Australia’s shocking collapse on day three of the Boxing Day Test against India has been compounded by a DRS decision which sent captain Tim Paine back to the sheds under controversial circumstances.
Paine was initially given not out by the umpire after India appealed what they believed was an edge from Ravindra Jadeja.
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The DRS review showed nothing coming up on the hotspot, but the real-time snicko showed a sound as the ball passed the bat - enough for Paine to be sent on his way.
The decision generated plenty of confusion, with former Test paceman Brett Lee pondering why Paine could be given out if nothing showed on the hotspot.
“I just don’t know how they can overturn something with nothing on the Hot Spot,” Lee said on commentary for Fox Cricket.
— News Cricket (@NewsCorpCricket) December 28, 2020
“It’s (Snicko) lit up there and it’s not near the bat.
“I think Tim Paine’s got every right to be annoyed, disappointed.
“That’s not right in my opinion, especially with nothing backed up on the hot spot.”
Plenty of others also questioned how the DRS could turn up such a decision, with fellow former Test great Merv Hughes among those not convinced Paine was out.
— Jamie Cox (@jamiecox1969) December 28, 2020
— ABC SPORT (@abcsport) December 28, 2020
There's a massive margin of error for ball tracking
Yet, no hotspot + tiny sound = overturned?
— Luke Costin (@LukeCostin) December 28, 2020
I'm sure there'll be plenty of noise about the Paine dismissal, but there was no other decision Wilson could have arrived at applying the technology. Long story short: there are examples like this - where Snicko > Hotspot - all the time. Take Ashwin just last week. #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/bLmtIjPOaS
— Adam Collins (@collinsadam) December 28, 2020
Tim Paine didn’t look out but India wouldn’t mind this at all. There was a spike nevertheless but Paine had surely not nicked that. Big moment in the Test. India look favourites to level the series & win a Test at MCG for the 4th time
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) December 28, 2020
While Paine may have been hard done by, there was no escaping the broader failure of the Australian batting lineup to respond to India’s impressive first innings.
Opening batsman Matthew Wade (40) and first-drop Marnus Labuschagne (28) were the only players to make a meaningful contribution as wickets consistently tumbled on day three.
Steve Smith was bowled by Jasprit Bumrah for just eight, while Travis Head added 17 to the total before edging a poor shot off the bowling off debutant Mohammed Siraj to Mayank Agarwal in the slips.
Cameron Green and Pat Cummins remained unbeaten at stumps, having guided the home side to a meagre two-run lead.
Joe Burns’ Test future in question after poor showing
Australian opener Joe Burns' Test career is hanging by a thread after his latest failure at the top of the order.
Burns was out for just four against India in the hosts' second innings at the MCG on Monday - after a duck in the first dig - when he was caught behind off Umesh Yadav.
To compound his problems, Burns burnt one of Australia's three reviews in the process, with a hotspot on the bat confirming the umpire's on-field decision.
The 31-year-old, who made an unbeaten 51 during Australia's successful run chase in Adelaide, has now managed just 125 first-class runs at an average of 10.4 this summer.
Burns was picked to partner makeshift opener Matthew Wade at the start of the Test series when David Warner (groin) and uncapped Will Pucovski (concussion) were ruled out through injury.
But he faces an extremely difficult task to hold his spot for the third Test, with first-choice opener Warner likely to be cleared to return.
Victoria's Marcus Harris is also in the selection mix and India great Sunil Gavaskar said Burns' unsuccessful review would count against him.
"It's not just the fact that he's got out, he's wasted a review," Gavaskar told ABC Sport.
"While you can understand, knowing that his place is on the line, that he goes for a review, for a caught behind, you cannot tell me that the batsman doesn't know.”
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