The first ODI between India and New Zealand was headlined by a career-defining double century by Shubman Gill, but discussion after the match was all about Hardik Pandya’s controversial dismissal.
In the 40th over of India’s innings at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday, Pandya missed a length delivery from part-timer Daryl Mitchell, with a bail toppling onto the ground.
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New Zealand appealed for bowled and on-field umpires sent the decision upstairs, with replays suggesting ball may have narrowly missed the off stump and the gloves of wicketkeeper Tom Latham were responsible for dislodging the bails.
But to the surprise of many, including Mitchell, third umpire KN Ananthapadmanabhan handed down an “out” verdict, and Pandya made his way back to the sheds for 28 (38).
“If you take a look again as to where the keeper’s gloves are, where the ball is as it passes the stumps, it looked as if the ball was at least an inch, inch-and-a-half above the stumps,” former India coach Ravi Shastri said on commentary.
“Ball clearly looks to be above the bail. You can see as it goes past into the gloves, there’s no red light, it’s only after that. From that angle you can see that the gloves are closer to the bails than the ball.”
The dismissal inevitably sparked a fierce response from the Indian cricket community, including spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who claimed “Hardik was clearly not out”.
During the run chase, Indian wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan intentionally knocked off the bails while Latham was batting in the 16th over, an attempt to poke fun Pandya’s earlier dismissal.
However, Kishan’s harmless joke didn’t set well with everyone.
“As a joke it was okay, but then to go on to appeal, don’t think that’s the right thing to do,” former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar said in commentary.
“As a joke to maybe say, suggest to Tom Latham what had happened earlier when India was batting, that is understandable. But not to appeal. That is not on. That is not cricket.”
India ultimately secured a 12-run victory to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with the second match scheduled at Raipur’s Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium on Saturday at 7pm AEDT.