India vs New Zealand Day 2, Test 1 in Kanpur: In a surprising and shocking turn of events an unique situation arose today in the Kanpur Test when the New Zealand batsman Tom Latham was ‘out caught by helmet grill’, but due to certain anomalies, he was given not out by the third umpire. The situation left the Indian players perplexed and quite disappointed, while the Kiwis were left rejoicing a ‘life’. Here is how the entire ‘controversial’ incident panned out.
As things transpired, the ball was played by Tom Latham stretched forward onto his boot and it flew straight to the short-leg fielder KL Rahul. The batsman was sweeping for all he was worth and the fielder blinked! While the fielder was looking to take evasive action and may even had his eyes closed as the ball zipped towards his head, the trajectory of the ball took it straight into the helmet grill where it got stuck for a second before it fell back into the fielder’s hands !
Check out the Tom Latham helmet dismissal appeal in this video tweet:
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 23, 2016
When he realised what was happening, and reacted, the damage had been done! The ball, after it bounced straight to the fielder off Tom Latham’s boot, got caught (just for a few seconds) in the helmet grill, it then fell into Rahul’s hands and he made a huge appeal. In fact, the entire Indian team got excited and started shouting and dancing in exhilaration!
However, the adamant batsman refused to walk! The umpires themselves were at odds and evens over the issue. With the on-field umpires unable to decide this way or that, the decision was referred to the third umpire even as the on-field play came to a standstill. For the Kiwis this was a welcome break to have a drink. They seemed comfortable in their stance knowing that the decision will go in their favour.
Now, the issue was when exactly did the delivery became a ‘dead ball’. As long as it was flying around it was alive and a catch would have led to an immediate dismissal of the batsman. However, the flight of the ball took it to the visor of the helmet from where the fielder then plucked it out. Well, the rules are clear, the batsman is not out and the third umpire took that very decision.
This ball may not have injured KL Rahul at all, but it surely must have come as an insult of huge magnitude. He will never be able to live it down as some wise-guy or the other will keep reminding him about this unique case of his! However, in his favour it must be said that Rahul did not try to save himself, he did not turn his back as the ball came to him, and in fact he was alive to the situation and did end up catching the ball.
It is clear that any catch taken with the help of the helmet grill cannot be counted as valid. Team India will have to live with this fact. Latham was then on 47 and he thereafter quickly went on to thump his way to his 50. That surely must have hurt Indian confidence.
The Indian team was quite worked up over the incident but some of them were sportingly seen clapping this magnificent Latham achievement.
Considering the importance of the wicket, and the breakthrough, it was no wonder that the Indian team was wearing a collective scowl for long after the incident.