The second day of the third test between India and England ended with the hosts trailing by 12 runs in the first innings but the incident that took the limelight was earlier in the day.
Dismissing England for 283 in 93.5 overs, India came into bat with Murali Vijay and Parthiv Patel at the crease.
Vijay only managed to score 12 before getting caught behind off Ben Stokes. But the funny incident happened in the third over of the innings, when James Anderson began his second.
The first ball pitched on good length to the batsman as the 32-year-old played a defensive stroke with the ball rolling towards the bowler himself.
With a quick presence of mind, Anderson grabbed the ball and hurled in the direction of the stumps, hitting Vijay’s pads in the process.
The Englishman appealed against the action, inferring it to be given out for deliberate blocking of the ball.
The on-field umpires consulted among each other ultimately adjudging it not out.
According to the rules of cricket, if a batsman obstructs the ball which is going on to hit the stumps, he can be declared out.
But this scenario was a bit different, which might have aided Vijay in saving his wicket.
He was clearly standing outside the crease when blocking the ball but did not move an inch in order to distract or obstruct the run of play.
As per ICC rulebook, a batsman will be given out due to obstruction, if “he wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action.”
Yet it also states that the umpires remain the sole authority on the pitch to decide the outcome of such instances.
On-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Chris Gaffaney might have asked for assistance from third umpire Kumar Dharmasena before concluding the matter.
A situation that took the players, as well as fans across the stadium and those watching on television, by surprise can only be termed as ‘bizarre’.
India lead the five-match test series 1-0 and, at stumps on Day 2 on the third test, it is evenly poised between the two nations.
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