Cricket fans fume at umpires over 'horror' display in third India Test
Nitin Manon and Joel Wilson made a unusually high number of errors on day one between India and Australia.
Day one of the third cricket Test between Australia and India was a rough one for the hosts, but it was arguably an even worse outing for the umpires. India's first innings in particular, was a rough one for umpire Nitin Menon, who was at the centre of no less than five separate incorrect decisions.
Trouble began on the very first ball, with a clear nick from Rohit Sharma off the bowling of Mitchell Starc going unrewarded by Menon. Later in the over, Starc pinned Sharma in front of his stumps for what looked to have been a good case for LBW - but again, no signal was given from Menon.
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In a lightly embarrassing turn for Australia, substitute captain Steve Smith opted against reviewing either of the two deliveries, with replays later showing both would have been given out had they been referred to the third umpire. Fortunately, blushes were spared a short time later with Sharma dismissed before he could do any major damage.
The horror first session continued for Menon, with Ravindra Jadeja successfully appealing his dismissal, with the DRS showing Nathon Lyon's delivery had caught the edge of his bat before cannoning into his pads. A short time later the inverse situation occurred, with Australia challenging Menon's not out call on Lyon's dismissal of KS Bharat.
Australia needed another review to dismiss Ravichandran Ashwin, after Menon was again unconvinced by the visitors' appeal for caught behind. Wicketkeeper Alex Carey had whipped the bails off in an attempt to stump Ashwin as well, but replays showed the ball had caught an edge before being gathered up by Carey.
Five seperate errors from Manon in just half a day of play left fans incredulous, but the dicey decision-making didn't stop there. Fellow umpire Joel Wilson also had a moment to forget, this time in Australia's first innings.
Wilson wasn't swayed by Jadeja's LBW appeal against Travis Head, only for the replays to show it was about as plumb a decision you could ask for as a bowler. Wilson erred again later in the innings, but India opted against reviewing Ashwin's LBW appeal on Marnus Labuschagne having already used two unsuccessfully.
A total of 14 wickets fell on day one - an unusually high amount by most standards, however fans were unimpressed by the combined total of seven umpiring errors on the first day. Given some of those were calls that would ordinarily be expected of a Test umpire, criticism of Manon and Wilson came thick and fast.
What the hell is Nitin Menon doing? Is he even watching the game. #INDvAUS
— James McKern (@jLmcKern) March 1, 2023
Nitin Menon having a shocker. No surprises.
— Saurabh Malhotra (@MalhotraSaurabh) March 1, 2023
Nitin Menon has had a horror series so far, he is an ICC elite level umpire, seriously needs to be better. #INDvAUS
— Vishesh Roy (@vroy38) March 1, 2023
Nitin Menon has got all wrong. He is as good as his home pitch today!
— Arani Basu (@AraniBasuTOI) March 1, 2023
Nitin Menon has not had a good innings…
— Ben Cameron (@BenCameron23) March 1, 2023
When in doubt - whip the bails off and get the FREE review for caught behind.
Umpire Nitin Menon is not up to standard! #INDvAUS
— Brenton Speed (@BrentonSpeed) March 1, 2023
Australia on top after surprising India collapse on day one
India's batters were perhaps the only ones on the field having a more difficult time of things than the umpires were on day one, getting skittled for 109 on a tricky Indore pitch. A five-wicket haul for second game player Matt Kuhnemann proved crucial for the visitors after disappointing results in the first two Tests.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, India were greeted by a firecracker of a pitch that drew criticism for boasting the spin and bounce of a day three wicket in the first session. With the new ball offering a substantial amount of turn for the bowlers, it was an uphill battle to score runs.
Virat Kohli (22) and Shubman Gill (21) were the only two Indian batsmen to show signs of confident run-scoring, but wickets kept falling at such a pace in the first innings that it was all but impossible for India for form any partnerships of note. Lyon claimed an additional three wickets, with third spinner Todd Murphy claiming the prized wicket of Kohli for the second time in the series.
Kuhnemann, who was playing in the Sheffield Shield for Queensland in front of barely a 100 spectators less than three weeks ago, ran through India's star batting line-up in just his second Test. His outstanding performance helped set the tone for Australia's most dominant day of the series.
"Really special to take wickets out there with the team," Kuhnemann said. "I think it is a really good day for our team in general with the bowlers going really well and the batters stepping up as well and doing a good job for us.
"Yeah it's really cool, but there's a long way to go in this game. Thursday is going to be a massive day."
Peter Handscombe and Cameron Green are at the crease for Australia, each finishing the day on seven and six not out respectively. With the pitch expected to become slightly more friendly for the batsmen as the Test goes on, early runs have proven to be worth their weight in gold.
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