A major controversy during India’s ongoing tour of South Africa cropped up on day three of the series deciding third Test at Newlands in Cape Town on Thursday. The incident happened around one hour before the stumps which left Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his teammates in disbelief.
After South Africa captain Dean Elgar got a massive reprieve following a DRS decision, the Indian captain and some of his teammates lost their cool and vented their ire on the stump microphone. The visitors also made some 'unsavoury' comments over umpiring, technology and broadcasters which might not go down well with the match referee.
The controversy happened during the hosts’ second innings when off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin flighted one delivery which dipped and then straightened to beat a lunging Elgar’s bat. Umpire Marais Erasmus lifted his finger straightaway. However, the Proteas skipper opted for DRS. When he saw on the big screen that he was beaten, he started trudging back to the pavilion...but to his delight, he found the ball going over the stumps. While it looked like a plumb, the reversal of the decision saw the Indian captain kicking the ground in frustration. Subsequently, all kinds of chatter by him and his teammates followed.
Indian Players Vent Frustration
The Indian players made it a point to know everybody about their feelings by chattering on the stump microphone which caught every bit of verbal stuff.
Ashwin took a dig at the ball-tracking technology of the broadcaster by saying, “You should find better ways to win Supersport.”
Indian opener KL Rahul tried to boost the morale of his teammates said, “Whole country playing against XI guys.”
Another Indian player said, “Broadcasters are here to make money boys. I hope the stump microphone is recording it.”
Making things worse Kohli added, “Focus on your team as well and not just the opposition. Trying to catch people all the time.”
The Indian skipper was also found sledging Elgar even before the incident.
However, this kind of constant chatter didn’t help Indians as the hosts didn’t lose their focus and went on to make some quick runs after the incident. The Proteas had a steady start as they were 101/2, requiring another 111 runs for their victory with eight wickets still on their bank.
(Edited by Pradeep Singh)