Sri Lanka v India, 2nd ODI, Hambantota July 24, 2012

Who signalled the Powerplay?

18

Confusion over India's batting Powerplay in the first ODI has become a laughing matter three days after the event but it reveals a serious loophole in on-field communication. In the end, though, India got away with what seems like a wrongly interpreted signal by the umpires and the batsmen's failure to cross-check with them.

The problem originated before the 17th over, when Virat Kohli signalled to the dressing room for a cap. The umpires, though, seemed to think it was an indication of the batting Powerplay being taken, and Bruce Oxenford signalled accordingly with the circular motion of the arm and a tapping of hands above the head.

The TV commentators on Ten Sports then referred - with some surprise - to the batting Powerplay, which is normally taken by sides after the 30th over. The (mis)information also sparked some debate over India's radical new strategy. Only Mahela Jayawardene seemed to have got it right and set his field accordingly, and took his bowling Powerplay from the 34th over.

India's batsmen - Kohli and Virender Sehwag - seemed unaware, and did not visibly change their approach during the five-over period, in which India collected 32 for 0. The penny dropped for the Indians only later in the innings, when they sought the batting Powerplay and were told it had already been taken.

The matter then ended there, but Sehwag spoke about it on Monday. "When I asked the umpire he said that Virat Kohli gave him the signal to take the Powerplay," Sehwag said during the press conference at the team hotel on Monday. "When I asked Virat he said I asked [for] my cap rather than asking [for] the Powerplay, so that was a misunderstanding I think."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Konander on July 25, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    Right, why should there be powerplays at all?

  • anver777 on July 25, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    A very crucial misunderstanding...... luckily it didn't cost Ind much !!! Umpire also should have re confirmed with Virat before he's signalling, because it was a batting power play at a unusual time !!!!

  • satish619chandar on July 25, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    Its a blooper :-) Anyway, it didn't cost that much.. Had that, then it could have been a controversy..

  • on July 24, 2012, 19:41 GMT

    I'd actually back the BCCI if they wanted Powerplays removed, but that's solely because I don't like them.

  • K.A.K on July 24, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    This is really funny. I am glad India won otherwise it would have become an issue. At best it can be called a Topi drama.

  • 110no on July 24, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    How difficult would it be for the batsmen to inform the umpire on the field that they wish to initiate the Powerplay? Pretty simple really, one would have thought.

    Whatever next, I wonder? Will players start signalling boundaries to the scorers and bypass the umpires completely?

  • gtzshotta on July 24, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    agreed with omarrz. they will want new rules now.

  • on July 24, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    Hahahahahaha hilarious comment omar! But seriously this issue should be resolved so such misunderstandings dont occur in the future..

  • KelvinLTR on July 24, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    MJ again proving there's space for commonsense in the game

  • dilpickle.abey on July 24, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    lol omarrz... minimum characters...........

  • Konander on July 25, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    Right, why should there be powerplays at all?

  • anver777 on July 25, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    A very crucial misunderstanding...... luckily it didn't cost Ind much !!! Umpire also should have re confirmed with Virat before he's signalling, because it was a batting power play at a unusual time !!!!

  • satish619chandar on July 25, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    Its a blooper :-) Anyway, it didn't cost that much.. Had that, then it could have been a controversy..

  • on July 24, 2012, 19:41 GMT

    I'd actually back the BCCI if they wanted Powerplays removed, but that's solely because I don't like them.

  • K.A.K on July 24, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    This is really funny. I am glad India won otherwise it would have become an issue. At best it can be called a Topi drama.

  • 110no on July 24, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    How difficult would it be for the batsmen to inform the umpire on the field that they wish to initiate the Powerplay? Pretty simple really, one would have thought.

    Whatever next, I wonder? Will players start signalling boundaries to the scorers and bypass the umpires completely?

  • gtzshotta on July 24, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    agreed with omarrz. they will want new rules now.

  • on July 24, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    Hahahahahaha hilarious comment omar! But seriously this issue should be resolved so such misunderstandings dont occur in the future..

  • KelvinLTR on July 24, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    MJ again proving there's space for commonsense in the game

  • dilpickle.abey on July 24, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    lol omarrz... minimum characters...........

