Australia v England, 1st ODI, Melbourne January 12, 2014

Warner's reprieve was 'wrong' - Cook


Alastair Cook called the decision to reprieve David Warner from a caught behind decision "wrong" after England began the one-day series with a heavy defeat at the MCG but he is not convinced that returning to a time when a fielder's word was taken is the way forward.

Warner was on 22 when he tried to steer Ben Stokes down to third man and top edged towards the wicketkeeper Jos Buttler who claimed the catch low to the ground.

Warner was happy to take Buttler's word on whether it carried, but the umpire convened to check the replays, which appeared on the big screen as Warner approached the boundary, where he was told to stay inside the playing area by the fourth official.

As so often with those types of replays, the two-dimensional image created enough doubt in the third umpire's mind for him to not give the catch although that was not how Cook felt it should have ended.

"It might have been my biased eyes, my English eyes, but I thought it was a clean catch - hit his fingers and bounced up - but I only saw it a couple of times on the big screen," he said. "I thought it was the wrong decision but you have to respect the umpires' decision otherwise you get in trouble."

On the field, all the players reacted calmly to the situation and Warner gave Buttler a supportive pat on the back as he returned to the crease. It is easy for the fielder to be made out to be the villain but for most of the ex-cricketers at the ground it was one of those they were convinced was caught cleanly.

Cook, though, believes TV replays still need to be used. "If a player does claim and it clearly shows it wasn't a catch then it's a tough one and looks foolish on the technology. David thought it had carried as well as he was quite happy to walk off. It's strange because a lot of those look worse on TV than real life. But that one, I didn't see it hit the ground."

While the umpires' decision was out of England's hands, they could have avoided some self-inflicted errors especially the life given to Aaron Finch on 8 when Gary Ballance dropped a simple chance at mid-off. Cook admitted it was the continuation of a worrying trend in the team, coupled as it was with numerous fumbles in the outfield.

"It is something we are aware of we. We haven't fielded to the standard we are capable of on this tour. Fielding comes down to two things; wanting the ball to come to you and hard work. We are not bad fielders. For the last three or months - actually it's been longer than that - we are dropping too many chances and we are aware of that. We can't keep gifting simple chances away."

To add to Cook's woes, he had another brief stay in the middle, falling in the first over of the match when he edged Clint McKay, and admitted he needs to return to making significant contributions. He said he felt as good as he had at any time in the tour during his morning net, although conceded form there means "bugger all" if it doesn't bring runs.

Another defeat will be followed by another flight, this time to Canberra to face the Prime Minister's XI on Tuesday before England head to Brisbane for Friday's ODI, with an upturn in England's fortunes seemingly no nearer.

"We just need to somehow stop the rot and it's amazing how quickly it can turn around," he said. "We saw some good things today but at the crucial moments couldn't take our chances."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Steve on January 15, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    @Doogius......maybe we look at another rule, that of desent. Wouldn't it be desent if a batsman walked when the unpires (all three) have deemed him not out? Did Gilchrist question the umpire's decision when he walked after being given not out? Seriously though, Warner showed good form by asking for Buttler's opinion and walking, Buttler I will give the benefit of the doubt albeit I think even he had doubt and I really think the umpire did OK to refer it. In the end it was the correct result and realistically if it takes just a little time and drama to get to the correct result then so be it. Better that, than the media hanging Buttler for appearing to cheat.

    P.S. Jones realistically should have been not out as he was given run out however he was not attempting a run. Now the umpires would have called dead ball under one of the below rules. That was a genuine mistake

  • Shane on January 15, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    @thegimp. Jones dismissal was due to him being runout after walking after being bowled off a no ball. Bit different to this. The rest, I disagree, if you walk, you thought it was out. End of wicket. Maybe I'm too old school...

  • Steve on January 15, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    Does anyone remember Dean Jones being run out by the West Indies after thinking he had been dismissed walking and not realising it was a no-ball?

  • Steve on January 15, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    @Doogius....I'm not convinced. I would have thought DRS is a review when a decision had been made. This was more like a run out where the ump asked for clarification prior to making a decision. I also don't think the fact that a batsman walks means he should be out. Imagine Mid off running back to take a catch, he dives fumbles the ball hits the turf with his body between the ball and the batsman. He grabs it and says he caught it. The batsman starts to walk thinking it was all clean however the umpire thinks he saw something different and asks for clarification. Another example. The batsman dances down the pitch, misses and the keeper takes the ball in front of the stumps and takes off the bails. The batsman doesn't even look back and starts to walk. The umpire asks for clarification of where the keeper took the ball. Walking should be considered as nothing more than etiquette.

  • Shane on January 15, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    @Reuben. 27(6) clearly states 'that the other umpire'. Its talking about square leg. The moment they asked the 3rd umpire to review - its subject to DRS. Pretty simple really. Guess others have differing opinions but at least, I'm not thirsty...@the gimp, refer some of the bylaw quotes below. 3rd umpire is DRS, 4th ump is for ump fatalities and guard duty. My question was whether walking constituted a straight up dismissal.

  • ESPN on January 15, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    @Doogius -- I already directed you to a specific law that covers that one. What can I say? You can lead a horse to water I guess.

  • Shane on January 15, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    @Reuben. Can I refer you to the ICC website which has the rules for the use of the DRS. Its broken into 2 sections - section 2 - umpire review. A quote 'players may not appeal to the umpire to use the Umpire Review' so its pretty clear its for umpires. Then the rules for player review. Now Warner didn't request a review - because he was walking - so it must be an umpire review which makes it applicable as a DRS decision. Before you hit me with test playing conditions at the top - refer to the ICC std one day conditions that refer to that appendix as applicable for 1 dayers. One could make the argument that if what you say is correct, then Warner walking was time wasting because - no one had given him out. Couldn't find a specific rule to cover that one (ok couldn't be bothered) but an incoming bat has 2 mins with which to face up or his out. I'm sure Warner sat on his bat at the boundary for longer than 2 mins - so perhaps he should have been given for that?

  • Steve on January 15, 2014, 0:41 GMT

    Watching the huddle of the English players after Warner walked and , at that stage, not realising the umpire had stopped Warner I immediately thought that Buttler didn't look confident. Obviously he knew it was going upstairs and was second guessing. Sometimes in the euphoria of the moment you can claim the catch confidently and it is only after a few moments you start to think that it may have been a bump ball.

    I recall doing something similar, catching a 16yo Michael Di Venuto at point, throwing it in the air and then thinking, "Oh no, I'm not sure" the umpire gave it out, the batsman walked and my Captain called him back.

    In this case, the umpire never gave it out and wasn't sure so referred it, stopped Warner and the correct decision was made. This use of the third umpire isn't part of DRS. This use was brought about to stop the mass hysteria that usually follows, lambasting a fielder for claiming something that was 50/50. Imagine what would have happened if given out?

  • ESPN on January 14, 2014, 20:39 GMT

    @Doogius -- why do you keep talking about DRS? I don't recall Cook calling for DRS. Did I miss that? To my recollection, he just wasn't given, and so was rightly called back. The umpires consulted, as per Law 27 part 6, and the doubt was sufficient. Sure he walked, but parts 2 and 7 are pretty clear on that. It's not me you're disagreeing with -- it's the Laws of Cricket you're disagreeing with.

  • Shane on January 14, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    @Reuben. They key word is misapprehension and probably represents the laws failing to keep up with technology. I would view that in the spirit of the game and the purpose of DRS, misapprehension would represent a 'howler', not a 50-50 call. Fair enough, an umpire can stop a batsman under certain circumstances but I still think Warner (or anyone else for that matter) walks, he's out (as you so kindly pointed out in ref 27(2)b). Guess we agree to disagree.

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