Mandeep bats for DRS in Ranji Trophy
As table toppers Punjab lost three points to visitors Delhi for conceding the first innings lead in a drawn match, hosts skipper Mandeep Singh batted for Decision Review System (DRS) to be introduced in the Ranji Trophy to reduce umpiring howlers. There was no play possible on the last day and the match was called off at 1pm due to incessant rain.
But the match left Punjab unhappy after they got two contentious decisions involving opener Shubman Gill in both innings. While the first one was overturned after the player argued with the umpire, Punjab were unhappy with the caught-behind decision in the second innings, given by the same umpire.
Gill had walked off without any argument in the second innings and Mandeep said his wicket might have been crucial in the match’s context. “I don’t know what the other captains are saying but I know when we talk to each other, everyone is in favour of having DRS in the domestic cricket,” the Punjab skipper said, who is currently the second highest scorer in Ranji Trophy with 474 runs at an average of 158.
This is not the first time that Mandeep has taken a stand. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy his team was knocked out of the quarter-finals after rain played spoilsport. Mandeep had then questioned tournament rules where Tamil Nadu’s more wins in league stage gave them the right of passage into semi-finals. “He (Shubman Gill) was our main wicket and getting a raw decision twice didn’t do any good to us in the context of the match. The last day has been rained out you never know how these things can impact a match,” Mandeep said.
Punjab, who took a point and are now on 18 and are leading the Elite Group A and B, escaped after being reduced to 44 for 4 at stumps on Day 3. Delhi, it seems, have brought their campaign back on track as they have 10 points from four matches now.
Punjab have registered two outright wins against Rajasthan (away) and Hyderabad (home). Punjab then took three points from the defending champions Vidarbha (away). At 28, Mandeep has hit the purple patch with a century and a double century. “Last season, I was taking too much pressure of leading the team. This year, the idea has been to play with positive intent. I have worked on my technique also, especially playing on front foot and defence,” Mandeep said, who debuted for India in T20 against Zimbabwe in 2016.