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Abhishek Purohit in Hambantota
July 24, 2012
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."
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