Former Indian skipper and current expert commentator, Sunil Gavaskar never shies away from expressing what he feels. Whether he agrees or disagrees, he has to say it loud and clear. His disagreement with Nasser Hussain’s comment that the previous generation of the Indian cricketers used to get “bullied” is known to everyone. This time it’s his views on Rishabh Pant being asked not to bat outside of his crease by the umpires. Gavaskar expressed his dismay on Day 3 of the third Test match of the series at Headingley in Leeds.
Gavaskar said that footmarks do not decide a batsman’s stance. He wondered why Pant was told to change his stance. He also gave the whole situation benefit of the doubt as he said that he had only read about the incident. Did not for sure whether this actually happened. Sunil Gavaskar said that the batsmen can stand anywhere on the pitch, even “on the middle of the pitch”. He reminded everybody of the situation when batsmen go “down the track against the spinners”. Because footmarks can form even in this case.
Sanjay Majrekar, his fellow commentator called the whole incident “ridiculous”. Rishabh Pant had spoken about this whole incident after India was bowl out for 78 on the very first day of the match.
The cricketer said that he was standing outside the crease and his front foot had been coming into the “danger area”. So, the umpire told him that he could not stand there. He changed his stance after this. Also said that he did not think much about this as every player was going to do that and in his opinion. Umpires were going to tell the same thing to all those players as well. He said that he did not do the next ball and moved on.
This whole incident raises the question of whether it is high time that ICC goes back to its two neutral on-field umpires for the Test matches rule. This rule was suspend due to travel restrictions during the pandemic. Meanwhile, India regained its lead as Cheteshwar Pujara stayed unbeaten on 91 with skipper Kohli on 45.