India vs West Indies: Players warm up to TV umpires calling no-balls
There were three occasions where West Indies bowlers were guilty of overstepping. Every error was flagged upstairs and eventually signalled by the on-field umpire.Updated: Dec 08, 2019 09:12 IST
The India-West Indies series opener at Hyderabad will go down in record books as the first match where front-foot no-balls were called by the TV umpire. After the advent of the third umpire back in 1992 for run-outs and the introduction of the Decision Review System (DRS) in 2008, this is now an attempt to allow the on-field umpire to focus only on the action at hand at the batting end.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will be watching if the umpires’ accuracy improves after this. There is also hope that this will prevent the repeat of Brisbane, where 21 front foot no-balls were missed in an Australia-Pakistan Test last month. How have the players reacted to it? “It was our first game too. So, it was interesting. I didn’t know what to expect. Fortunately for us, we were on the good side this time, where we got two-three decisions to go in our favour,” said India opener KL Rahul.
There were three occasions where West Indies bowlers were guilty of overstepping. Every error was flagged upstairs and eventually signalled by the on-field umpire. The relay time to convey messages to the on-field umpire was brief and communications lines between the umpires seemed to work fine.
“I think I am happy, that you got to just keep the game fair. As a bowler you make the mistake of overstepping and somebody sees it… Like I said, it makes the game more fair,” said Rahul. India’s bowlers didn’t bowl a single no-ball.
West Indies however were a little profligate. All three front-foot no-balls were at the business end of India’s chase, when Virat Kohli was shifting gears. Although India could not capitalise as much as they would have liked with the resulting free-hits, the no-balls helped add deliveries to India’s chase efforts. Kesrick Williams overstepped in the third ball of the 13th over but India could not score off the free-hit.
It cost West Indies two runs. When Jason Holder overstepped in the third ball of the 15th over, India managed an extra run of the free-hit, four of the no-ball and fifteen overall from the over. In the following over Williams overstepped during the final delivery. India got two off the free-hit, five off the no-ball in all and 23 from that over.
Pollard didn’t exactly applaud the technological addition, but he didn’t take it badly either. “It is what it is. With some things, I look at life, where you control what you can control. I can’t control what they do and what rules they bring into cricket and things like that. For me, I am not going to fuss and fight. If that’s how they are going to do it, that’s just what it is,” he said.
“We just have to keep our foot behind the line. Once we do that, the umpire upstairs will not come into play,” he said. With 23 extras conceded in Hyderabad, West Indies know they have only themselves to blame.