After the end of the first day’s play at Headingley, Rishabh Pant revealed in the virtual press conference that he was asked to change his stance by the umpires.
The legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar is known to always stay precise and straightforward when it comes to giving feedback and not agreeing on certain points. He is again back questioning the umpires, who apparently had asked wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant to not bat out of his crease.
The lefthanded batted slightly outside the crease on Day 1 of the Leeds Test, which the umpires had found wrong as they felt he was trying to deliberately come into the danger area by creating footmarks, and hence he was told to bat inside the crease itself.Gavaskar felt stunned by the umpire’s decision and said the footmarks can form even when batters step out of their crease against spinners.
“I was wondering why was he told to change his stance if that is true. I only read it. A batsman can stand anywhere, even on the middle of the pitch, and what about when the batsman goes down the track against the spinners (footmarks can form even then),” Gavaskar said while commentating on the third day of the match.
Rishabh Pant clarifies why the umpires asked him not to bat out of his crease
“Because I was standing outside the crease and my front foot was coming into the danger area, so he (the umpire) told me that you can’t stand there,” Pant had said during the virtual post-day press conference on Wednesday.
“So, I have (had) to change my stance, but as a cricketer, I don’t have to think too much about that because it’s everyone who is going to do that umpires are going to say the same thing. I didn’t do that the next ball and you move on.”
Cricketer turned expert Sanjay Manjrekar too found this decision against Pant as ridiculous. The wicketkeeper-batter elaborated on the subject after India were shot down for 78 on the opening day of the third Test match in Leeds.
On-field umpires Paul Wharf and Richard Kettleborough decided the verdict against Pant. Due to COVID-19 and its subsequent travel restrictions, neutral umpires are not officiating in Test matches for more than a year now. This decision by the umpires has made few experts question whether neutral umpires should stand in Test matches or not.
(image credits: Wikimedia Commons)