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

Who signalled the Powerplay?


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?

  • Anver 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 !!!!

  • Satish 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..

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Khizr 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.

  • Simon 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?

  • Randy on July 24, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    agreed with omarrz. they will want new rules now.

  • Dummy4 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..

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

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

  • Dill on July 24, 2012, 17:58 GMT

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

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