'It is a no-brainer that he was not out': Five former India, New Zealand cricketers debate over Kohli's dubious LBW call

By, New Delhi
Dec 04, 2021 08:39 AM IST

With controversy surrounding Virat Kohli's LBW dismissal on Day 1 of the second Test, five former cricketers from India and New Zealand had their say on the matter.

There were two big talking points from Day 1 of the second Test between India and New Zealand being played at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium. The first was Mayank Agarwal's sensational century, his first in two overs. Agarwal led India's batting scoring a 4th Test century and ending the day unbeaten on 120.

Virat Kohli was left shell-shocked following the decision. (Scrrengrab)
Virat Kohli was left shell-shocked following the decision. (Scrrengrab)

While Agarwal emerged as the biggest takeaway for India on Friday, there was another incident that had transpired earlier in the day when captain Virat Kohli was given out LBW. The decision was marred with controversy as the replay showed the ball hitting both bat and pad. While some felt that the ball had come in contact with the bat first, rest believes it was the other way round.  

FOLLOW | India vs New Zealand Live Cricket Score, 2nd Test, Day 2

After on-field umpire Anil Chaudhary raised his finger, Kohli reviewed it straightaway. However, due to 'lack of conclusive evidence' which third umpire Virender Sharma repeatedly pointed out on air, he did not overturn the decision and Kohli had to go. This led to a meltdown on Twitter with fans pointing fingers at the umpires. Besides, even some of the former cricketers from India and New Zealand presented their views on the matter.

ALSO READ: 'He says he doesn't know, but he isn't being honest': Ex-NZ bowler says Kohli 'knows he needs a 100 to silence critics'

Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar feels since there was deviation captured on camera, it is certain that Kohli had nicked it before the ball had hit the pad. He along with several other ex-India players sides with the theory, while some weren't in favour of it.

"I certainly felt the ball hit the bat first. You can see the deviation, where the ball was going after the impact. Clearly, the ball hit the bat first. Look at that deviation. Now, for the ball to come back and hit the pad, it is only because there is something on it. Otherwise, there was no chance that the ball would have come back so much and deviated. So, clearly an error on the part of the umpire," Bangar said on the Byju's Cricket Live Show on Star Sports.

"What happens is that if the third umpire looks to slow down the replay, it gets difficult for him. So, it is rather a good thing for him to see the review in real-time, and then he could have seen the deviation. Slowing it down confuses the umpire in making the right decision."

Agreeing with Bangar was former India batter VVS Laxman, for whom, it was a no-brainer that Kohli was not out. "A no-brainer for me that it's not out. The third umpire had the opportunity from a lot of different angles. After seeing a particular visual, I was convinced that there was an inside edge, and after the ball had passed his bat, that is when the bat went away. There was definite deviation and that was because the ball had hit the bat. For me that was conclusive. There is no doubt at all," Laxman said.

Former New Zealand fast bowler Simon Doull, however, thought the ball had hit the pad, followed by the bat and then pad again, and added that the entire commentary panel felt that Kohli was a goner.

"First of all, it was 6-0 in the commentary box. Everyone in the commentary box thought it hit the pad first and then went back on the bat and then on the pad. So, the decision that Chaudhary made was out, therefore the third umpire has to find conclusive evidence to overturn the decision," said Doull.

"The images clearly show the ball clipping on the pad first, then going on to the bat then the pad again. The umpires have both got it right. If you see the line of the ball, it can't hit the bat first because the bat is behind the pad anyway. I think the umpires got it spot on."

Meanwhile, on ESPNCricinfo, former India batter Wasim Jaffer and Daniel Vettori shared a similar viewpoint. Jaffer said it was disappointing to see this happening from a third umpire, highlighting how it looked not out even to the naked eye.

"I mean, when I saw that live on the TV, to the naked eye it looked like bat first. Virat also reviewed it straightaway. So I think just to say that was inconclusive evidence, it wasn't the right call. Because it did seem that it hit the bat first and I think it was a disappointing decision. A third umpire making such a decision is very disappointing," said Jaffer.

Vettori, who too felt that it was bat first, added that with so much pinpointing, it may not be a bad idea for the match referee to interfere and have a word with the third-umpire regarding crucial calls going forward.

"It was fairly obvious that he nicked it. I was very surprise that we went through the regular process. This is a point that needs to be discussed. For me, it was obvious that there was an inside edge. To sit there and make a crucial decision, maybe the match referee can step in. I have seen it happen too many times that the third umpire gets in wrong. You have got to have clear evidence to overturn the evidence," said the former New Zealand spinner.

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