Bangladesh accuse Kohli of ‘fake fielding’ during tense India victory

Monitoring Desk

ADELAIDE: (Nurul Hasan has alleged that the on-field umpires overlooked an instance of Virat Kohli s “fake fielding” that may have led in five potentially significant penalty runs for Bangladesh following Bangladesh s five-run loss to India on Wednesday.

In the seventh over of Bangladesh’s chase at Adelaide Oval, Litton Das played the ball off Axar Patel in the direction of the deep off-side field. Arshdeep Singh threw the ball, and Kohli, who was positioned at point, pretended to throw the ball as the ball passed him. The on-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Chris Brown didn’t do anything about it at the time, and neither did the Bangladesh hitters (Najmul Hossain Shanto was the other).

Nurul mentioned the incident while talking to reporters after the game.

“We all saw that it was a wet ground,” Nurul said. “Eventually, when we talk about these things, there was also a fake throw. It could have been a five-run penalty. That also could have gone our way, but unfortunately, even that didn’t materialise.”

Cricket’s Law 41.5, pertaining to unfair play, prohibits the “deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of [the] batter”, and if an incident is deemed to be a breach, the umpire can declare that particular delivery as dead ball, and award the batting side five runs.

The replay could be interpreted as an attempt at deception from Kohli, given that Arshdeep’s throw from the deep passed by his right hand at the same moment that he motioned a relay throw. ESPNcricinfo understands that the ruling, which needs to be made by the umpires in real time, is about the attempt to deceive the batters, rather than them actually being deceived.

It was one of three incidents that put umpiring in the spotlight during India’s narrow victory over Bangladesh. The first flashpoint came in the 16th over of the India innings, when Kohli, believing Hasan Mahmud had bowled two bouncers in his over, signalled a no-ball towards umpire Erasmus after top-edging a pull towards square leg.

Erasmus called it a no-ball and then found himself standing between Kohli and Shakib Al Hasan, who had made his way from the covers. A conversation ensued for about 90 seconds before the two players hugged each other and walked away.

The second incident came when the umpires approached Shakib, near the dugout, about play resuming following a rain break at the end of the seventh over, at which point Bangladesh, on 66 for no loss, were 17 runs ahead on DLS.

Shakib first knelt down by the boundary’s edge to get a sample of the wet outfield, before continuing to talk with the match officials. Rohit Sharma, his opposite number, joined in the discussion, but Shakib’s animated gestures suggested that he was not satisfied with the conditions.

Later, in the post-match press conference, Shakib didn’t elaborate on the matter.