Team India skipper Virat Kohli has taken an implicit dig at the England team over the ‘soft signal’ controversy that erupted in the fourth T20I. He argued had the Men in Blue claimed a similar dismissal overseas, it would have led to altercations about the ‘spirit of the game’.
England batsman Dawid Malan controversially caught Suryakumar Yadav – India’s highest scorer in that particular game – on the fine-leg boundary. The visitors celebrated after Malan claimed the catch, but replays showed that he might have grassed it.
The third umpire, however, found no conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field umpire’s ‘soft signal’ which was out. Speaking on the eve of the first ODI between the two sides, Virat Kohli called the ‘soft signal’ a ‘grey area’ that needs to be relooked.
“One more factor that needs to be considered is how a fielding team responds to a dismissal that’s claimed. It’s also about somewhere defining soft signals which are again, you have to question what the spirit of the game is and what those guidelines are.
“If things like that happen with the Indian cricket team overseas then you are talking about a totally different conversation of the spirit of the game and so on and so forth,” said Virat Kohli.
“It is a serious, serious thing that needs to be considered because there’s a lot at stake in the future, the big tournaments and you don’t want some grey area factors in the game,” he added.
As per the rules, the on-field umpires have to give a ‘soft-call’ in a way to express their views on a potential dismissal. But, the TV umpires can’t overturn the same unless they are certain that the call is wrong.
The ‘soft-call’ rule has sparked a controversy as many pundits and former players questioned how an umpire’s decision, taken yards away from the action, could have any value in impacting the third umpire’s call.
In the same light, Virat Kohli also expressed his dissatisfaction with the ‘umpire’s call’ system currently applied to Leg-Before-Wicket (LBW) appeals. Speaking on the same, he remarked that it is convoluted and is creating a lot of ‘confusion’.
“I have played a long time and there was no DRS. If the umpire made a decision, whether a batsman liked it or not, it stayed like that and vice versa, whether it was marginally or not. According to me, the umpire’s call right now is creating a lot of confusion,” he stated.
“When you get bowled as a batsman, you don’t expect the ball to hit more than 50% into the stumps to consider yourself bowled. So when the ball is being shown as hitting the stumps, the bails are going to fall,” he added.
“So from a basic cricket common sense, I don’t think there should be any debates on that. If the ball is hitting the stumps you should be out, whether you like it or not, you lose the review.
“And that’s how simple the has to be. It either hits the stumps or misses the stumps, it doesn’t matter how much it’s hitting and those kinds of things because it’s creating a lot of confusion,” he concluded.