When the second Test begins in Mohali on Friday Rahul Dravid will not be the only Indian under pressure. Suresh Shastri, who will perform the crucial role of third umpire, has come in for a bit of flak from his superiors,
Shastri, who did the television umpire's job in the recently concluded four-Test series against Australia, has not impressed Chris Broad, the match referee. In his customary post-tour review Broad has singled out Shastri for criticism.
“Suresh Shastri did not have a good series. Was not very well prepared to do the job that is asked of the 3rd umpire these days,” wrote Broad. There were specific issues that Broad took exception to. Shastri “knew very little about how to work the equipment infront of him (although he did learn as he went along),” wrote Broad and this is a key factor when it comes to the television umpire's job. Broad added that Shastri “was very lacklustre in dealing with the on-field umpires and the TV director and didn’t take the contructive critism of his performance very well at all.”
In conclusion Broad says that it's not enough to perform well as a standing umpire but that there was a lot more to the job. "Being a top umpire these days is not all about performances ON the field, there are other requirements that need to be mastered!"
In contrast Broad had only good things to say about Amish Saheba, who is currently away in New Zealand doing duties. “Amish Saheba did a great job. Always willing to help his on-field colleagues.”
Looks like Shastri will have to pull up his socks significantly to ensure that he does not receive any more negative feedback.