The World Test Championship final between India and Australia at The Oval witnessed a contentious catch that has ignited a debate among cricket enthusiasts. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has shared his views on the catch taken by all-rounder Cameron Green to dismiss Indian opener Shubman Gill. Ponting acknowledged that while the ball may have touched the ground during the catch, he credited the third umpire for making the “correct decision” in the crucial match.
During the fourth day’s play, Shubman Gill, batting on 18, edged a delivery from Scott Boland, which flew low to the left of Cameron Green at gully. Green swiftly scooped the ball inches from the ground and celebrated the dismissal. However, Gill stood his ground, prompting the third umpire, Richard Kettleborough, to review the catch. Despite Indian captain Rohit Sharma’s despairing plea and chants of ‘cheat, cheat’ from the stands, the decision went against the batsman.
Ricky Ponting expressed his observations on the catch to the International Cricket Council (ICC). While he believed the ball had carried to Green on the full, he admitted uncertainty about the subsequent actions. Ponting conceded, “I actually think some part of the ball did touch the ground,” but emphasized that the umpire’s interpretation focuses on whether the fielder has complete control before the ball hits the ground.
Ponting concurred with former Australia coach Justin Langer, stating that opinions on the decision would vary. He highlighted the potential contrasting viewpoints between India and Australia, suggesting that people in India would lean towards not out, while Australians would support the umpire’s decision. Additionally, Indian opener Gill expressed his displeasure with the decision on social media, while Mohammed Shami, an Indian pace spearhead, criticized the haste with which the decision was made, given the significance of the WTC final.
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Ponting also weighed in on the absence of the soft signal, a contentious aspect of the playing conditions removed before the final. He supported its removal, stating that he considered it irrelevant. Ponting emphasized that even without the soft signal, the third umpire believed the catch was out, and he agreed with the decision. While technology plays a significant role in decision-making, it ultimately falls to the third umpire’s judgment based on what he can observe.