India’s ace-spinner Ravi Ashwin and umpire Nitin Menon were indulged in a heated exchange on Day 3 of the ongoing 1st Test match between India and New Zealand at the Green Park Stadium, Kanpur. Ashwin was warned by the match umpire for walking on the dangerous area on his follow-through as the ‘new tactic’ of Ashwin was obstructing the view of the umpire.
The umpire Nitin Menon was also seen having a word with the Indian stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane before Ashwin made amends and decided against running across the umpire’s line of vision.
Umpire: “You are obstructing my vision”
Rahane: “He’s not running on to the danger area.”
Umpire: “I can’t make the LBW calls.”
Ashwin: “You are anyways not making any” ??
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Soon, a debate over the new tactic of Ravi Ashwin kickstarted on social media, with several cricketers, experts, and pundits coming up with their views on the controversy. Legendary cricketer and celebrated commentator Sunil Gavaskar also came out in Ashwin’s defense in the commentary box.
Sunil Gavaskar, who is hailed as one of the strongest voices in the cricketing world, defended Ashwin and opined that there shouldn’t be any penalty for Ashwin’s on-field action on Day 3 of the ongoing Kanpur Test match.
During the interaction on-air, commentators Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Simon Doull stated the off-spinner was operating well within the limits, Gavaskar came up with a cheeky remark about Ashwin’s follow=through. He said:
“Rahane now coming in to say that if Ashwin is veering away and not going into the danger area, what is the issue. I think it is tough on the umpire because he might not be able to see what happens,”
Further, Gavaskar quizzed his fellow commentators about a possible penalty for Ashwin if the Indian spinner continues to push the envelope. He said:
“What is the penalty? Is it written? It isn’t something that I know of. There is a penalty if the ball hits the helmet but what is the penalty if Ashwin keeps doing that? Do you think Ashwin will keep pushing that envelope?,”
Responding to this, Simon Doull said:“You get two penalties before you are not allowed to bowl, I believe. We will find out if he [Ashwin] keeps doing it. Once more [on if Ashwin will do it again], I reckon. To an extent, he was right, with the spinner attempting that variety again. This time though, there weren’t any lengthy conversations with the match officials,”