The third T20I between India and Afghanistan at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru lived up to its hype as both teams fought tooth and nail, resulting in a thrilling encounter. With the series already in India’s favor, India aimed to clean sweep. The dead-rubber proved to be a nail-biter, going down to the wire and culminating in a second Super Over. In the end, the hosts emerged victorious, adding another win to their tally.
Controversy surrounds Rohit Sharma’s reappearance
The real drama unfolded when India captain Rohit Sharma reappeared to bat in the second Super Over, sparking a controversy surrounding the rules and playing conditions. In the initial Super Over, Rohit had made a strategic decision to swap himself with Rinku Singh during the last ball of the chase.
The confusion arose over whether Rohit was ‘retired out’ or ‘retired hurt’ during the first Super Over. If he was ‘retired out,’ he should not have been allowed to bat again in the second Super Over. However, Rohit not only came out to bat but also scored all 11 runs for India, securing victory.
ICC playing conditions under scrutiny
The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) playing conditions explicitly state that a batter cannot participate in another Super Over if dismissed in the previous one. Moreover, Clause 25.4.2 addresses the rules on ‘retired not out,’ stating that a batter can resume innings if retired due to illness, injury, or any other unavoidable cause.
According to these clauses, Rohit’s re-entry in the second Super Over should have required the consent of Afghanistan’s captain, Ibrahim Zadran. However, the lack of clarity led to confusion for both teams, as highlighted by Afghanistan’s head coach Jonathan Trott in the post-match press conference.
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Coaches share divergent views
Trott expressed his bewilderment, questioning whether there had ever been two Super Overs before. He criticized the lack of communication regarding the situation and emphasized the continuous testing of rules and guidelines in cricket.
“I have no idea. Has there ever been two Super Overs? That’s what I am trying to say. It’s sort of like a new… we keep setting these new sorts of rules. What I am trying to say is we kept testing the rules, we kept testing the guidelines. It was not communicated,” said Trott in the post-match presser.
On the other hand, Indian coach Rahul Dravid seemed to appreciate Rohit’s tactical move, comparing it to the strategic thinking of Ravichandran Ashwin. Dravid, in a conversation with Star Sports, referred to Rohit’s decision to take himself out during the first Super Over as ‘Ashwin-level thinking.’
“It was Ash-level thinking. Taking himself out was Ash-level thinking,” said Dravid.