India’s players have been slapped with a fine after coming under fire from the cricket world for an extremely slow over-rate during their loss to Australia in the first ODI clash.
Virat Kohli and his men were fined 20 per cent of their match fees for Friday's slow over-rates after cricket legend Shane Warne labelled the effort an ‘all-time low’.
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Aaron Finch's side secured a 66-run victory at 11.09pm AEDT on Friday night, almost an hour beyond the expected finish.
SCG staff stressed about the venue's curfew, fans grew frustrated and players knew something was amiss as the lopsided contest dragged on and on and on.
In commentary, Warne took aim at India’s slow-over rate towards the end of the game.
He singled out India for taking more than four hours to bowl their 50 overs.
“The over rates in T20 cricket and one day cricket, in all forms of cricket, are at an all-time low,” Shane Warne said.
“I mean a one-day game should be finished at 10.10pm. It’s now 10.40pm local time and there’s still eight overs to go after this.
“India took four hours and six minutes to bowl their 50 overs. Four hours and six minutes.”
Steve Smith also claimed the innings dragged on.
"It felt like it went all day. That was the longest 50 overs in the field I've ever had," man-of-the-match Smith said.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) changed its rules last year, ensuring captains are no longer issued demerit points and put at risk of suspensions for slow over-rates.
Instead, the governing body now has the power to fine entire teams, with India's punishment the fourth ODI match in a row they have copped such a penalty.
Cricketers call for a change to slow-over rate
In a statement on Saturday, the ICC claimed India were only one over behind when allowing for stoppages.
That came despite their bowling innings finishing more than 30 minutes late.
Test great Jason Gillespie, who has previously proposed in-game run penalties for tardiness, was among those suggesting on Friday that more needs to be done.
Adam Zampa, who snared 4-54 to help put Australia 1-0 up in the three-match series, agreed "something definitely has to be done about it".
The only solution for slow over-rates is penalising the teams in the same match and not prospectively in the future. Like in 1999 World Cup India faced four overs less in their game against Zimbabwe and were knocked out #cricket #AusvInd
— Chandresh Narayanan (@chand2579) November 27, 2020
The over-rates aren't poor, they are unacceptable.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 27, 2020
India’s over rate is appalling ... !!! Body language defensive ... fielding is my standard (shocking) ... Bowling ordinary !!! Aussies on the other hand have been outstanding ... Long tour for India me thinks ... #AUSvIND @FoxCricket @cricbuzz !!!
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) November 27, 2020
"From a viewer's point of view, it's not the best look for the game," Zampa told reporters.
"It will definitely improve.
"Hopefully after getting those cobwebs out and getting those miles in the legs, you'll see some more intensity in the next two games."
Protesting pitch invaders resulted in a short delay but players were otherwise responsible for the go-slow.
"It does take a long while to get back in the swing of things, particularly in ODI cricket," Zampa said.
"If you haven't played for a while the intensity isn't quite there."
Virat Kohli's side and the majority of Australia's XI recently took part in the Indian Premier League and subsequently spent a fortnight in hotel quarantine after the Twenty20 tournament.
Players were given permission by NSW Health to train once a day during those two weeks but were otherwise locked in their respective hotel rooms.
The three-match ODI series continues at the SCG on Sunday.
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