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On April 24, 2011, Sachin Tendulkar was given out by the third-umpire off a wrong replay. Nishad Pai Vaidya revisits that day.
It was a few weeks after India lifted the 2011 World Cup. Sachin Tendulkar’s dream had come true. With the nation in a hangover post the victory, the Indian Premier League (IPL) started off in near oblivion and Tendulkar continued to hone his duties for the Mumbai Indians. He did smash his first T20 ton to show that although his biggest dream was accomplished, he wanted to chart unconquered territories. But, as his 38th birthday approached that year on April 24, there was a bit of gloom as his spiritual guru Shri Satya Sai Baba was fighting for life. And, on the morning of Tendulkar’s birthday, when he was supposed to lead Mumbai against Deccan Chargers at Hyderabad, came the news that Sai Baba had passed away.
However, being the professional, Tendulkar put his emotions aside and went into the game. There were no birthday celebrations this time and he only approached his job at hand. Deccan won the toss at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad and elected to bowl. Tendulkar started off well in the company of Davy Jacobs. While the South African attacked, Tendulkar was more circumspect, finding the boundary on the odd occasion. The pair had put on 47 by the time Jacobs was dismissed in the sixth over.
Tendulkar went along, with Ambati Rayudu joining him in the centre. Amit Mishra came on to bowl in the ninth over. Off the second ball, Tendulkar danced down the track and hit it high in the air. Dale Steyn positioned himself at long-on and took the catch comfortably. Tendulkar started walking back to the pavilion after making 28. However, the umpire stopped him and conferred with the TV umpire to see whether Mishra had overstepped. Then came the gaffe.
The first replay was from the stump-camera and it showed that Mishra may just have overstepped. Then they switched over to the mid-wicket camera, which wasn’t conclusive. The third angle was from the covers, which showed that Mishra was fine and the third umpire ruled him out. However, hardly anybody realised that when the camera angle from cover was beamed, Tendulkar was at the non-striker’s end. This could have only meant that it was the replay of the previous ball. How could Tendulkar have been there when he had faced the ball?
Nevertheless, the main question wasn’t whether Mishra had overstepped. The wrong replay was given to the third umpire, who was only perhaps focusing on the line and not the backdrop.
What happened next?
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