Neutral umpires being unable to travel is 'unfortunate' – Bumrah

By Patric Ridge 26 December 2020 1
Neutral umpires being unable to travel is 'unfortunate' – Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah has been left confused as to why neutral umpires have been unable to officiate matches after a contentious moment during the Boxing Day Test.

Tim Paine survived a close run-out appeal on the opening day of Australia's second Test against India in Melbourne.

Replays of the incident were contradictory – one angle displayed Paine's bat on the crease as the stumps were taken, yet another view showed the Australia captain's bat might have slid over the line.

Third umpire Paul Wilson concluded that he did not have sufficient evidence to prove that Paine's bat was "on the wrong side of the line", so the wicketkeeper was judged as not-out.

The players were also able to see the replays, and several Indian fielders were convinced Paine was out, while stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane spoke with the on-field umpires.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, local umpires have been utilised in all international matches in order to reduce travel.

West Indies skipper Jason Holder questioned this decision during the Windies' recent tour of New Zealand, and Bumrah echoed the sentiment.

"Look, these are the things that we can't control," Bumrah, who took 4-56, told reporters after India dominated day one – the tourists closing on 36-1 after bowling Australia out for a measly 195.

"I understand that the situations are difficult and all of these things are out of our hands.

"I try to not focus on things that we can't control but yeah it is unfortunate that the umpires are not allowed to travel. But it is something that I don't have any power of changing.

"We try to focus on things that we can change. That is the only thing our team is focusing on. If a decision goes our way or if it doesn't, we have to look forward and we focus on the next ball."

The incident hardly marred a brilliant day for India's bowling attack, with debutant Mohammed Siraj (2-40) particularly impressive.

"He was waiting for his chance," Bumrah said of the 26-year-old Siraj. "He's worked really hard, he's come up through the ranks.

"When he came in after the first session, there was not a lot happening, so he bowled with a lot of control and suddenly he started getting a little bit of movement, so he tried to use the best of it.

"Playing in his first Test match, he bowled really well and showed confidence, using all of his skills. Hopefully he continues like that."

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Patric Ridge