India opener Shubman Gill was batting on six when a delivery from New Zealand’s left-arm spinner rapped the batter on his pads. Gill had chipped down the wicket but tried to defend the ball. As the ball hit the pads, Patel and the rest of the New Zealand team went up in low-ley appeal as the umpire nodded his head. No DRS was taken.
However, when the replay appeared on the big screen, it showed that the ball would have gone on to hit the middle stump, much to the surprise and dismay of left-arm spinner Patel. New Zealand had already lost a review early in the match when an LBW call against Southee was reversed. As up went the umpire’s finger, Gill immediately reviewed and the replay showed a huge inside edge before the ball thudded into his pads.
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It was a key moment in the game for New Zealand as Gill would go on to score a fourth Test half-century. Former New Zealand quick Simon Doull feels that with two reviews still left, New Zealand could have reviewed the call as there was no chance of the ball going over the stumps.
“They had two DRS still left. You would think there was an opportunity there. The problem is how far down the pitch was he. They would have all thought he is too far down. But it was never going over the top. That is the one thing you are sure of on this surface. You have got to bang it in really short of the ball to be going over the top of the stumps. They are heavily reliant on Tom Blundell who is new to this Test match side. Maybe they weren’t sure. You can’t really blame the skipper for that,” Doull said on Star Sports at the lunch interval.
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India were rocked twice after lunch with Kyle Jamieson castling Gill and Southee taking out Cheteshwar Pujara, out caught by the wicketkeeper, which restricted India from 82/1 to 106/3. The balance of the match could have been tilted in New Zealand’s favour, as rightly pointed out by former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan.
“They (New Zealand) should have gone for it. Ajaz is not a guy who bowls from a really high arm position. The umpiring has changed. With the technology and the ways it has changed, you should go for it. Umpires are ready to give those decisions. You need to go for it, and they should have gone for it. They would have gotten two wickets and would have been a lot happier,” said Pathan.