Even before stumps were drawn on Day 4 of India's must-win third Test against Sri Lanka, there was a lot of action in the match referee's cubicle.
Soon after Murali Vijay was controversially adjudged out after the on-field umpires consulted the third umpire over a catch taken, India's coach Gary Kirsten barged into the match referee's cubicle.
It was learnt that Kirsten sought a clarification about how Vijay was ruled out when replays were inconclusive. While match referee Andy Pycroft offered no explanation, third umpire Kumar Dharmasena, himself a former cricketer, apparently explained that he referred the decision back to the on-field umps since the replays were “inconclusive”.
Vijay, with three overs remaining in the day's play, clipped Suraj Randiv off his legs. Mahela Jayawardene, standing at backward short-leg, lunged forward to claim a catch and the Lankans started celebrating. But the India opener was not sure if Jayawardene had caught it cleanly, so he waited at the crease.
Umpire Simon Taufel then walked to Rod Tucker at square leg and after having a brief discussion consulted Dharmasena on the walkie-talkie. Since none of the camera angles was conclusive for him to make up his mind, the former Sri Lanka off-spinner asked Taufel to make up his mind.
And then Taufel raised his finger. It was interesting, especially since Taufel had not given his verdict before consulting the third umpire.
Given that the on-field umpire was not sure, and hence consulted his colleague who had the benefit of replays and technology, common sense suggested that doubts still existed and Vijay should have not been ruled out.
But that wasn't to be.