  • xylo on July 24, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    Let's leave this as a funny one-time matter and move on.

  • Luckprnk on July 24, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    I was thinkin like this is nt a test match

  • Omarrz on July 24, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Now India/BCCI will raise issues and concerns on this as well just like DRS. "There shouldn't be powerplays at all."

  • varun171 on July 24, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    It seems that the reason for the confusion was the timing of the powerplay. Indian batsmen would have thought that the Sri Lankans have taken the Bowling Powerpaly as most of the sides take the bowling powerplay from 16-20 overs. It was just a coincedence that both bowling and batting powerplay were taken usually around the time when the powerplays are normally taken i.e. between over 16-20 and 36-40. I recall same kind of incidence took place some time back between India and NZ game, where going by gesture of Indians, umpires called for the bowling powerplay and the Indians thought that the batsmen have taken the batting powerplay. In that game NZ team were already 8 wickets down chasing Indias target and after two overs of powerplay Dhoni told umpires that he had not called for powerplay. Seriously ICC needs to look at the issue and umpires should confirm verbally with the batsmen and bowling side if they are taking the powerplay, rather than going on gestures from the team.

  • XuFyaN on July 24, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Instead of the laughing matter, It could had been the serious issue if India would had had the loosing side instead of the winning one.

  • mark2011 on July 24, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    nice joke....something funny happns with umpires.....

  • on July 24, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    Mistaking "cap" for "power-play" itself is a bit too much! But, Oxenford, you are excused!. Worse was in store for this match. Today, did Indian Players, mistakenly think that they are playing for Sri Lanka?

  • on July 24, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    I dont understand that why so much is made out when 12th man comes in with message for batsmen, why cant the captain send formal message for his batsmen in the middle and always disguise it with water or gloves for batsmen? why cant the batting powerplay be signalled by the captain from dressing room and send 12th man to 3rd umpire with message and they can communicate to on field umpires via radio.. or even send the 12th man to ground at end of the over...simple...

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  • on July 24, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    I dont understand that why so much is made out when 12th man comes in with message for batsmen, why cant the captain send formal message for his batsmen in the middle and always disguise it with water or gloves for batsmen? why cant the batting powerplay be signalled by the captain from dressing room and send 12th man to 3rd umpire with message and they can communicate to on field umpires via radio.. or even send the 12th man to ground at end of the over...simple...

  • on July 24, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    Mistaking "cap" for "power-play" itself is a bit too much! But, Oxenford, you are excused!. Worse was in store for this match. Today, did Indian Players, mistakenly think that they are playing for Sri Lanka?

  • mark2011 on July 24, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    nice joke....something funny happns with umpires.....

  • XuFyaN on July 24, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Instead of the laughing matter, It could had been the serious issue if India would had had the loosing side instead of the winning one.

  • varun171 on July 24, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    It seems that the reason for the confusion was the timing of the powerplay. Indian batsmen would have thought that the Sri Lankans have taken the Bowling Powerpaly as most of the sides take the bowling powerplay from 16-20 overs. It was just a coincedence that both bowling and batting powerplay were taken usually around the time when the powerplays are normally taken i.e. between over 16-20 and 36-40. I recall same kind of incidence took place some time back between India and NZ game, where going by gesture of Indians, umpires called for the bowling powerplay and the Indians thought that the batsmen have taken the batting powerplay. In that game NZ team were already 8 wickets down chasing Indias target and after two overs of powerplay Dhoni told umpires that he had not called for powerplay. Seriously ICC needs to look at the issue and umpires should confirm verbally with the batsmen and bowling side if they are taking the powerplay, rather than going on gestures from the team.

  • Omarrz on July 24, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Now India/BCCI will raise issues and concerns on this as well just like DRS. "There shouldn't be powerplays at all."

  • Luckprnk on July 24, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    I was thinkin like this is nt a test match

  • xylo on July 24, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    Let's leave this as a funny one-time matter and move on.

  • dilpickle.abey on July 24, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    lol omarrz... minimum characters...........

  • KelvinLTR on July 24, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    MJ again proving there's space for commonsense in the game