Following the controversial dismissal of SuryaKumar Yadav in the fourth T20I against England on Thursday, the ‘soft signal’ rule has once again become a topic of debate in the cricket fraternity. His brilliant57-run knock came to an end when he was given out caught by Dawid Malan in the deep.
The on-field umpires decided to consult the third umpire after Malan claimed the catch but it led to more controversy. The third umpire, however, did not overturn the on-field umpires ‘soft signal’ of out due to lack of conclusive proof. The TV umpire watched the replays from several angles before upholding the decision.
Fortunately for India, Surya’s dismissal did not cost them the match as they narrowly won by 8 runs. Team India skipper Virat Kohli also expressed his reservations over the ‘soft signal debate. He that the rules around that part of the game need to be more clear than the “grey areas” that they currently are.
Virat feels that there’s no realistic way for an on-field umpire to judge low catches from a distance. pointed out that decision like Suryakumar’s dismissal could change the course of the game as he urged for simpler rules in the sport. He signed off by asking for more clarity on the ‘soft signal’ rule.
“Look, there was that instance that happened during the Test series where I was next to Jinks [Ajinkya Rahane] when he clearly caught the ball, but then I wasn’t sure and I asked Jinks, he wasn’t sure. And then we went up straightaway,” Virat told Star Sports.
“If it’s a half-and-half effort and the fielder’s in doubt, I don’t think the umpire from square leg would see that clearly and, you know, make a conclusive call. So the soft signal becomes that much more important and it’s a tricky one,” he added.
“I don’t know why there cannot be a sort of “I don’t know” call for the umpire as well. Why does it have to be a conclusive one? Because then that [dictates] the whole decision completely. Similar to the argument we have about the umpire’s call as well,” the 32-year-old stated.
“I think these are some things that can really, really change the whole course of the game, especially in a big game. We are on the other side [of the result], but there could be another team bearing the brunt of this,” he further explained.
“So you want these things ironed out as much as possible, keep this game simple, keep it linear, have one set of rules which are not grey areas that we don’t understand sometimes, and sometimes we do,” he added.
“So it’s not ideal, especially in a high-pressure game that has a lot of things riding on it, a lot at stake. It’s important to have a lot of clarity on the field,” Virat concluded.