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India vs New Zealand 1st Test: Shubman Gill Escapes LBW Dismissal, Aakash Chopra Calls For Neutral Umpires

India opener survived an LBW appeal as the on-field umpire turned it down© BCCI

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India ended 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 bother. New Zealand paceman Kyle Jamieson was in top form as he picked up three wickets to peg the hosts back. But a half-century from the willow of opener Shubman Gill laid a good platform for the team. But things could have been different had New Zealand decided to review an umpiring decision in the 7th over of India’s innings.

Shubman Gill, who had used the DRS successfully in the third over of the innings, was hit on the pad by left arm spinner Ajaz Patel. There was an appeal but the on-field umpire turned it down. The Blackcaps decided to not go for the review and replays showed that the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps. The doubt could have creeped into the New Zealand captain and players’ mind from the fact that Gill had advanced down the track and the ball had quite a distance to travel before hitting the stumps.

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

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Slamming the poor umpiring on the first day of the match itself, former India opener and renowned commentator Aakash Chopra highlighted the need for neutral umpires, those who are part of ICC’s elite panel. He suggested in tweet that if players can stay in bio-bubbles, then why can’t the umpires.

“Shubhman was given out when there was a huge inside edge. Gill reviewed and said #ThankYouDRS And not given when he was out. All that in first 40 mins. If teams can travel…stay in bio-bubbles…why can’t neutral umpires? #IndvNZ,” Chopra wrote on his Twitter handle.

The umpiring in the rest of the match will be scrutinised further after the mistakes on the first day. This will make the job of the captains tougher as they will now have to be more vigilant and be more decisive about going for reviews.

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