It was India’s choice to bowl first. The pitch at Oval favored spin and seam no matter the side. That potentially prompted Rohit Sharma to bat later, at a time when the pitch had settled. It was their second consecutive entry in the final of the ICC World Test Championship, the first for Australia. Some experts were inclined to favor the Aussies even before the match began. Fair, since the result is now on their side. However, it has not just come with a trophy but also a controversy.
Players getting controversially out sticks in fans’ minds, especially when the stakes are high at that level.
On Day 4, the eighth over of India’s second innings was being played. Eighteen runs were scored by Shubham Gill off 19 deliveries. Slow start to sustain the 94.74 percent success rate. Scott Boland delivered an unexpected length. Gill misjudged and took an unfortunate shot at Cameron Green’s side. He leaped, positioned his hand just beneath the ball, and captured the shot.
It looked like the ball had touched the ground, and TV umpire Richard Kettleborough dismissed the field umpire’s call. That did not happen. Gill had to walk back after the skipper expressed his displeasure in front of the cameras.
Commentators were split into two divisions, with one saying that the fingers were positioned in a spin manner. Meaning, one finger was visible from the back of the ball to not let it touch the ground. Others said that the decision was unfair and that the 23-year-old batter should have received the benefit of the doubt.
The ex-Indian opener, Virendra Sehwag, echoed a similar tone by saying that was not enough evidence.
Cameron Green interacted with the media and disclosed what had occurred. Spoiler alert: he unintentionally implied that it might not have been out. In the heat of the moment, he began celebrating the wicket after declaring that he believed it was certainly out. Afterward, it was revealed that everything was left to the third umpire.
Simply put, Green was unsure of the catch himself, and it was a call by the third umpire that sent Shubham back to the pavilion. Indian fans were chanting cheater to express their emotions. Those watching it on television took to social media to make their voices heard.
Losing Shubham Gill took away India’s momentum by chasing 444 runs. Australia called their innings off on Day after scoring 270 runs for eight wickets. Jadeja spilled his magic with an economy of 2.52 and three wickets. The same should have happened with the bat. Umesh Yadav bounced back for a double throughout 17 overs, out of which one was maiden.
Australia set up a huge target after Steve Smith and Travis Head played for 121 and 163 runs, respectively. Usman Khwaja failed as an opener. David Warner came like a teaser in his potential last test championship. Their performance was replicated in the second inning.
Things also changed for India when Cheteshwar Pujara played an unnecessary shot to kick the ball over the keeper. It instead touched the edge and landed on the gloves to give the Australian skipper his first wicket of the innings.
Virat Kohli missed his half-century by a single run. Travis Head won the Player of the Match title for scoring 163 runs and 18 runs in the first and second innings, respectively. Some cricket sports betting sites started showing Australia a higher chance of claiming the title. A tie was in the picture, but the Indian side missed that chance.
This was India’s second entry into the WTC final. They are still at the top of the leaderboard at the time of drafting this article. The next edition will hopefully bring the trophy home. Fingers crossed!