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Tim Paine queries DRS verdict with umpires

The decision was made based on a Snicko spike after there was no mark on HotSpot - which fits protocol, but Paine felt the decision was made in haste

Daniel Brettig
Daniel Brettig
29-Dec-2020
Australia captain Tim Paine confronted the match officials to question the consistency of their decision-making after his second innings caught-behind dismissal amid the home side's eight-wicket defeat in the second Test at the MCG.
Paine's irritation at being adjudged caught behind via Real-Time-Snicko (RTS) evidence was plain to all present on the third evening of the game, leading some commentators to question why it was possible for a batsman to have his not-out verdict overturned without any indication of a mark on the bat using infrared HotSpot cameras.
However ICC protocols have dictated for several years that the umpire is free to deduce an edge from Snicko evidence even if there is no HotSpot, something Paine was clearly aware of as he explained the exact reasons why he had sought further discussion about the third umpire Paul Wilson's decision, which the captain felt had been, among other things, too hastily made.
"I've spoken to them. It wasn't very productive. But I've spoken to them and raised my only concern," Paine said. "My concern yesterday was not with the technology, it was with the precedent that was set in the first innings with [Cheteshwar] Pujara and the fact I just think the decision was made too quickly.
"He didn't look at enough replays to see the full evidence, that there was probably a gap between bat and ball, the line itself had started before it went past my bat and it finished again. So there were just lots of things that didn't marry up for me. I saw some photos of it, all sorts of things, I just don't think he took the time to look at the evidence. The technology itself, I thought was okay."
There were plenty of moments for both sides to grit their teeth over during the course of another Test match where bowlers were in the ascendancy, not least a handful of instances in which India were denied lbw verdicts due to the vagaries of "umpire's call" for a ball not deemed to be hitting enough of the stumps according to ball-tracking. As for the Pujara incident, then, too, there was no mark on HotSpot and a very small spike on Snicko after Australia reviewed for a caught-behind, although on that occasion there was a suggestion the toe of Pujara's bat had clipped his pad.
Paine's episode clearly stuck in the craw of the hosts, as they had been scrambling for any sort of fourth-innings lead with which to pressure Ajinkya Rahane's ultimately victorious team.
"Extremely frustrating, no doubt about that. Crucial part of the game," Paine said. "Felt like I've been playing pretty well at the start of this series and I thought if I could get in a partnership with [Cameron] Greeny and add another 50 to 100 to 120 runs together then the whole game changes. So to have a finish like that was extremely disappointing, but it is what it is.
"I think that was pretty clear from my reaction and I thought we had a pretty similar example in the first innings with Pujara on the first ball of day two, which sets a precedent. Then it seemed to change."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig