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The Roar


Instant karma: Inside Cummins' strange day of DRS as captain cruelled by early tech call, but benefits late on

29th December, 2023
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29th December, 2023
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Pat Cummins has experienced the highs and lows of the DRS system with the tightest decision imaginable going against him in the morning – only for a similarly slim margin breaking the game in his favour late on in the afternoon.

The Aussie captain was given out caught behind after a wafer thin edge – so close that Hot Spot saw nothing, but Snicko said it was hit – but saw karma swing back with a bouncer that was adjudged by the tech to have hit Mohammad Rizwan on wristband of his glove.

 “For me, conclusive evidence was the ball on top of that wristband attached to the glove, with the spike,” said ex-umpire Simon Taufel on the Seven coverage.

“(I’m) very comfortable from where I’m sitting that Richard Illingworth the third umpire had conclusive evidence to overturn that decision.”

Rizwan was on 35 and leading a fightback that had threatened to bring Pakistan back into the game, and was clearly angered by the call.

“He’s not happy, Rizwan,” said Wasim Akram on Fox Cricket.

“He’s showing his mark just on his forearm. In the end, unfortunately for Pakistan, Rizwan had to go.

“He played well. He’s got this massive mark on his forearm, this white-coloured mark, but on the replay, it definitely looked like it hit the wristband of the glove straight away.”


Michael Vaughan was convinced that it was out.

“He (Cummins) said he knew it hit something,” said the former England captain.

“It’s just come off that wristband which is attached to the glove. He can’t believe it, Mohammad Rizwan. He played so well but Australia again have got the key wicket at the crucial time.

“I think there’s enough there. It comes straight off that Gray-Nicholls emblem.”

The earlier Cummins wicket, a feather through to Rizwan off the bowling of Aamer Jamal, had been the major talking point of the opening hour at the MCG, with the Aussie captain given out despite what appeared to be a clear gap between bat and ball.

The hotspot tech didn’t find anything of note, but when the Snicko came, it produced a tiny glimmer of movement, enough to see the original call of out maintained.

The CEO of the company behind Hot Spot has said that there might have been an error in the technology on the ball that saw Cummins given out.


Speaking to Newscorp, Warren Brennan – owner of BBG Sports and inventor of the tech used in Australia – said that there could well have been an error that produced the spike on Snicko, perhaps with a scrape of Cummins’ boot producing a false positive.

“I guess when you’ve got two different opinions, sometimes they can differ,” he said.

“Hot Spot will give you one side of the story with one technology and Snicko will give you something else with the audio.

“Most of the time during a Test match they agree. But I think this is probably one of those ones that may have fallen through the cracks.

“Just going back historically, when we developed this stuff we were honest about Hot Spot and we said look sometimes it misses stuff.

“But when it does miss stuff, it’s generally on the fast ball when the batsman is taking a big swing. That wasn’t the case in this one. It was more of a forward sort of jab nowhere near biggest swing.

“So I think, in my own opinion, I think he probably didn’t hit that one. I don’t think Hot Spot would have missed that one.


“But at the same time, there was definitely a noise out there somewhere and it was in the correct spot for Snicko.

“So I think what happens in these instances, ICC umpires are trained to, if the noise is in the correct spot that they normally see, then they’ll give it out.”

Taufel was steadfast behind the technology.

“This has got to do the calibration between sight and sound,” he said. “Sound does travel at different speed to light.

“Before each day’s play, the technology providers go out and calibrate the sounds particularly and so what we’re looking for is a spike as the ball goes past the bat or up to one frame past the bat which allows that distance between the noise and the stump microphone.”

Over on Fox, however, even the Poms thought it was a tough call.


“I’m not sure how you can give that out,” said Isa Guha.

“It was given out on field, there is a little spike as it goes past, but you can clearly see there was daylight between bat and ball. The glimmer is a noise, that could be anything.”

Vaughan added: “It looked like there was a gap between the ball and the bat.

“The glimmer with the ball passing the bat isn’t quite synced. There’s a gap between the ball and the bat which is a concern for me, it looks like there is a bit of fresh air.”

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg speaks during the 2018 NRL Finals Series Launch at Allianz Stadium on September 3, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.

