India’s first game survived a call from LBW as the referee on the pitch turned it down© BCCI
India finished Matchday 1 of Test 1 against New Zealand at 258/4 in Kanpur, with Shreyas Iyer (75 *) and Ravindra Jadeja (50 *) pulling the team out of trouble. New Zealand race leader Kyle Jamieson was in great shape as he recovered three wickets to tie up the hosts. But half a century after opener Shubman Gill’s Willow laid a good platform for the team. But things could have been different if New Zealand had decided to revisit an umpire’s decision in India’s 7th inning.
Shubman Gill, who had used the DRS successfully in the third inning, was hit on the pad by left arm spinner Ajaz Patel. There was an appeal but the referee on the field rejected it. The Blackcaps decided not to go for the overhaul and reruns showed the ball would have continued to hit the stumps. Doubt could have crept into the minds of the captain and the New Zealand players that Gill had advanced on the track and the ball had a good distance to go before hitting the stumps.
Gill, who was scoring 6 points at the time, scored 52 points before being sacked by Jamieson. Getting that wicket early in the game would have given the Kiwis an advantage. Due to COVID-19 protocols and bio-bubbles, local referees are used in the cricket test.
Slamming the poor referees on the first day of the match itself, former Indian opener and renowned commentator Aakash Chopra stressed the need for neutral referees, those who are part of the ICC elite panel. He suggested in a tweet that if players can stay in bio-bubbles then why not referees.
“Shubhman was given when there was a huge inner edge. Gill reviewed and said #Thanks And not given when he was out. All this in the first 40 minutes. If teams can travel… stay in bio-bubbles… why can’t neutral referees? #IndvNZ“Chopra wrote on her Twitter account.
Shubhman was given when there was a huge inner edge. Gill reviewed and said #Thanks
And not given when he was out. All this in the first 40 minutes. If teams can travel… stay in bio-bubbles… why can’t neutral referees? #IndvNZ
– Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) 25 November 2021
The referees in the remainder of the match will be examined in more detail after the errors of the first day. This will make the job of captains more difficult, as they will now have to be more vigilant and more decisive in reviews.