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Feb 9, 2014
India lost the first Test against New Zealand by an agonising 40-run margin in Auckland on Sunday. They were chasing an imposing 407-run target and despite a spirited batting display, but were eventually bowled out for 366 towards the end of Day Four. But there were two contentious umpiring decisions which went against India that potentially changed the outcome of the match.
First was the decision to give Ajinkya Rahane out leg-before for 18 off 21 deliveries. Rahane was batting with confidence and scored quickly. Left-arm medium-fast bowler Trent Boult bowled an in-coming length delivery that crashed onto Rahane’s pads. The New Zealand players appealed and the umpire Steve Davis raised his quickly.
Replays showed that the ball had taken a huge inside-edge off Rahane’s bat and then hit the pads. At the time India were at 268 and Rahane was the fifth wicket to fall. The Decision Review System (DRS) has not been used in the series and if it was, then Rahane’s decision would have been overturned.
Then right at the end, captain MS Dhoni was also dismissed in controversial circumstances. On the last ball of the 96th over, Neil Wagner came in from round the wicket and bowled a slower bouncer. Dhoni tried to pull, but got a thick inside-edge and the ball clipped the off-bail. The New Zealand players celebrated wildly, but the umpires wanted to have it re-checked for a no-ball.
It seemed that Wagner’s landing foot had touched the wide crease line. Replays appeared to show that Wagner’s foot might have cut the side crease. But the umpires ruled in favour of Wagner on terms that there was no conclusive proof whether the foot actually landed on the line or whether it was bulged in the air and looked like it was over the line.
In the end, Dhoni walked back scoring a quick-fire 39 off 41 deliveries. Then three deliveries later, Ishant Sharma was dismissed by Boult and New Zealand won the match to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series.
Also on cricketcountry.com