It had to be a debutant. Todd Murphy did it in Nagpur Test. Matthew Kuhnemann has now done it in the ongoing Delhi Test. Though Kuhnemann’s dismissal of Virat Kohli wasn’t plain and simple, many felt the Indian batter was hard done by. Perhaps they are right, but there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field umpire Nitin Menon’s decision.
Kohli had been playing expertly on a dangerous track, using his feet judiciously on the crease, and was perfect in his judgement over whether to play deep or lunge forward. Then came an arm ball from Kuhnemann, which Kohli bent over to defend, but missed the line by a whisker. Menon didn’t take much time to raise his finger, while Kohli was lightning quick to challenge the decision, gesturing the ball was missing the leg stump.
But before trajectory, the third umpire had to establish whether the ball touched Kohli’s bat or not before clipping to the pad. As it turned out, the third umpire didn’t have much to disprove Menon’s interpretation, though it looked like the ball touched the pad before hitting the bat. The ball-tracking then confirmed that the ball was hitting the leg-stump, albeit marginally.
While Kohli has all the reasons to be frustrated about this dismissal, there was no umpiring gaffe, as some of the Indian fans are calling it. Kohli’s dismissal left the Indian side in lurch, as they will need another fightback from their lower order to reach close to Australia’s first-innings total.
Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja rescued India after they lost a string of wickets in quick succession. Both of them added 59 runs for the fifth wicket before Jadeja was undone by Todd Murphy. Kohli played a spotless innings until that one ball, getting dismissed for 44 off 84 deliveries.
India will need to score 263 to cut out the deficit, and they must be aiming for a healthy lead as they will have to bat again in the last over. R Ashwin and Axar Patel are putting up a fight against Indian spinners. Axar had started off nicely, hitting two straight sixes against Kuhnemann.
Lead Image: BCCI