Rohit Sharma mulling over Shubman Gill's controversial catch goes to show Team India is getting caught in a blame game instead of introspecting.
There was a moment in the post-match press conference of Indian cricket team’s captain Rohit Sharma after his team’s defeat in the World Test Championship final, when all the focus shifted to one controversial (depending on what country you root for) dismissal. For the next few minutes, Rohit spoke about why Shubman Gill should not have been given caught out, almost betraying how important the team felt that moment was. And therein lies the problem. This test match was lost by a team, to a superior team, both of which comprised of 11 men. There were dozens of dismissals over 13 sessions spread over five days, all of which contributed to India’s defeat. And yet, here was the skipper – obsessing over one dismissal, completely symptomatic of how the team disintegrated in the face of a strong opposition.
To anyone living under a rock over the past few days, Shubman Gill was given out caught by the third umpire after Cameron Green held on to a low catch off the bowling of Scott Boland on day 4. However, replays seemed to suggest the ball could have touched the grass. What was inconclusive was whether it touched before Green was in control of the catch or after. In the end, it came down to the umpire’s interpretation and that went against Gill and India. Much hue and cry was made. Gill even posted a screengrab of the moment for his 7 million Instagram followers (that’s ok, cricketers have done more childish things).
But the matter could have rested there. Instead it carried over till the next day and even the post-match conference. When asked if he was disappointed by the decision, Rohit went on a tangent about how the third umpire needed to do better and see more replays before arriving at the decision. Rohit seemed miffed that the umpire was convinced after watching it only ‘three or four times’. In any other profession, quick decision making probably would have been applauded. But only in a game like cricket, you want umpires to slow the game down even further.
The Indian skipper went on about how the decision was taken quickly and that umpires need to be more thorough ‘at such an important stage’ in a big final. The part about being thorough is logical indeed. But who is to say that umpire Richard Kettleborough wasn’t thorough in the ‘3-4 times’ he watched the replay. Maybe given his experience, he was able to make an informed call.
Besides, that is only half the point. By making that dismissal a big deal, Rohit is implying that it had a huge bearing on the game. But the fact of the matter remains that India were ever ahead in the game. Barring two sessions on the fourth day, India were never in the hunt. Could Shubman Gill not being give out have turned the tide? Maybe, who knows! But was that wicket the sole reason for India crashing and burning, giving away seven wickets in two hours on day 5? Definitely not! In clinging on to this supposed ‘injustice’ done to them, Rohit and Team India are making sure they don’t actually learn from their mistakes in the game. This is a time of learning, not playing blame game!