Sydney: Feb 26, 2012
It seems controversy can never be far behind if India are playing Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The venue of the infamous '2008 monkeygate scandal' was in focus yet again on Sunday during the ODI tri-series match between the two sides, which are becoming synonymous with intense rivalry in international cricket.
After an 'obstructing the field' appeal against David Hussey was turned down during Australia's innings earlier in the day, the run out of Sachin Tendulkar (14) became quite dramatic during India's chase.
The action unfolded after the final delivery of the Indian innings' seventh over, being bowled by Brett Lee.
Gautam Gambhir called for a single to which Tendulkar responded only to be run out by David Warner. The twist in the tale was Lee's presence in Tendulkar's way while the Indian was sprinting towards the crease.
Lee ran across the pitch towards the ball and then stopped to observe as Warner ran in from point and sent down a direct hit.
Tendulkar threw his arms up in frustration when the ball hit the stumps, making it clear that he wasn't happy with Lee blocking his way but umpires Simon Taufel (at square leg) and Billy Bowden ruled against the batsman after some deliberation.
Lee, who was fielding at the boundary after the over, was seen having an animated chat with Indian batsman Rohit Sharma though it was not known what the two players were talking and smiling about.
Non-striker David Hussey answered his partner's call but as he was completing the run, the Aussie put his right hand out to stop the ball from hitting him.
Indian skipper Dhoni appealed for an obstructing the field dismissal which is allowed under the ICC rules.
Bowden and Taufel referred the matter to third umpire Simon Fry, who decided in favour of the batsman by concluding that he was merely trying to avoid getting hit himself instead of saving the stumps.
Dhoni was not quite happy with the decision and had a chat with Bowden about it for quite some while.
This was not the first time in the series that India were at the centre of a run out drama.
In a previous match, Sri Lankan Lahiru Thirimanne's stumps were removed by Ashwin at the non-striker's end as the batsman had been backing up far too much despite repeated warnings.
In that instance, India's stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag had decided to withdraw the appeal as he felt it was against the spirit of the game.
In 2008, the ground was witness to an ugly racial abuse spat between Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds. It came to be known as the 'monkeygate scandal'. (PTI)