Mumbai v Rajasthan, IPL 2013, Mumbai May 15, 2013

Pollard sledges Watson, Dravid is angry

Plays of the day from the IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai

The reaction
You can say you have seen it all now. We have already seen MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis emote in IPL like they never have in their many years of international cricket, but Rahul Dravid had a bigger surprise in store. Given out caught at the wicket when the bowler hadn't even gone up properly, Dravid looked back at the umpire, had a few choice words to say, then walked back shaking his head, and was about to hit something near the dugout but might have realised he was in full public view and held himself back. Never has he been seen reacting like this on a cricket field.

The altercation
This had an air of premeditation and deliberateness to it. When Shane Watson came out to bat, he had Kieron Pollard in his ear. While Watson looked angry, Pollard was seen laughing almost mockingly. The umpires must have found the fielding side at fault because they immediately called Rohit Sharma in and were seen talking to him. The umpires then spoke to Pollard too. Momentarily Pollard stopped grinning, but by now Watson had begun to laugh too.

The altercation, part II
When Watson finally fell, top-edging a long hop from Pragyan Ojha to Pollard, it kicked off wild celebrations. The needle hadn't ended yet as Watson - sitting near his dugout, which happened to behind Pollard's place at the boundary - seemed angry at something said to him and left the place in disgust.

The fielding
Pollard didn't have too much to laugh about in the first innings, though. He was run out for the first time in the IPL. It's a staggering thought. How do you run a man with strides as long as Pollard's out? Kevon Cooper has an answer. And he did so off his own bowling. He bowled short of a length, got a leading edge, which fell towards short cover. First he nearly took the catch, but then he turned around in a flash and hit the stumps direct without having time to aim at them. Possibly Pollard didn't run at full pelt at the start because he was a bit concerned about the catch.

The awareness, lack of
Harbhajan Singh hit the last ball of Mumbai Indians' innings straight to deep midwicket. Lasith Malinga correctly ran for the second, which didn't seem available. With nothing to lose, Harbhajan refused to go for the second, and Malinga was run out. Replays, however, showed that Malinga - who had given up seeing Harbhajan was not coming - had almost made it by the time the throw arrived to the bowler. That shouldn't matter, though. You always try the extra run off the last ball of a limited-overs innings.

The funny thing is, in an earlier game, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Malinga was beaten on the last ball of Mumbai's innings, but ignored Mitchell Johnson's call for a bye.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JIGNESH on May 17, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    When Dravid was a captain of India's national cricket team, he was like a mute captain. Now, after retirement suddenly he got wings to speak and slam. WOW

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    Dravid is human...and any human would have reacted that way after that shocker of a decision... seriously, how on earth did the umpire give that out? He's a gentleman, usually, calm, composed and very very sane and level headed; however,with the antics shown by Pollard in this match, that absolutely horrible possibly match changing's no wonder. Dravid still is loads more mature than majority of the other players we've seen- yes experienced legends included....

  • Sid on May 17, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    Watson's sledging is heavily criticized everytime. But, what Pollard did today was much beyond anyone's expectations. Coming from a player whom the world has come to love as a game changer in every sense of the word - be it with his scintillating six hitting, his unbelievable catching & ground fielding or his competitive bowling, was extremely unfortunate. He's almost the Viv Richards of T20 cricket. Youngsters follow him world over & he's a role model for so many who want to be like him for his spirit of play hard but fair variety of cricket. Hence, resorting to getting under Watson's skin to win seemed very un "Pollard-ish". We will keep loving him but this will definitely leave a dent to the mental image the viewers have of him. As for Dravid, it was just a heat of the moment thing. He probably knew that they'd win if he could see off Johnson's initial spell. But, such a bizarre dismissal left him disappointed & angry as it could cost his side a place in the top 2 and the IPL..!!

  • R on May 16, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    @ Sid Monga: Regarding Malinga, just goes on to show how quickly he learnt his lessons. Wish some more Indian players did that...!!!!

  • Abhilash on May 16, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    what's happening to Indian cricketers. Young generation is in no match to senior's wrt to behaviour in the field and their attitude, yes i do agree one has to play aggressive cricket... that doesn't mean to make rubish things on the field and comments in the press conference.... Its disappointing to hear rohit sharma speaking like this .... cricket is a gentlemans game and all the sports person should show good sportsmanship....

  • Dummy4 on May 16, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    RR are stronger than MI, in fact, they have a better IPL history than the big names chokers MI.......Malinga is a gentleman, real good human !

  • Dummy4 on May 16, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    Dravid rightly said that sledging can be a part of the game when you are in the ground but sledging a batsman when he is already given out is surely cowardly because batsman can't really do anything after he loses his wicket.......these west indian celebrations were good to a limit, but now they are going beyond the limits, its more of a showboat thing now

  • Suresh on May 16, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    RR could not more experiments with Batting Order, RR wants play Waston at no 3 & Hodge at no 4, Samson at 5 & Binny at no 6 Copper at No 7 Yagnik at 9 & Faulkner at no 10, There was a big factor that Dravid was given wrong out otherwise MI never beat of RR...............Good Luck Mr Wall........... Halla Bol

  • Dummy4 on May 16, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    Maxwell wasn't an edge. It was front pad followed by bat followed by back pad. And Rahul was not struggling at all... He had just hit a clean boundary off Johnson.

  • Vasudevan on May 16, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    It is ridiculous that field umpires wait for 3rd umpire decision on whether a delivery was 'legal', and if the bowler did not overstep; but they would not check a doubtful appeal for a catch! And MI's cricket approach is sinking to a new low. Pity SRT is a part of this outfit, and it happened he was not even on the field. It is a moot point if he would have asked Rohit to request the umpire for a 3rd umpire referral for Dravid's catch. In any case this is not a first blunder in this IPL, where every match has seen at least one gross error by umpire, must be another record for IPL! I had posed a question to Cricinfo before - are these umpires medically tested, specially for ophthalmology and ENT to confirm their vision and hearing is ok?