10 Sachin Tendulkar innings that ended in shocking umpiring decisions

Sachin Tendulkar (above) was dismissed leg-before by Shane Shillingford and showed a hint of disappointment on umpire Nigel Llong s decision as the ball had hit him high on the back leg © IANS

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

The build-up to the Eden Gardens Test was like an opulent North Indian wedding. Kolkata was awash with Sachin Tendulkar mania after it was known that the City of Joy would play host to the maestro’s 199th Test — the penultimate of his glittering career.

West Indies batted first, much to the disappointment of Tendulkar fans. But on Day Two, the maestro arrived to a reception that seemed as if the whole of Kolkata were giving him a standing ovation. The decibel level of the cheers was deafening.  There were early indications that Tendulkar would sustain his brilliant, match-winning effort against Haryana in what was his final Ranji Trophy outing. But it all ended in the most  unexpected and sad manner — Tendulkar was declared out lbw by umpire Nigel Llong to a ball from Shane Shillingford that seemed to be sailing over the stumps.

In a long career, Tendulkar has been a victim of a number of umpiring howlers. These decisions left cricket-crazy India fuming. While Tendulkar himself took the decisions in his stride without protesting, there usually was a huge uproar in India and the umpire found himself scrutinised like never before.

Here is a list of the 10 most shocking umpiring decisions that ended Tendulkar’s stays in the middle:

1. India vs Australia, 2nd innings, 1st Test at Adelaide Oval, 1999

Sachin Tendulkar lbw b Glenn McGrath 0

It is easily the most forgettable decision Tendulkar has received on the field of play. India were tottering in the second innings against Australia at Adelaide and captain Tendulkar was their only ray of hope. However, all those hopes withered away when he ducked to a short ball from Glenn McGrath. Instead of going over his head, the ball stayed low and hit a ducking Tendulkar on the shoulder. The Australians appealed and umpire Daryl Harper adjudged him leg-before. Shoulder-before-wicket, some said!

2. Australia vs India, 1st innings, 1st Test at Brisbane, 2003

Sachin Tendulkar lbw b Jason Gillespie 0

Steve Bucknor, a man who had an uneasy relationship with the Indian team, was at it yet again. In the first Test of India’s 2003-04 tour Down Under, Tendulkar walked in with the score of 62 for two. Jason Gillespie bowled one on a length and Tendulkar decided to pad this sharply rising delivery. It struck him high on the front-leg and there was no chance it would have hit the stumps. However, “slow-death” Bucknor raised his finger to everyone’s astonishment.

3. India vs Pakistan, 2nd innings,  2nd Test at Kolkata, 2005

Sachin Tendulkar c Kamran Akmal b Abdul Razzaq 52

India and Pakistan were involved in a see-saw contest at Kolkata with Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid gradually taking the game away from the tourists. However, India were dented when Tendulkar was dismissed on 52 courtesy a dubious decision by Steve Bucknor — who was umpiring n his 100th Test. The ball moved away from Tendulkar and he was completely beaten as he wafted his bat at it. The ball was nowhere near the edge of the bat, but the Pakistan team appealed and Bucknor raised his finger. Prior to his dismissal, Tendulkar complained to Bucknor about the poor light and in the end it looked like the umpire was more handicapped by it.

4. England vs India, 1st innings, 2nd Test at Nottingham, 2007

Sachin Tendulkar lbw b Paul Collingwood 91

Simon Taufel is one of the finest umpires the game has seen and when he committed one of his rare errors against Tendulkar; he certainly felt the heat. India had dismissed England cheaply at Nottingham and were building a good lead. Tendulkar was marching towards his hundred and on 91 he decided to pad an innocuous delivery from Paul Collingwood. The ball was clearly holding its line outside off-stump and hit Tendulkar high on the front pad. Taufel thought otherwise and gave a surprised Tendulkar the marching orders.

5. England vs India, 2nd ODI at Bristol, 2007

Sachin Tendulkar c Matt Prior b Andrew Flintoff 99

In 2007, Tendulkar invariably fell in the 90s and the umpires played their part too. In a one-dayer against England at Bristol, Tendulkar motored along to 99 and looked set to break the jinx. Andrew Fintoff bowled one short that rose as it got to the batsman. Tendulkar shouldered his arms at that one and the ball flicked his arm. Matt Prior dived to his right and collected it. The England team appealed and the umpire adjudged Tendulkar out. Tendulkar walked back to the pavilion with a grin that expressed astonishment at his fate.

6. India vs Australia, Coca-Cola Cup final at Sharjah, 1998

Sachin Tendulkar lbw Michael Kasprowicz 134

Tendulkar was toying with the Australian bowlers on his 25th birthday and looked set taking India to a triumph in the Coca-Cola Cup final. On 134, he tried to flick Michael Kasprowicz on the on-side, but was struck on the pads. Umpire Bucknor thought it was going on to hit the stumps and gave him out. The replays showed that the ball was pitched outside leg stump and was going to miss the stumps.

7. Deccan Chargers vs Mumbai Indians, Indian Premier League game at Hyderabad, 2011

Sachin Tendulkar c Dale Steyn b Amit Mishra 28

This incident wasn’t so much about the umpires, but the duty of the broadcasters in providing the right footage to the third umpires. In this particular game, Tendulkar charged to Amit Mishra, but holed out to long on. The umpires wanted to confirm whether Mishra had overstepped and called the third umpire to adjudicate. The stump camera showed that there was nothing behind the line. The second replay – an angle from the mid-wicket boundary showed that Mishra may have been on the line. However, the umpire gave the decision based on the third replay which showed that Mishra was comfortably in. The only problem was that Tendulkar was on the non-strikers end in the third shot. Instead, he should have been on strike. This incident was first pointed out by this writer on CricketCountry.
8. England vs India, 7th ODI at Lords, 2007

Sachin Tendulkar c Matt Priot b Andrew Fliintoff 30

This was yet another poor decision during India’s tour to England in 2007. In the seventh and final game of the series, India were batting first and were in a bit of a spot. Tendulkar was the in-form batsman and was anchoring the innings. Flintoff moved one ball past Tendulkar’s outside edge and it didn’t make contact with the bat. The bat had brushed the pad, but umpire Aleem Dar opined it was out.

9. Australia vs India, 1stinnings, 3rd Test at Perth, 2008

Sachin Tendulkar lbw Brett Lee 71

The aftermath of the controversial Sydney Test saw India make a dramatic comeback at Perth. Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid laid a solid foundation for the win with a good partnership on the first day. During his 71, Tendulkar looked at ease on the fastest pitch in the world. However, a Lee thunderbolt hit him on the pads and as a result he had to walk back to the pavilion. It was too high and considering the bounce at Perth, it wouldn’t have disturbed the woodwork.

10. India vs Australia, 4th ODI at Mohali, 2009

Sachin Tendulkar lbw Nathan Hauritz 40

Tendulkar looked set to score his 17,000th run in ODIs when he missed a Hauritz delivery which wrapped him on the pads. It was a dubious call as the ball may have missed leg stump.

Article idea inspired by Harikrishnan Umamaheswaran of Sachinandcritics.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)