(Matt King/Getty Images)

Aussies have to save Test cricket, says Greenberg

Saving Test cricket is Australia’s responsibility, according to Australian Cricketer’s Association (ACA) CEO Todd Greenberg.


Speaking to Newscorp, the former NRL CEO explained that the current crisis facing the longest form of the game would be under real threat in a decade if the Big Three nations, particularly Australia, did not invest in the other countries and their ability to compete.

“My message is, ‘we’re under pressure’,” he said.

“And pressure might be a good thing, because it will lift all of our opportunities up and make us the best we can be, but other countries are really struggling.

“And we can’t play against ourselves. So I’d like to think that Test cricket is more than just Australia, England and India in ten years’ time.

“We want to make sure that Pakistan and South Africa and New Zealand and others can continue to play against us.

“I worry that countries like South Africa and New Zealand in ten years’ time may no longer be able to afford to have their best players playing and disappearing because of the push and pull of global leagues. So that is a concern. And I don’t think I’m being an alarmist. I think I’m being a realist.”

“We’re already seeing countries all over the world and particularly in New Zealand, South Africa, where that’s already happening.


“And so my message is, ‘it’s not happening here at the moment, and it might not feel like it’s gonna happen here at the moment, but it’s happening in other countries in our sport.’

“So we’d be crazy not to think that those pressures aren’t going to be applied to us at some point in time. So we’ve got to have this conversation now. Make sure we’re ready.”

‘One of the best fielders in Pakistan’? Bizarre claim over cordon nightmare

Pakistan have rallied around embattled fielder Abdullah Shafique after his drop of Mitch Marsh that opened the door for Australia to take control of the Boxing Day Test.

The opening batter dropped a sitter with the allrounder on 20 and Australia 100 runs ahead – and it cost the tourists badly, with Marsh and Steve Smith going on to add a partnership of 156, batting almost all the way to the close.

Nevertheless, bowler Mir Hamza backed his teammate in.

“Abdullah is one of the best fielders in Pakistan, and dropped catches are part of the game. It’s OK,” said Hamza.


The seamer cleaned up Travis Head with one of the balls of the year earlier in the day and generally reflected well on his performance.

“It was a dream for me,” he said.

“Playing in Melbourne and playing against one of the best teams, Australia, and to give two breakthroughs in one over for my team.

“Playing after a long time, to be very honest, I was talking to myself that I have to prove myself if I want to play international cricket for my country.

“If you see my last three matches, I bowled well but I didn’t take wickets for my team. In this game, I always wanted to take wickets for my team.”

Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith.

Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith. (Photo by Morgan Hancock – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)


Marsh backs any total defence

Mitch Marsh will back Australia in to defend any total against Pakistan after the allrounder steered the hosts out of major trouble in the Boxing Day Test.

Australia will head to the MCG on day four of the second Test with a lead of 241, largely thanks to Marsh’s sparkling 96 amid a barrage of Pakistani swing bowling.

Marsh joined Steve Smith when Australia were reeling at 4-16 on Thursday, but their 153-run stand has likely batted Pakistan out of the match on a wearing pitch.

The last team to score more than 300 in the fourth innings of an MCG Test was Pakistan in a losing cause back in 1990.

Marsh joked that Australia’s tail could still push their lead up to 500 when Alex Carey and Mitchell Starc resume at 6-187 on Friday.

“I think if we were all out now we would feel very much in the game,” Marsh said.


“I don’t necessarily want to put a number on it for our bowlers, but we know that they can certainly hold the bat.

“A couple of good partnerships with some tired bowlers now, hopefully we can get up towards the 300 mark, but I guess anything from here we’ll take.”

Marsh praised MCG curator Matt Page for putting together a pitch that has resulted in two entertaining days of cricket once the rain cleared after a dreary opening on Tuesday.

The MCG was infamously slapped with a “poor” rating by the International Cricket Council following a dull Ashes draw in 2017.

But in the years since, the MCG has become one of the best wickets in the country and is on track to produce a result for a sixth straight Test.

“We’re now deep into the third innings yet bowlers are still massively in the game, and that bodes well for us if we can get a few more runs,” Marsh said.

“With our bowlers, hopefully there’s still enough seam movement – certainly with the new ball it sort of died off a little bit around the 35-over mark.


“But there’s still enough and I guess that’s what you want, you want it to be entertaining.”

With AAP