Controversy has hit the India-England Second Test in Chennai after non-neutral third umpire third umpire Anil Chaudhary made a series of curious calls which left English spinner Jack Leach labeling it a “VAR” moment.
India finished day two at 1-54, leading by 249 runs, but the real drama occurred during their first batting innings, when Leach appeared to have Ajinkya Rahane caused at short leg by Ollie Pope.
England reviewed the on-field umpire’s original not out decision, but Chaudhary accepted that decision without viewing the necessary piece of vision, when the ball ricocheted up on to Rahane’s gloves after first hitting his pad.
English captain Joe Root was visibly demonstrative about the third umpire’s failure to view the correct vision, while his teammates were left bemused.
“It’s a bit like VAR today, still controversial even though you’ve got the video there,” Leach said.
“There’s nothing I can do. At the time I was a little bit angry, but getting a wicket the next over makes it a little bit easier and it’s not cost us too much.”
Leach added: “Out there, we were trying to get them to roll it through because we felt it (the contact) had come after. They checked for LBW, which we knew wasn’t out.
“They said they were checking it, and then the LBW came up and we were saying, ‘No, no, no, check the other one’ and that was it. I got the impression that they hadn’t checked it. That’s all right, it’s obviously a mistake and these things happen.”
Indeed, Rahane departed shortly after for 67 but England’s frustration was bubbling after earlier being denied when wicketkeeper Ben Foakes thought he’d stumped Rohit Sharma on 159, only for Chaudhary to hastily declare him safe without much evidence his foot was behind the line.
The drama re-surfaced on day two in India’s second innings, when Sharma (21*) appeared to play no shot to a Moeen Ali turner, which England reviewed.
Chaudhary again made a controversial call, claiming Sharma had played at the delivery, meaning the fact impact occurred outside the line deemed it not out, despite DRS showing it was going on to hit.