Indian star Hardik Pandya’s reaction to his wife Natasa Stankovic’s angry dismissal against New Zealand has caused an internet storm.
For those who don’t know, he was given the vice-captaincy of India in controversial circumstances In the first ODI in Hyderabad, the umpire was heavily criticized on social media.
The shocking episode took place in the 40th over of the home team’s innings when Hardik Pandya went for a cut shot against New Zealander Daryl Mitchell. But the 29-year-old cricketer mistimed his shot and the ball went into the gloves of Tom Latham, who kept wickets for the visitors. The ball went wide of the wickets, the wickets fell and the Kiwis appealed for dismissal.
The on-field umpires asked the third umpire to decide whether Hardik Pandya was out or not. KN Ananthapadmanabhan then looked at multiple replays before declaring India to be battered. It came after shots from various angles that it was Tom Lathan who bailed out.
After the decision was shown on the big screen, a shell-shocked Hardik Pandya went back to the pavilion.
This decision irritated Natas Stankovic, who shared his opinion on the matter on Instagram.
Natasa Stankovic wrote: “No bats involved, no discharges. But how is this?”
Soon, the Serbian dancer/model’s post went viral on the popular video and photo sharing platform.
Apart from Natasa Stankovic, former cricketers and Indian cricket fans were stunned after the umpire’s decision.
Former India coach Ravi Shastri, who was in the commentary box at the time, felt that India’s batting “didn’t come off”. “Oh, granted! Daryl Mitchell should be happy,” Shastri said on live television.
“I must be really happy because if you look again at where the keeper’s gloves were, where the ball was when it went through the stumps, the ball looked at least an inch and an inch and an inch. -Above half-stump… It is clear that the ball is above the bail. You can see when you go through the gloves, there is no red light, only after that. Come on. From this point of view, you can see that the gloves are closer to the hostages than to the ball.
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also felt that Hardik Pandya’s call by the vice-captain of the Indian cricket team was clearly unfair by the umpire.
Ravichandran Ashwin tweeted: “Forget split screens and replays, Shubhman Gill’s clipped frame proved why Hardik was not in the clear.”
Cricketer-turned-commentator Wasim Jaffer shared similar sentiments and tweeted: “Hardik robbed there.”
Meanwhile, Shubman Gill, who was on the non-striker’s side when the incident happened, also thought that Hardik Pandya was not in the field.
“As a non-striker, even watching the replay, I didn’t think the ball hit the stumps. Sometimes there’s a blind spot – you can’t really tell what’s going on. I thought with the bail falling towards the crease, if the ball hits like that and the bail falls towards the crease, it’s a bit strange,” Shubman Gill said in the post-match press conference.
“These pledges are different. This is a heavy bail and the stumps are a little different. But at the end of the day, you have to go with the third referee and respect his decision.”
Coming back into the match, India put 349/5 on the board in their allotted 50 overs courtesy of Shubman Gill’s double hundred as they made 208 off 149 balls.
If Gill was India’s batting hero, New Zealand’s reply was led by Mohammed Shami and Michael Bracewell, who was equally good at wreaking havoc on company.
At 110/5, the Black Caps looked down, but the whole complexion of the game changed quite quickly when Michael Bracewell reached the crease.
Michael Bracewell dealt boundaries and sixes throughout the batting and brought up his hundred in just 57 balls. He then took the Kiwis extremely close to victory with 20 runs needed to win the final.
The left-hander then hit a six off the first ball of the 50th over. However, the dream of eliminating New Zealand was not fulfilled as Shardul Thakur got him out LBW to give India a narrow 12-run victory over the Tom Latham-led side.
After India managed to run away and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, Shubman Gill revealed that Ishan Kisha is one of his closest friends in the dressing room.
“He (Kishan) is one of my best friends. I was there when he scored the ODI double hundred and it was special. It feels good when you want to do something and do it regularly. Definitely a sense of satisfaction. It (two tons) sank very well. The game was much closer than I expected,” said Shubman Gill.
“He (Kishan) disrupts my entire pre-match routine because he doesn’t let me sleep. He does not use headphones and watches the movie at full volume. Isko main gaali deke bolta hu bhai awaz kam kar le ya earphones laga le. Par ye bolta hai ‘tu mere room mein so raha hai. Meri marzi se chalega. Har roz ladai hoti hai. (I swear at him and ask him to turn down the volume, but he says it’s his room and the rules will suit him. I fight him every day). This is my pregame,” he added.