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News

Gill caught by Green: clean or not?

Former players weigh in on the controversial dismissal at The Oval

Shubman Gill's dismissal in India's second innings of the World Test Championship final sparked debate over whether the catch taken by Cameron Green at gully was clean or not.
It was a spectacular effort from the 6'7" Green once again. He had taken a high one-handed blinder with his right hand in India's first innings to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane, and here he had to dive low to his left and pluck the ball milliseconds before it hit the turf. Replays though suggested it was a close call.
Should Shubman Gill have been given out?
13.4K votes
Yes, the catch was clean
No, there was too much doubt
Both Gill and his opening partner Rohit Sharma had seen the edge dying on its way to the cordon, so they waited, bringing the TV umpire into play. Previously, contentious catches referred to the TV umpire used to come with a soft signal - out or not out - from the on-field umpires, and there needed to be conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field decision. The ICC has only just scrapped the soft-signal rule, and this was the first instance of a TV umpire adjudicating a contentious catch on his own. In this case the TV umpire Richard Kettleborough saw enough from the visuals to suggest Green had got his fingers under the ball.
Rohit didn't agree though. He seemed to mouth an audible "No" as the "Out" flashed on the big screen at The Oval. Gill, also, put out a tweet after the day's play, using emojis that suggested he did not believe it was a clean catch.
The replays on the broadcast lost a frame between Green catching with his fingers underneath the ball as he fell to the grass and then throwing it up in celebration. Did the ball in that frame - as he rolled his hand over - touch the turf? There seemed to be no conclusive evidence to say either way, and both of ESPNcricinfo's Match Day experts - Sanjay Manjrekar and Brad Haddin - were of the opinion the right decision had been made.
"When you see it real time, it is very important thing to see and something I have advocated to a lot of people about when there is a review for a low catch that goes upstairs to the TV umpire, they get a lot of angles and the frozen image is something that sets the cat among the pigeons," Manjrekar said. "The viewers see the frozen image and see the leather touching the turf … in real time, it looked like a pretty brilliant catch, just a nice motion. If you ask me if that was a catch, I'd say, yes, brilliant catch."
Haddin said: "I thought it was a clean catch and Green got his fingers underneath the ball. I like it at real time because if you slow it down too much and look at different frames, it can create a lot of doubt. In this case, he had his fingers under the ball and it was a clean catch."
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting also agreed with the interpretation that it was a fair catch. "When I saw it live, I knew it had carried to him on the full, but I wasn't sure what the action was after that from all replays we have seen," he told the ICC. "I actually think some part of the ball did touch the ground and it is the interpretation of the umpire that as long as the fielder has complete control of the ball before the ball hits the ground then it is out. That must have been what the umpires' interpretation was and I think that is exactly what happened. It carried probably six or eight inches off the ground then there was another action after that."
Former India allrounder and coach Ravi Shastri, speaking after the day's play, said two fingers under the ball often means the ball has touched the ground but, in this case, he could certainly see why the umpire when with the out decision. "If I saw what I saw there as the third umpire, it's very difficult to say that the ball hit the ground, because you could see the two fingers under it," Shastri told Star Sports. "I've always believed when it comes up with two fingers, the chances of the ball touching the ground are much more as opposed to three fingers, where the three fingers come under the ball. So what I can see of Cameron Green there, there are two fingers. So it's a tough one, but you go down the umpire's route, he has to be convinced that the ball has touched the ground.
"And let's not forget, he has got giant fingers, he's a big fellow, and you can see the angle of the fingers, it's under the ball. You've got the thumb on top, the fingers are wrapped around the ball. Richard Kettleborough, I can see where he's coming from."
Former Australia opener and coach Justin Langer, on the same segment on Star Sports, agreed with Shastri's assessment. "Richard Kettleborough is a world-class umpire, and what he goes on, he had to probably give it out. The other thing that I always find interesting is the initial reaction of the fielder. Cameron Green got underneath it and was convinced he had caught it. Often if there's any doubt, you can see it in the body language of the fielder."
Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh and former India batter Virender Sehwag both said the replays viewed by the third umpire were inconclusive, and giving the batter out based on those visuals was incorrect. "Inconclusive evidence. When in doubt, it's not out," Sehwag tweeted, while Harbhajan told PTI: "The replay was inconclusive. They should have zoomed in on his fingers closely before taking the call. It could cost India dearly in the run chase."
That was the last action before the tea interval on the fourth day, with the players leaving the field to boos from the largely Indian crowd. Gill fell for 18 off 19 with his team 41 for 1 in 7.1 overs in a chase of 444.