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January 26, 2014
Both Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke admitted to confusion about the pivotal stumping of Ravi Bopara during England's run chase. With England requiring nine runs from nine balls and two wickets still standing, Bopara was given out by the third umpire, after lengthy deliberation, as a delivery from Clint McKay rebounded off keeper Matthew Wade's gloves down on to the stumps, eventually dislodging the leg bail.
Replays were apparently inconclusive in proving whether the bail was fully out of the groove on middle stump before Bopara's foot, which had been raised, returned into contact with the ground. The Laws require the bail to be "completely removed from the top of the stumps" and Cook suggested the TV umpire, Kumar Dharmasena, might have erred when asked about the incident afterwards.
"I don't know if I'm being biased or not but I thought the rule was the bail had to leave both grooves and, looking at the TV screen, I thought there was enough doubt for it not to be given out," he said. "I'd love to be proved wrong in one sense, because it would make my mind rest a little bit easier, but I'm sure the third umpire can explain his decision.
"You don't want to look at that one isolated incident but with Ravi there, with eight needed off eight balls or whatever it was, you've got a very good chance. Ravi can clear the ropes when he wants to and he's obviously taken it deep and we feel in control, even though we're losing wickets at the other end. You don't blame one incident when there are 600 balls in the game but it was obviously a big call at a big time."
Clarke, Australia's captain, said it was his decision to have Wade standing up to the stumps during the penultimate over, adding that he hadn't been as confident as some of his team-mates about Bopara being given out. The dismissal left the last-wicket pair of Chris Jordan and James Tredwell too much to do as Australia wrapped up the series 4-1.
"I had an interesting conversation with Matthew Wade at the start of that over. He wanted to go back and I made it very clear I wanted him up to the stumps, so we went with that and fortunately [we were lucky]," Clarke said. "I couldn't really tell from the big screen [if it was out], there were probably mixed feelings out there, a lot of guys thought once the bail dislodged Ravi's foot was in the air, but I couldn't tell clearly enough, I probably felt 'has he just got his foot down' when the bail's dislodged, but I haven't had a chance to look at it closely on television, and I probably won't now either."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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