January 2, 2008

India in Australia, 2007-08

How could they get it so wrong?

Brydon Coverdale

Poor umpiring was the story from the first day in Sydney and Peter Roebuck, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, was particularly surprised by Steve Bucknor’s inability to hear Andrew Symonds’ edge to the wicketkeeper.

At such times it is easy to sit in a box with all the aids and blame the poor umpire for his mistake. But the snick was heard by pals sitting in the hullabulloo on the boundary's edge. It was heard in the sponsors' boxes, where the wine was flowing. It was heard by every fieldsman. Mahendra Dhoni has a reputation as a fair opponent, and he seemed to regard the decision as a formality. But Steve Bucknor did not hear anything. Clearly, the sweet-natured Jamaican is past his prime. Indeed, he was expected to retire after the World Cup. Those responsible for allowing him to linger were also partly responsible for a decision that changed the course of the day and possibly the match and series. David Richardson is the ICC's man in overall charge of these operations. He was lucky to survive the debacle at the World Cup.

In the Australian, Malcolm Conn says the poor decisions this series have not been limited to umpires – Mike Procter has conceded he should have found Yuvraj Singh guilty of dissent in Melbourne.

Jon Pierik in the Herald Sun looks at whether technology is the answer, Robert Craddock writes in his Courier-Mail blog that we just need better umpires, and in his Daily Telegraph column Steve Waugh suggests that umpires should be able to officiate in Tests involving their home country.

There were some cricketers out on the field on Wednesday as well, and Mike Coward in the Australian assesses the efforts of India’s new-ball duo RP Singh and Ishant Sharma.

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Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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