'Are umpires blind?': Ex-Pakistan cricketer accuses Australia of ball tampering against Kohli and Pujara with 'evidence'
Former Pakistan cricketer Basit Ali has made strong ball-tampering allegations against Australia for their tactics against India in the WTC final.
Amid Australia's domination over India in the ongoing World Test Championship final, Pat Cummins and his team have been hit hard by strong ball tampering allegations by a former Pakistan cricketer, who insists that the Aussies 'made the ball' near the 15th over and used it to their benefit to dismiss two of India's top batters in Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. Both Pujara and Kohli were dismissed in quick succession by Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc respectively, and the accuser, former batter Basit Ali, claims that he is shocked to see no one taking notice of Australia's tactics at The Oval, including officials, commentators, and the Indian batters themselves.
"Firstly, I would clap for those watching the match from commentary box, and the umpires? Australia clearly played with the ball and no one is talking about it. No batter is wondering 'What is happening?' The biggest example is batters getting bowled while leaving the ball. Let me give you the evidence too. Until the 54th over when Shami was bowling, the shine was on the outside and the ball moved back into Steve Smith. This is not called reverse-swing. Reverse swing is when the shine is on the inside and the ball comes back in," Ali said on his YouTube channel.
He further added that overs 16 to 18 were clear evidences of ball tampering, while highlighting the dismissals of Kohli and Pujara. During the 18th over of the innings, the ball was changed on the instructions of umpire Richard Kettleborough after it had gone out of shape. As the box of replacements arrived and the new ball was taken, Ali reckons that is when things started to happen for Australia as India, from 30/2, slipped to 71/4.
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"Look at the 16th, 17th and 18th over, the ball on which Virat Kohli got out... look at the shine. Mitchell Starc had the ball in his hand with the shiny end pointing outside but the ball was moving the other way. Jadeja was hitting the ball on the on-side and the ball was flying over point. Have the umpires gone blind? God knows who all are sitting there who can't see such a simple thing," Ali pointed out.
Pujara was out bowled while shouldering arms to a pretty straight-forward delivery while Kohli was done in by a vicious bounder from left-armer Starc returning for his second spell. Explaining the mechanism behind the two different balls, Ali stated that there is no way the Dukes reverse-swings before 40 overs.
"Green bowled with the shine pointing towards Pujara and the ball rocketed back in? I am surprised. BCCI is such a big board; can they not see it? It means that you aren't focussed towards cricket. They are just happy knowing that India have reached the final. Does the ball ever reverse swing in 15-20 overs, that too Dukes ball? I understand that a Kookaburra ball can still reverse, but a Dukes ball lasts till 40 overs at least," Ali said.
Ball tampering is a sensitive chapter in the history of Australian cricket following the infamous 'sandpaper gate' in 2018 in which David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft were found guilty of roughing up one side of the ball to make it swing against South Africa in a Test match in Cape Town. After the television cameras caught the act, Cricket Australia slapped Warner and Smith with a 12-month ban, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.