India vs New Zealand 1st Test: Shubman Gill escapes LBW dismissal, Aakash Chopra calls for neutral umpires. cricket news

India opener survives LBW appeal as on-field umpire turns it down© BCCI

India ended the first day of the first Test against New Zealand on 258/4 in Kanpur, with Shreyas Iyer (75*) and Ravindra Jadeja (50*) pulling the team out of trouble. New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson was in top form as he picked up three wickets to put the hosts back. But opener Shubman Gill’s half-century set a good stage for the team. But things could have been different had New Zealand decided to review the umpiring decision in the 7th over of India’s innings.

Shubman Gill, who successfully used DRS in the third over of the innings, was hit on the pads by left-arm spinner Ejaz Patel. An appeal was made but the on-field umpire turned it down. The Blackcaps chose not to go for a review and replays showed the ball was going to the stumps. Doubts could have arisen in the minds of the New Zealand captain and players that Gill had pushed the track and the ball had to travel a long distance before hitting the stumps.

Gill, who was batting on 6 at the time, scored 52 runs before being dismissed by Jamieson. Getting that wicket early in the match would have given the Kiwis an edge. Due to the COVID-19 protocol and bio-bubbles, local umpires are being used in Test cricket.

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Criticizing the poor umpiring on the very first day of the match, former India opener and noted commentator Aakash Chopra highlighted the need for neutral umpires, who are part of the ICC’s elite panel. He suggested in the tweet that if players can live in bio-bubbles then why not umpires.

“Shubman was given out when there was a big inside edge. Gill reviewed and said #thank you udrs and did not give when he was out. All that in the first 40 minutes. If teams can travel… stay in bio-bubbles… why not umpire neutral? #IndvNZChopra wrote on his Twitter handle.

After the mistakes of the first day, the umpiring will be scrutinized for the rest of the match. This will make the job of the captains more difficult as they will now have to be more cautious and more decisive about going for review.

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