The grassed catch claimed by Jonathan Trott in the first Test in Ahmedabad has done England no good. Not only has it put a question mark on the visitors' sportsmanship, but even their honest appeals throughout the series could be viewed with suspicion.
Here's an example. On Friday,
England burst into dramatic celebrations in the 74th over, thinking they had finally seen the back of Cheteshwar Pujara for the first time in the series.
Pujara, six short of his century, played Swann on the leg side and the ball lobbed into the hands of a fielder at mid-wicket after bouncing off the toe of Alastair Cook, stationed at short leg.
While England claimed the catch, the third umpire ruled the Pujara not out as the television replays showed the ball had bounced before hitting Cook's toe.
With the Trott incident fresh in the mind, it is easy to think England had intentionally claimed yet another grassed catch.
But, giving Cook the benefit of doubt, it's possible that the captain wasn't aware that the ball had hit the ground first.
However, former India captain Ajit Wadekar feels the player always knows what has happened in such incidents.
“In his heart, the player knows whether it is out or not, and whether he should go for the appeal,” said Wadekar. “It happened in the last Test as well,” he added, referring to the Trott incident.
The England batsman had dropped Virat Kohli when he tried to cut Graeme Swann. Trott made two attempts to hold on to it before grassing it. While he claimed the catch, the replays showed he had grassed it.
Wadekar feels it's the importance of the series that drives players to make such embarrassing appeals, neglecting the 'spirit of the game'.
“The players claim such wickets because it's such a high-pressure series. They just want to play hard and forget everything else,” he said. “They want to take a chance with every decision and put it across to the TV umpire.”
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