In the second ODI between India and Australia at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, a very unusual incident took place during the first innings.
In the 34th over when Indian skipper Virat Kohli was batting on 81, left-arm Australia spinner Ashton Agar bowled a juicy good-length delivery in the vicinity of off-stump. On this, Kohli played a delicate late cut to beat a sprawling Marcus Stoinis at short third man. Such was the timing of the shot that the ball crossed the boundary rope.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the batsman, the umpire signalled a dead ball long before the events were set in motion. After noticing that Agar’s blue towel had dropped to the turf from the back of his trouser, umpire Anil Chaudhary quickly made the signal.
But Kohli’s eyes were fixated on the bowler’s arm and he did not notice the umpire’s signal of crossing and uncrossing the arms in front of the body. When the ball sped away to the ropes, the right-hander thought that he had accumulated a boundary. After the umpire repeated the signal, he soon realised that the ball was dead and proceeded to sport a wry smile on his face.
At the other end, Agar had a wily grin on his face as the boundary did not count. Australia certainly did not complain as they have four fewer runs to score.
What do the rules exactly state?
According to Law 23.4 of MCC’s playing regulations, the ball is dead when:
– the striker is distracted by any noise or movement or in any other way while he is preparing to receive, or receiving a delivery. This shall apply whether the source of the distraction is within the game or outside it.The ball shall not count as one of the over.
– there is an instance of a deliberate attempt to distract under either of Laws 42.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker) or 42.5 (Deliberate distraction or obstruction of batsman). The ball shall not count as one of the over.
– the bowler drops the ball accidentally before delivery.