South Africa vs India, 3rd Test | Technology under scrutiny yet again

The umpiring, rather the technology used in officiating, has been under sharp scrutiny in the series.

If technology, with all the scientific advancement, cannot give the right answers, what’s the point in having these gadgets at all.

First it was the case of Rassie van der Dussen in the second Test at the Wanderers. When the front and the only clear view gave the true picture of a bump-ball catch by Rishabh Pant, the third umpire looked at the side view, which was a lot less revealing, and gave the evidence to overturn a decision as inconclusive. The decision made a mockery of all the technology available.

And here at the Newlands, India captain, Virat Kohli was on 39 on Tuesday when he appeared to nick the ball while attempting to essay a glance off a Duanne Olivier ball outside leg.

The South African, convinced Kohli nicked it, celebrated, but the umpire remained unmoved. South Africa went for a review and it was over to umpire Allahuddin Palekar.

While the earlier replays revealed little, once the snicko came into the picture, a thin spike was clearly visible when the ball passed the bat, and it was not close to the pads or the thigh.

A spike on the sniko is a spike, big or small and there were sufficient grounds for the TV umpire to overturn the decision. However, umpire Palekar felt otherwise. A thin spike was apparently not enough to overturn the verdict. The ICC has introduced technology and then it has tied itself in a tangle giving weightage to an umpire’s on-field decision before technology is used.

So had the on-field umpire declared Kohli out, the third umpire might well have come up with the same verdict. Just as in the case of leg-before decisions when an umpire’s call decides whether a ball just brushing the stumps, sounds the death knell for the batsmen or not. Either you depend on technology or you don’t. This in-between stand is being counter-productive to the whole idea of employing technology.

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