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Virat Kohli, Ashwin lose their cool, slam broadcaster SuperSport over contentious DRS reprieve to Dean Elgar

Virat Kohli, Ashwin lose their cool, slam broadcaster SuperSport over contentious DRS reprieve to Dean Elgar

Cape Town, Jan 13: The first major controversy during Team India's ongoing tour of South Africa in 2021-22 cropped up on day three of the series-deciding third Test match at Newlands, Cape Town on Thursday (January 13). The incident occurred 45 minutes before the close of play which left India skipper Virat Kohli and his teammates in disbelief.

After South Africa skipper Dean Elgar got a massive reprieve due to a contentious DRS decision, the Indian captain along with his teammates lost their cool and vented their anger on the stump mic.

The Indian players also made some of the unsavoury comments over umpiring and technology as well as broadcasters, which might not go down well with the match referee. As a result, the Indian skipper may have to cop a financial penalty.

What was the matter:

The incident happened in the 21st over when off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin flighted one which dipped and then straightened to beat a lunging Elgar's bat. Umpire Marais Erasmus straightaway lifted his finger but Elgar appealed for DRS.

Once he saw on the big screen that he was beaten, he started trudging back only to his delight to find that the ball was going over the stumps. While it looked dead plumb, the reversal of decision saw Kohli kicking the ground in disgust as all kinds of chatter started.

Shocked India players lose their cool:

The players knowing that the stump microphone catches every bit of verbal stuff, the players made it a point to let everyone in South Africa know their feelings.

Ashwin also could not stop himself from taking a dig at the ball-tracking technology of the broadcaster, saying, "You should find better ways to win Supersport."

Even umpire Erasmus couldn't believe his eyes and the stump mic heard him saying, "That's not possible."

Dejected with the shocking decision, KL Rahul was heard saying, "Whole country playing against XI guys," as the opener tried to lift the morale of his teammates.

Another of his teammates said, "broadcasters are here to make money boys." "I hope the stump microphone is recording it," said another.

Kohli added to that,"Focus on your team as well and not just the opposition. Trying to catch people all the time."

Kohli had in fact sledged Elgar even before that when he made a snide remark about Elgar being intimidated by Jasprit Bumrah. "Unbelievable. After a Man of the Match performance in the last game, running (away) from Jasprit. Chirping for 13 years, Dean and you think you are gonna keep me quiet," Kohli said from slips.

Chatter off the pitch:

However, this constant chatter did allow the focus to drift as South Africa got some quick runs after that. Continuing the constant criticism of the decision seemed like an excuse for yet another shoddy batting show with 223 and 198 being the scores. At the end of the day's play, India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey tried to douse the fire.

"We saw it, you saw it. I'll leave that for the match referee to have a look at it. There's nothing I can comment on it now. We've seen it all, just want to move on with the game now."

While there was debate about the contentious DRS not just on the pitch, in fact, several experts were also left stunned as the leg before a decision was overturned.

"Cheating biased ball tracker," tweeted senior Australia journalist Rick Eyre.

India's cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra also expressed his shock over the decision and wrote on Twitter, "Can't wrap my head around the ball-tracking technology for two dismissals in this series -how did Mayank Agarwal's didn't miss in the first Test. And how did this one against Elgar's miss? Bewildered Flushed face #SavInd."

India cricketer Abhinav Mukund tweeted, "Wowww.. wickets missing???"

Former India opener Wasim Jaffer also brought the technology under the scanner and wrote, "You know how they say technology is 99% accurate. Well, today we saw the other 1%. #SAvIND"

"I have now seen the replay so so many times and know why @msdhoni never trusted ball trajectory. So many commentators have explained this time and again but perhaps this can open the debate once again. Which other sport allows you to predict? How can you predict? No sport does," tweeted senior journalist Boria Majumdar.

Veteran commentator Ayaz Menon, however, called Kohli & Co's actions uncalled for and wrote, "Bad form by Kohli & Co to contest DRS decision v Elgar. There are shortcomings in such technology, but others can also dig up decisions that have gone in your favour. Truth is India batted poorly, SA bowled & batted superbly today which is why match is in the situation it is."

(With PTI inputs)

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Story first published: Thursday, January 13, 2022, 23:16 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 13, 2022