Despite playing a major role in improving the quality of games, technology also causes controversial decisions all too often. The India-Pakistan encounter became the latest example on Sunday after Axar Patel was ruled run-out by the third umpire despite the lack of conclusive evidence.
Chasing a target of 160 against Pakistan, India found themselves in deep trouble at the Melbourne Cricket Ground having been reduced to 31/4 early in their innings. The Pakistan bowling unit’s clinical display played a major role in triggering the Men in Blue’s collapse but all the limelight, in typical fashion, was stolen by their sloppy fielding and the resulting chaos.
Axar Patel walked in to bat after the loss of three wickets and had the responsibility to steady the innings along with Virat Kohli. He was up against Shadab Khan on the first ball of the seventh over and was presented with a length ball on his legs. The all-rounder pushed the delivery towards short mid-wicket and sprinted to sneak a cheeky single. However, Kohli denied the opportunity after an initial shuffle, leaving Axar stranded in the middle of the pitch.
Babar Azam collected the ball but in the process fumbled, offering his counterpart a glimmer of hope for survival. Axar pulled off a desperate dive to save himself but there was further chaos when Mohammad Rizwan failed to grasp the ball cleanly and seemed to break the wickets using only his gloves. Even though Rizwan had clearly caught the batter short of his crease, there was confusion around whether the ball was still in contact with his gloves at the telling moment.
Slow-motion TV replays indicated the white Kookaburra was very close to the gloves when the bails were dislodged but there was no conclusive evidence to arrive at an absolute decision. The body language of both the wicket-keeper and the captain had everyone convinced of the batter’s safety but with a sensational call, the third umpire, Richard Kettleborough, signalled Patel to return to the dugout.
The controversial decision sent shockwaves on Twitter as Pakistan erupted in delight, causing fans to engage in heavy arguments over the incident.
Insane decision by third umpires!
Very unlucky #AxarPatel
#T20WorldCup— Shamoeel Vlogs_official 🇵🇰 (@VlogsShamoeel) October 23, 2022
Babar Azam yes !!!!
Axar Patel gone
What a runout
Was it out?
Wicket keeper did!
Wrongly given or rules are correct?
Sad session at Melbourne so far!
Ideally yeah! But no idea.
Wrong out given to Axar Patel. Wicket keeper was not holding ball while stumping so he is not out— None (@WalaNitin0) October 23, 2022
Oh lol! Still the match is on.
How can this be out?
Looks like but gotta re-check!
Was Axar Patel given out wrongly ?— Pushyamitra 🚩🇮🇳🇮🇳🚩 (@pushyamitrsunga) October 23, 2022
Doens't cricket rules say if bails fall before the ball hits stumps, the fielder needs to take out the stumps to claim wicket !
Your comments @GabbbarSingh
ROLF! What's funny here?
#Axar_Patel_out 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣— lala Asif 🇵🇰 (@lalaasifbaloch) October 23, 2022
The ball should be in keeper hand when stumps goes off— Intekhab Alam (@Bhola4U) October 23, 2022
Axar Patel run out is doubtful#INDvsPAK
Exactly. Yes! Not impressed with Umpire's decision!
Big Screen showed it as OUT!