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India v New Zealand 1st Test: Shubman Gill escapes LBW dismissal, Aakash Chopra calls for neutral referees


Indian opening batsman survived an LBW appeal because referee on the field rejected it© BCCI

India concludes the 1st day of the 1st Test against New Zealand at 258/4 at Kanpur, with Shreyas Iyer (75 *) and Ravindra Jadeja (50 *) pulling the team out of a spot of trouble. New Zealand pacemaker Kyle Jamieson was in top form when he took three wickets to reconnect the hosts. But half a century from the willow tree of opening batsman Shubman Gill laid a good platform for the team. But things could have been different if New Zealand had decided to reconsider a referee decision in the 7th over of India’s innings.

Shubman Gill, who used the DRS successfully in the third over of the innings, was hit on the sheet by left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel. There was an appeal, but the referee on the field dismissed it. The Blackcaps decided not to go for the review and repetitions showed that the ball would hit the stumps. Doubt could have crept into the New Zealand captain’s and players’ minds of the fact that Gill had progressed on the pitch and had the ball quite a distance to lay down before hitting the stumps.

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

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Former Indian opening batsman and well-known commentator Aakash Chopra applauded the weak referees on the first day of the match himself and stressed the need for neutral referees, those who are part of the ICC’s elite panel. He suggested in a tweet that if players can stay in bio-bubbles, then why can’t the referees.

“Shubhman was released when there was a big inside edge. Gill reviewed and said #DankieDRS And not given when he was out. All this in the first 40 minutes. If teams can travel bly stay in bio-bubbles… why can neutral referees? #IndvNZ, ”Chopra wrote on his Twitter handle.

The referees for the rest of the match will be further examined after the errors on the first day. This will make the work of the captains more difficult as they will now have to be more vigilant and more decisive in going for reviews.

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