SA test against Ind 3rd – ‘The whole country against 11 men’


“We’ve seen it, I’ve seen it. I’ll leave that to the match umpire to have a look at it,” Indian bowling coach Paras Mambre said.

A number of Indian players, including captain Virat Kohli, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the South African broadcaster, SuperSport, regarding the use of technology after Dean Elgar canceled the review on the third day of the final test in Cape Town.
It was on day 21 of the final rounds of the match that South Africa were 60 to 1 chasing 212 to win the series, when R Ashwin Elgar hit the podiums. The South African captain was awarded the lbw by Marais Erasmus, the referee on the pitch, but the decision was overturned on review with ball tracking that showed the ball past the stems.

The ball tracking technology is licensed by HawkEye, an independent body that transmits data to the host broadcaster, in this case SuperSport.

Kohli, visibly angry, walked to the tree trunks, spoke into the microphone and said, “Concentrate on your team while shooting the ball. Not just the opponent. Try to catch people all the time.”

Kohli was not alone. KL Rahul, the deputy captain, was immediately heard afterwards, saying, “It’s the whole country against 11 men.” And Ashwin was apparently addressing the broadcasters directly when he said, “You have to find better ways to win, SuperSport.”

Indian players weren’t the only ones who disagreed with the decision. Erasmus was seen shaking his head as images were projected onto a screen at the venue, and could be heard saying, “That’s impossible.”

After today’s play, when Lungi Ngidi was asked if he trusted the DRS to do its job as expected, he simply said “yes”. When asked why, he explained: “We’ve seen it on many occasions being used all over the world. It’s the system in place. That’s what we use as a cricketer.”

But the Indians were not on the same page.

We’ve seen it, I’ve seen it. I’ll leave that to the match referee to have a look at it. There’s nothing I can comment on now. We’ve done it. I’ve seen it all, I just want to move on with the game now,” said bowling coach Paras Mambre at his press conference. “.

When asked if Indian players were suggesting that broadcasters were manipulating images, Mambri said, “Everyone here is doing their best. Sometimes in a moment like this, people say certain things. It’s a game. I think it’s only fair that we are just moving forward. Everyone is doing their best. His effort. Emotions sometimes play a role.”

Njedi also said: “Reactions like this show a little bit of frustration and sometimes teams take advantage of that. You never want to show too much emotion, but we can see emotions being high. And that tells us they feel a little pressure.

“That was a good partnership [between Elgar and Keegan Petersen for the second wicket] For us and they really wanted to break it. These feelings appeared there. Everyone reacts differently and what we saw there was how these guys were feeling at the time.”

Elgar was eventually ejected after sustaining a blow to the logs, and the DRS came into the picture again. This time, it was after India reviewed a non-execution decision from the other referee, Adrian Holstock, to catch wicket guard off Jaspreet Bumrah. It was a complete handover going down the leg, Elgar seemed to flick but only managed to hit him, Rishabh Pant took a dip to his right.

I checked India, and heard Kohli say, “I wonder how they’ll show that.” As it turns out, UltraEdge showed a spike when the ball went through a racket and Elgar was delivered.

There was a similar incident recently, in the Mumbai test between India and New Zealand, when Chitchwar Pujara was hit below the knee by Ajaz Patel and was given a shot. Pujara suggested that he hit the ball, which was not the case according to the replay, but the ball was shown skipping the stems.

Firdous Munda is the ESPNcricinfo correspondent in South Africa

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