MS Dhoni won many hearts when he recalled Ian Bell following a bizzare run-out in the second Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham last year. But when England team director Andy Flower requested the Indian skipper to give Jonny Bairstow a reprieve during the third day’s play on Sunday, Dhoni wasn’t so benevolent.
And when a journalist brought up the issue after the completion of the match on Monday, Dhoni remarked, “Is it only my job to recall everybody or will the umpires also do something? (On many occasions), there are replays that show the batsman is lbw. Why can’t the opposition say, ‘no my batsman is out, you come back (to the dressing room)?’ Umpires get handsome payments, they are supposed to take some (correct) decisions.”
For the record, Bairstow was caught at silly point by Gautam Gambhir off Pragyan Ojha in the first session on Sunday. The ball had grazed the grille of the fielder’s helmet before the catch was completed. The umpires called lunch and it was during the 40-minute break that everyone realised Bairstow was indeed not out. Aleem Dar and Tony Hill couldn’t do much as the batsman had already left the field of play. But the England team management approached match referee Roshan Mahanama who, in turn, accompanied Flower to the Indian dressing room. Dhoni said nothing doing and it was new man Samit Patel who walked out with centurion Kevin Pietersen after lunch.
Yes, Pakistani Dar and New Zealander Hill didn’t have a great three-and-a-quarter days in office, but it must be said in their defence that they have the luxury of the Decision Review System (DRS) in all the other Test-playing nations. No such luck in the centre of the cricketing universe.