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Ashwin’s cheeky ‘umpire’s call’ dig at Ben Stokes as Australia fight back to script New Zealand whitewash

The dismissal of Mitchell Marsh led to Ashwin taking a cheeky dig at England captain Ben Stokes as he re-ignited the ‘umpire’s call’ debate

Following his heroics with the ball in his 100th Test appearance for India in the win against England in Dharamsala, Ravichandran Ashwin decided to spend the Monday morning catching the action between Australia and New Zealand in the second Test. On day 4 of the match, Australia successfully chased down the target of 279 against the hosts at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch to script a three-wicket win and subsequently register a whitewash.

Ashwin watched the Day 4 proceedings of Australia vs New Zealand 2nd Test

En route to the chase, Australia found themselves in a bit of trouble on Monday after New Zealand fast bowler Ben Sears broke the 140-run stand between Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey, dismissing the all-rounder, before getting rid of Mitchell Starc as well in the next ball to reduce the visitors to seven down.

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Sears served a fuller delivery to Marsh, angled towards the leg side as the batter was beaten by the pace with the delivery hitting the pads. New Zealand appealed immediately and the umpire signalled it out, however Marsh was not convinced, believing that it probably missed the stumps, and hence opted for a review. The replay showed no bat involved as the ball struck in front of middle and leg and it clipped the outside leg stump, which was for the umpire’s call to stand.

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The dismissal of Marsh for 80 off 102 led to Ashwin taking a cheeky dig at England captain Ben Stokes as he re-ignited the ‘umpire’s call’ debate which the all-rounder had sparked during the Test series against India.

Ashwin tweeted: “An umpires call to push this test to a nail biting finish. Some support from England to Australia for (tick emoticon).”

Last month, Stokes called for the Decision Review System (DRS) to scrap umpire’s call after he was baffled at the decision over Zak Crawley’s second-innings dismissal in the third Test against India in Rajkot.

“We’ve been on the wrong end of three umpire’s calls this game and that is part of DRS. You’re either on the right side or the wrong side. Unfortunately, we’ve been on the wrong side. I’m not saying and never will say that’s the reason why we’ve lost this game, because 500 is a lot of runs. It is not something you pin down to result of the game. Sometimes when you are on the wrong end of those decisions it hurts but that is part of the game. You want them to go your way, sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t,” he said.

“You just want a level playing field. The umpires have an incredibly hard job as it is, especially in India when the ball is spinning. My personal opinion is if the ball is hitting the stumps, it is hitting the stumps. They should take away ‘umpire’s call’ if I’m being perfectly honest. I don’t want to get too much into it because it sounds like we are moaning and saying that is why we lost the Test match.”


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