Indian fans were up in arms after a controversial third umpire review of a potential run-out against Australian captain Tim Paine went against the visitors.
In what was one of the closer calls to be seen in recent history, Paine’s bat appeared to be on the crease when Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant knocked off the bails.
'ALMOST DISASTER': Cricket fans hail chaotically superb moment
The visitors seemed confident the Australia captain would be sent on his way for six, but were instead perplexed when the third umpire handed him a reprieve.
The Australians had the rub of the green when it came to umpire reviews, but the controversial Paine decision ultimately didn’t benefit the home side too much.
Paine was sent back to the sheds soon after for 13, caught off Ravi Ashwin.
While the run-out chance didn’t cost India too much, many took to social media to express their confusion over the decision.
Gerard: "That is as close as it gets"
Tim Paine survives the narrowest of run-outs. The third umpire gives it not out.
Lalor: "That's the wrong decision. That's out."
— SEN 1116 (@1116sen) December 26, 2020
Paine run out! Incredible. No wait, he's given not out. Almost as incredible #AusvInd
— Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) December 26, 2020
Very surprised that Tim Paine survived that run out review ! I had him on his bike & thought there was no part of his bat behind the line ! Should have been out in my opinion
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) December 26, 2020
I think Paine is very very lucky there... #AUSvIND
— Akash Fotedar (@akashfotedar5) December 26, 2020
— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) December 26, 2020
Australian cricketing great Shane Warne was among those perplexed by the call.
“Very surprised that Tim Paine survived that run out review!” he wrote on Twitter.
“I had him on his bike & thought there was no part of his bat behind the line! Should have been out in my opinion.”
India had no trouble maintaining their advantage after an impressive start on day one, bowling the Australian’s out for 195.
In reply, Mitchell Starc snared the wicket of opener Mayank Agarwal in the first over, gone LBW for a duck.
Nervous wait as fans return to MCG
Melbourne Cricket Club boss Stuart Fox admits authorities will be "on tenterhooks" throughout the Boxing Day Test as fans make a long-awaited return to the MCG for the first time since March.
Up to 30,000 cricket fans will file into the famous venue on each day of the Australia-India series' second match, which will put Victoria's updated COVID-19 protocols for sporting events to the test.
The showpiece event comes 292 days since more than 86,000 fans packed the MCG for the Women's T20 World Cup final - a drought brought about by Victoria's mid-year coronavirus outbreak and lockdown period.
"This is Victoria's first major event with significant crowds for some time, so let's hope it's the start of something special, but we all know we're on tenterhooks at times here," MCC CEO Fox said.
"We've seen what's happened in other states and we've just got to be ready to move with the times.
"We've had 10 months of planning and there are a few subtle changes, but Victorians know the protocols around (being) COVID-safe now, so I think everyone will do the right thing.
"30,000 is not a huge crowd for us but I'm just so wrapped that we're back."
The Boxing Day Test crowd is being split into five zones to limit fans' movement to specific areas of the MCG for contact tracing purposes.
The limit had originally been set at 25,000, but was raised earlier this month as Victoria's run of days without a locally-acquired coronavirus case continued.
That streak has now reached 57 days.
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