Cameron Green catches Gill, triggers a debate

By, London
Jun 10, 2023 10:09 PM IST

Green and his teammates were convinced the catch was clean, and the TV umpire agreed. But doubts were raised as his hand fell to the ground in the process.

It was a big moment. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill had got India’s chase off to a blazing start. They had put on 41 runs in just seven overs and at least some of Australia’s players must have started thinking about The Gabba, where India had chased down 328 to win in the fourth Test of the 2020/21 series.

Scott Boland celebrates the dismissal of Shubman Gill on Day 4 of the WTC Final(AFP)
Scott Boland celebrates the dismissal of Shubman Gill on Day 4 of the WTC Final(AFP)

It was at this juncture that Scott Boland managed to get one to bounce a little extra and take the edge of Gill’s bat. It flew low to the left of Green, who was stationed at gully.

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Green, all 198 cm of him, reacted and threw his left hand at the ball and somehow it seemed to stick. He started celebrating instantly and so did the other fielders in the cordon. The umpires weren’t sure. They sent it to the TV umpire Richard Kettleborough right away.

The soft signal is now history, so the on-field umpires didn’t need to tell the TV umpire what they thought of it. This time, it was completely in the court of the TV umpire. He went through a few reviews and as each additional viewing was shown on the screen at the ground, the crowd seemed to become more agitated.

The ball had clearly gone to Green’s hand but immediately after catching it, the hand had fallen to the ground. Now, this was a point raised by former Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara during commentary.

“Yeah, it’s about how you see it. He did catch the ball with fingers under the ball but if any part of the ball touches the ground it can be interpreted as helping the ball to stay in the hand and usually the umpires always go not out,” Sangakkara said.

Cry of anguish

But the TV umpire saw it differently and gave it out. Rohit yelled "No!" when the decision flashed up on the screen. At this point, the stadium erupted. The Indian fans were booing the Aussies and some were actually chanting “cheat, cheat, cheat.”

The debate will rage long and hard. Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden, while speaking during the tea break, felt that the fielders knew.

“Just look at the reactions,” he said. “The fielders know and they knew this was out. It looked like he got his fingers under the ball and the celebrations were spontaneous.”

Former India wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik said it all came down to which side you were supporting.

“I was never a fan of the soft signal. There is no way the on-field umpire would have been sure of anything,” said Karthik. “But if you are Indian, you probably think this is not out, if you are Aussie, there is no doubt.”

The World Test Championship final didn’t have the best of starts for Green — on the fielding front at least. He dropped a sitter to begin the game, but since then he has taken two blinders.

One, to his right at gully, to end Ajinkya Rahane’s resistance in the first innings and now, in the second innings, at gully once again to end Gill’s stay at the wicket.

Come Day 5, it may or may not have a huge bearing on the game but it has done enough to get the tongues wagging in cricketing arguments.

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