies for having followed the 'rules' to the T.— Vinod Ramnath (@NaanumEngineer) November 27, 2021
People don't agree with his interpretation of the rule, even when he's done no wrong.#INDvNZ #IStandWithAshNa
One thing you should know by now is that R Ashwin never goes against rule book. Be it mankading or now. You will always find him within legal limits.— Team India🇮🇳 /BLEED BLUE💙 (@DealPati) November 27, 2021
R Ashwin isn't breaking any law there but the kind of umpiring that has happened in the match so far, Nitin Menon is just looking to make things a little comfortable for him.#INDvNZ— Sahil Bakshi (@SBakshi13) November 27, 2021
Nitin Menon vs R Ashwin is truly delicious. Keep at it, both of you.— El Chopernos (@El_Chopernos) November 27, 2021
r ashwin done dirty. unreal— No (@RootKanal) November 27, 2021