WTC Final: Third umpire's decision over Green's catch to dismiss Gill triggers widespread debate
London, June 10: India opener Shubman Gill's dismissal, caused by a one-handed catch by Cameron Green in the second innings of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final at The Oval here on Saturday has triggered a widespread debate on whether the ball had touched the ground or not.
Gill was out when Boland extracted an outside edge off his defensive prod, and the ball flew low to Green's left at third slip. The tall all-rounder took out his left hand and took a one-handed screamer, with the third umpire Richard Kettleborough adjudging it as a clean catch after viewing multiple replays of it.
As soon as the 'out' decision was shown on the giant screen, Gill and India skipper Rohit Sharma were left unconvinced by the decision as tea was taken immediately, with fans debating whether the batter was out or not, as well as if Green had avoided hitting the ball on the grass when his hand came on the ground after catching the ball.
"The ball went into his hand maybe 6-8 inches above the ground but the question I have got was, did any part of the ball touch the ground just after it completed the catch? I am sure that's what Rohit Sharma is arguing with the umpires."
"I am sure that's why Shubman Gill is so disappointed. It had carried, six-eight inches above the ground; no doubt about that but did it then actually roll over and touch the top of the surface?" said former Australia captain Ricky Ponting on-air.
The highly-debatable decision on Gill's dismissal comes on the back of the absence of the soft signal, which was removed from the ICC Playing Conditions from June 1, 2023, starting from the England-Ireland four-day Test at the Lord's.
"It's about how you see it. He did catch the ball with fingers under the ball but if any part of the ball touches the ground it can be interpreted as helping the ball to stay in the hand and usually the umpires always go not out," said former Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara.
Law 33.2 of the Laws of Cricket states, "A catch will be fair if the ball is held in the hand or hands of a fielder, even if the hand holding the ball is touching the ground," which explains why it was fine for the ball to be in Green's hand and it touching the ground.
Moreover, Law 33.3 says, "The act of making a catch shall start from the time when the ball first comes into contact with a fielder's person and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement."
"The third umpire thought the fingers were under but the question is whether it rolled over after he completed the catch," said former India head coach Ravi Shastri.
It seems that the debate on Green's catch won't die down anytime soon.
"The problem with reviews and with enhanced cameras is you're always going to see some part of the ball on the grass even though the player feels they have it under control. Not easy for the umpire," wrote former England pacer Isa Guha on Twitter.