Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who is known for his top-class fielding, displayed yet another show of outstanding athleticism to mesmerise his fans and the cricket fraternity during a T20 World Cup match against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (November 3).
Afghanistan were 126/6 in the penultimate over of the mammoth run chase when Karim Janat attempted a wild slog off Indian pacer Mohammed Shami.
Jadeja steamed in from the boundary rope and claimed a stunning diving catch just inches above the turf – or so he thought.
“What a beauty!” said former Zimbabwe cricketer Pommie Mbangwa in the commentary.
“You can tell by the celebrations just how good it is. It’s an incredible catch.”
The decision was sent for a review to third umpire Aleem Dar with a soft signal of ‘out’. After looking at the several slow-motion replays, Dar overturned the on-field umpires call and deemed the batter ‘not-out’.
Replays showed that the ball was between Jadeja’s fingers before his hands hit the ground, but Dar believed the ball also made contact with the turf.
“The ball is hitting the ground. I’ve made my decision,” said Dar before displaying his call on the big screen.
Jadeja and Indian skipper Virat Kohli seemed unhappy with the third umpire’s decision.
“He can’t believe it, Ravi Jadeja,” Mbangwa said.
“But I can understand why the TV ump says it isn’t out.
“It’s an absolutely incredible effort, but just as he gets there, he doesn’t quite have it in hand, and it’s sort of between the fingers.
“It seems as it hits the ground, the ground helps the ball into the hands. What an effort, what a pity.”
Although Dar’s decision abided by the laws of the game, it couldn’t stop cricket fans and experts from expressing their anger on social media.
Former South African paceman Dale Steyn tweeted: “That’s a tired call Mr Ump.”
That’s a tired call Mr Ump.
— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) November 3, 2021
England batter Sam Billings wrote: “Thought that was out tbf… Jadeja is ridiculous in the field!”
Thought that was out tbf… jadeja is ridiculous in the field! 👏🏼
— Sam Billings (@sambillings) November 3, 2021
Former Netherlands star Wesley Barresi posted: “That was a spectacular catch from @imjadeja. How that was called not out is a little unfair!”
That was a spectacular catch from @imjadeja. How that was called not out is a little unfair!
— Wesley Barresi (@Pepe_Barezi) November 3, 2021
Here is how fans reacted:
although it was given not out, but man what an effort. Sir Jadeja for a reason. safest hands! pic.twitter.com/G4qblNcX9a
— zain rohaan (@28notorious) November 3, 2021
Third umpire stole Jadeja sir's catch.
— अंशुल (@Ghair_Kanooni) November 3, 2021
Jadeja was winning the catch of the tournament, and then the third umpire happened.
— Saurabh Malhotra (@MalhotraSaurabh) November 3, 2021
TV umpire decisions can be brutal at times. Impact on the ground will obviously make the ball pop a bit but Jadeja did catch it cleanly. Fielders are not wearing mitts. Cut them some slack. Feel for Jadeja. Top catch.#T20WorldCup
— Somshuvra Laha (@IamSomshuvra) November 3, 2021
That’s an ordinary call by the Umpire . Diving catches should be banned I guess 🙄 #jadeja
— Vikram Sathaye (@vikramsathaye) November 3, 2021
— Yahya 🇵🇰 (@KyaaBatHai) November 3, 2021
Catch of the tournament robbed. Sir Jadeja!
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) November 3, 2021
— Prayag (@theprayagtiwari) November 3, 2021
Hard luck, Jadeja. That could have been one of the finest catch ever.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) November 3, 2021
Talking more about the match, blazing half-centuries by opening batters Rohit Sharma (74) and KL Rahul (69) powered India to 210/2 after being put in to bat. The bowlers then shined with the ball as Afghanistan were restricted to 144/7 in their stipulated 20 overs.