The appeals from R. Ashwin on day one of the Ranji Trophy match between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were vociferous. They were turned down, though, by the umpire.
And frayed tempers were on view. Ashwin appeared devastated. M. Vijay, standing at slip, took his cap off in dismay but had the presence of mind not to throw it down in anger.
After the day’s play, Vijay was fined 10 per cent of his match fee by match referee Nitin Goel for his angry expression of dissatisfaction with a decision.
The two on-field umpires Pandit and Anil Dandekar had to step in. Dandekar held Vijay’s hand to calm the cricketer down.
Tamil Nadu coach Diwakar Vasu said later, “It’s all a part of the game. It’s heat of the moment. The stakes are high. It would help if more technology is used in Ranji Trophy.”
In the minutes before tea and just after the break a string of close decisions went against Ashwin and Tamil Nadu.
The host believed it had the left-handed Pawan Deshpande caught behind on two occasions at 56, by ‘keeper N. Jagadeesan. The umpire remained unconvinced.
Minutes earlier, when Deshpande was on 55, Ashwin had a strong leg-before shout - the batsman was struck on his back leg - turned down.
Then after tea, Ashwin had another full throated appeal for leg-before - B.R. Sharath was on zero - negated by the umpire.
All four decisions were given by umpire Pandit; there was no review or DRS in this match for Tamil Nadu to challenge the verdicts.
The heat was on at the NPR ground. But the cricketers, irrespective of the verdict, should not cross the line of acceptable behavior.
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