It was a spectacular effort from the 6’7″ Green once again. He had taken a high one-handed blinder with his right hand in India’s first innings to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane, and here he had to dive low to his left and pluck the ball milliseconds before it hit the turf. Replays though suggested it was a close call.
Both Gill and his opening partner Rohit Sharma had seen the edge dying on its way to the cordon, so they waited, bringing the TV umpire into play. Previously, contentious catches referred to the TV umpire used to come with a soft signal – out or not out – from the on-field umpires, and there needed to be conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field decision. The ICC has only just scrapped the soft-signal rule, and this was the first instance of a TV umpire adjudicating a contentious catch on his own. In this case the TV umpire Richard Kettleborough saw enough from the visuals to suggest Green had got his fingers under the ball.
Rohit didn’t agree though. He seemed to mouth an audible “No” as the “Out” flashed on the big screen at The Oval.
The replays on the broadcast lost a frame between Green catching with his fingers underneath the ball as he fell to the grass and then throwing it up in celebration. Did the ball in that frame – as he rolled his hand over – touch the turf? There seemed to be no conclusive evidence to say either way, and both of ESPNcricinfo’s Time Out experts – Sanjay Manjrekar and Brad Haddin – were of the opinion the right decision had been made.
“When you see it real time, it is very important thing to see and something I have advocated to a lot of people about when there is a review for a low catch that goes upstairs to the TV umpire, they get a lot of angles and the frozen image is something that sets the cat among the pigeons,” Manjrekar said. “The viewers see the frozen image and see the leather touching the turf … in real time, it looked like a pretty brilliant catch, just a nice motion. If you ask me if that was a catch, I’d say, yes, brilliant catch.”
Haddin said: “I thought it was a clean catch and Green got his fingers underneath the ball. I like it at real time because if you slow it down too much and look at different frames, it can create a lot of doubt. In this case, he had his fingers under the ball and it was a clean catch.”
That was the last action before the tea interval on the fourth day, with the players leaving the field to boos from the largely Indian crowd. Gill fell for 18 off 19 with his team 41 for 1 in 7.1 overs in a chase of 444.