Michael Clarke and Sunil Gavaskar furious with officials for stopping play at SCG
Only 25.3 overs of play was possible and it was stopped only due to bad light and not rain.
Updated - Jan 6, 2019 3:21 pm
The fourth day of the final Test between India and Australia was marred by several delays due to weather conditions. In fact, only around 100 minutes of play was possible as poor light made it tough for the officials to allow the players to take the field. The day started on a disappointing note for the fans and the visitors as no play was possible at all in the first session. Overall, India managed to get just 25.2 overs on an entire day in the Australian summer which has left Michael Clarke and Sunil Gavaskar furious.
After the washed out first session, India did not take long to wipe out Australia’s tail. Their final four wickets fell for 64 in the space of 20 overs upon resumption as the hosts were bowled out for just 300 runs in reply to India’s mammoth 622 for 7. With already so much game time lost, Virat Kohli did not hesitate and asked the hosts to follow on. It is the first time Australia were asked to follow-on at home since the Sydney Test in 1988.
But India’s delight soon turned into despair when the umpires brought out the light meters before asking the players to leave the field. Consequently, an early tea was taken. To make matters worse, the players did not return after the break before the day was called off, much to the frustration of a strong Sunday crowd as well as the Indian team. India managed to bowl just 4 overs in the second innings with Usman Khawaja and Marcus Harris managing to keep their wickets intact. This was the second day in a row that the play was called off due to poor weather.
Former skippers furious
Former India and Australia captains Sunil Gavaskar and Michael Clarke, meanwhile, have expressed their anguish over the turn of events in Sydney. A furious Clarke said that ‘it is a disgrace to our game’ that the game was called off despite no rain.
“I think it’s a disgrace to our game. I think it’s sad for Test cricket. We are trying to keep as many eyes on the television and people paying their money to go and watch Test cricket but this is not helping. This is the last thing Test cricket can afford to have no rain yet you still can’t play.
“Millions of dollars are being spent on stadiums all around the world, you got the best lights in the world yet you can’t get back out on the field. It’s disgraceful for our game and quite embarrassing to be honest,” Clarke said.
Echoing Clarke’s sentiments, Gavaskar criticised the decision of the umpires and officials to call off play early once again.
“This has happened on a Sunday. Tomorrow being a Monday, not many people will be able to come and watch the match. Once it’s raining we can understand that there is no play. There has to be something done about this because as Michael said ‘you played a day-night game’, ok the colour of the ball is different but something needs to be done.”
“Where is the question of batsman suffering a serious injury? They have all the protection in the world. Some thought needs to be put because this is the pinnacle of the sport. We have got to get the threshold of where the umpires decide the light is really poor,” Gavaskar opined.
India, meanwhile, have all but sealed their first Test series Down Under. The visitors lead the series 2-1 and look set to win or at least draw the ongoing game.