The 2nd ODI between India and Australia at Eden Gardens, Kolkata will be remembered forever in cricket history. Team India’s exceptional performance in all fields especially bowling clinched the second win against the Aussies.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first thinking the decision would favor them according to the weather condition. Looking to set a formidable total for the Australian team, an unexpected incident denied them four vital runs. In the 34th over of the Indian innings, Virat Kohli was batting at 81 thrashing the opponent bowlers.
Spinner Ashton Agar was bowling his ninth with a well-flighted delivery that was plotted through the mid-wicket region for a couple of runs. Agar went to a juicy good length delivery in the vicinity of off-stump. After the batman’s eyes lit up, he played a delicate late cut to beat Marcus Stoinis at short third man.
However, the timing on the shot was excellent that the ball went past the boundary rope despite a valiant dive from Stoinis. Meanwhile, without the knowledge of the batsman, the umpire had signaled a dead ball long before the events were set in motion. Taking a close look at the reply, Agar’s blue towel had dropped to the turf from the back of his trousers, so Umpire Anil made the signal quick.
Kohli’s eyes were stuck on the bowler’s arm and did not notice the umpire’s signal of crossing and uncrossing the arms in front of the body. Kohli thought that he had hit another boundary but soon realized that the ball was dead and proceeded to sport a wry smile on his face.
“According to Law 23.4 of MCC’s playing regulations, the ball is dead when: (vi) the striker is distracted by any noise or movement or in any other way while he is preparing to receive, or receiving a delivery. This shall apply whether the source of the distraction is within the game or outside it. The ball shall not count as one of the over. (vii) there is an instance of a deliberate attempt to distract under either of Laws 42.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker) or 42.5 (Deliberate distraction or obstruction of batsman). The ball shall not count as one of the over. (viii) the bowler drops the ball accidentally before delivery.”
Australia certainly did not complain as they have four fewer runs to score when they come out to bat later in the evening. Needless to say, the ball did not count and Agar had the opportunity to bowl again.
A few overs later, Kohli chopped onto his stumps when confronted with Nathan Coulter-Nile’s tight line and narrowly missed out on his 31st ODI century which would have helped him overtake the legendary Ricky Ponting and slot into second on the all-time list.