The Indian umpire Nitin Menon is once again in news but this time it is not in connection with the dismissal of Virat Kohli but because of non-dismissal of Australian cricketer Steve Smith.
Nitin Menon is the third umpire in the ongoing fifth and the final test match of the Ashes series which is being played at The Oval, London. Australia will retain the Ashes even if England wins this match and level the series by 2-2 but as of now, it will be a little difficult to predict the winner of this test match.
The toss was won by the Aussies and they put the hosts to bat first, England put a total of 283 runs in their first innings with the help of a brilliant knock of Harry Brook who scored 85 runs. In response, Australia had a steady start but soon English bowlers bounced back and there was a time when Australia was reeling at 185/7 and there was good chance that they would have ended up trailing if Steve Smith had not played a gutsy knock of 71 runs.
However, when Steve Smith was at the score of 48, an interesting incident happened which left everyone praising umpire Nitin Menon for making a correct decision.
Steve Smith played the third ball of the 78th over to the midwicket and he wanted to get two runs but a superb throw from substitute fielder George Ealham was collected by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow who removed the bails without any delay. The English players made a strong appeal for run-out and the on-field umpire referred the decision to the third umpire. Prima Facie, everyone felt that Steve Smith was out and even the Aussie batter started walking towards the pavilion after seeing the replay on the big screen but the third umpire Nitin Menon kept on watching replay and that too from different angles because of which he realized that Jonny Bairstow removed one bail when the ball was not in his hands and till the time the ball reached his hands and he completely dislodged the bails, Steve Smith was inside the crease.
Here is the video:
George Ealham 🤝 Gary Pratt
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 28, 2023
The decision was booed by the English crowd and the commentators also debated on this matter but in the end, everyone had to agree that Nitin Menon made the correct and difficult decision.
Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also praised Nitin Menon as he tweeted, “What’s with the Ashes and substitute fielders. #ashes2023 #ashes2005 #garypratt #georgeeahlam Have to applaud Nitin Menon for making the right decision”
Have to applaud Nitin Menon for making the right decision 👏👏
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) July 28, 2023
Australia managed to take a lead of 12 runs in the first innings and as of now, England has taken a lead of 139 runs as it has scored 151/2 with Ben Stokes and Joe Root on the crease.
Great decision Nitin Menon.