Why Tom Hartley was given not out despite the umpire’s call being out?

Why Tom Hartley was given not out

During Day 4 of the second test match between England and India, a huge DRS controversy erupted in Vizag on 5th February 2024 (Monday). England’s spin bowler Tom Hartley was given not out despite the umpire’s call for dismissal.

Tom Hartley opted for a DRS (Decision Review System) when the on-field umpire declared him out for a catch dismissal. As a result, it was the starting point of the controversy.

England lost their 7th wicket of the skipper Ben Stokes for 220 runs. Despite the win looking easier for Team India, Ben Foakes, and Tom Hartley decided to implement different plans. The duo added an 8th wicket partnership of 55 runs from 84 balls, which was looking dangerous for the hosts.

Team India was desperate in search of a wicket to bring back the game into control. 

The joint combination of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin taking 3 wickets each,restricted England to a total of 292-10 in 69.4 overs of the 2nd innings.

Jasprit BumrahRavichandran Ashwin
 46-3 in 17.2 overs ( includes 4 maiden overs)72-3 in 18 overs (includes 2 maiden overs)  

India won the 2nd test match by 106 runs to level the 5-match test series with 1-1. Jasprit Bumrah grabbed the “Player of the Match” award for taking 9 wickets in both innings. Mainly, his 6-wicket haul during the first innings tamed England’s “Bazball” style.

Unfortunately, Ravichandran Ashwin’s 500th test wicket was denied when Tom Hartley was given not out by the umpire. As a result, Ashwin needs to wait for the 3rd test match in this series to achieve his important milestone that starts on 15th February 2024 at the SCA stadium, Rajkot.

Why Tom Hartley was given not out? What happened during the match

By attempting for a reverse sweep shot on the 5th ball of the 63rd over in the 2nd innings bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin, Tom Hartley was given not out by the umpires after taking a DRS.

Indian skipper Rohit Sharma took a brilliant catch of Tom Hartley behind the stumps after the ball went up in the air. Initially, the on-field umpire Chris Gaffaney declared it as “caught out”.

However, Ashwin’s celebration of his 500th test wicket didn’t last for a long time.

After Tom Hartley appealed for a DRS, the replays using the ultra-edge technology indicated that the ball brushed through his arms and not the gloves or bat.

Though the umpire’s call changed to not out, Rohit Sharma discussed with the on-field umpire, having the possibility of an LBW decision to declare it as out. Gaffaney clarified that the dismissal he gave was only for the catch, which has been overturned. Also, he briefed that the decision went upstairs only for a catch review and not LBW.

On the other end, the English batsman-cum-wicketkeeper Ben Foakes was having his laugh.

According to the ICC’s playing condition, it is the responsibility of the umpire to check all the possible modes of dismissal during the ongoing session of DRS.

Additionally, the third umpire reviewed the LBW appeal by checking the ball tracking. Surprisingly, the third umpire’s decision adjudged the batsman as not out.

Despite, the ball being pitched in line, the impact and wickets hitting was from the third umpire’s call.

Even the commentators Eoin Morgan and Ravi Shastri were not able to provide a proper clarification due to the unusual moment of massive confusion.

Tom Hartley’s DRS creates confusion and controversy:

Furthermore, the DRS for an LBW depicted that the impact and wickets hitting of the ball was the umpire’s call. Whereas, the original appeal was only for the catch. It created a huge confusion as the on-field umpire declared the dismissal only for caught behind.

Eventually, Tom Hartley was given not out for LBW, based on the third umpire’s decision. His innings ensured to keep England alive in the chase despite the wickets collapsing at the other end.

Tom Hartley’s early survival: A DRS in the 57th over

Previously, Team India took a review in the 57th over bowled by Ashwin against Tom Hartley by appealing for LBW. Ravichandran Ashwin was confident that it was the pad before the bat that struck the ball.

Upon replay, it was evident that the ball missed the pads as well, resulting in India wasting a review. As a result, Tom Hartley was given not out by the third umpire.  Furthermore, his presence on the crease for a longer time proved to be a threat to Team India.

Interestingly, it was the first attempt of the match when Ravichandran Ashwin missed his 500th test wicket.

Despite, Tom Hartley escaping from a controversial review, he wasn’t successful in maintaining his stay for a longer time at the crease.

Finally, Jasprit Bumrah concluded Tom Hartley’s fine knock of 36 runs from 47 balls, which included 5 fours and a six.

Overall Facts

It could have been a remarkable moment in Ravichandran Ashwin’s test career if he could have got the key wicket. 

After Tom Hartley was given not out, fans were outraged on social media. They shared several posts by pointing out that despite the ball having hit the stumps in an LBW review, the umpire’s call was not out.

Hence, the umpire had to reverse his onfield decision of catch. Whereas the LBW remains the umpire’s call, by declaring it as not out.

Earlier, it was the same England bowler who threatened Team India with his 7-wicket haul in the first match. Once again, Hartley’s batting performance provided a tough scare to the Indian bowlers.

Following the same performance, Tom Hartley as a core spin bowler and handy batsman made an effective contribution in the 2nd test match:

1st innings21 runs from 24 balls (including 2 fours and 1 six)   74-1 in 18 overs (including 2 maiden overs)
2nd innings36 runs from 47 balls (including 5 fours and 1 six)  77-4 in 27 overs (including 3 maiden overs)

In recent times, different types of controversies have arisen in at least any one of the test matches. On the other side, England skipper Ben Stokes blames the DRS system. He feels that the ball-tracking technology was incorrect in determining Zak Crawley’s LBW dismissal in the 2nd innings.

Ben Stokes feels that the Zak after scoring 73 runs from 132 balls (including 8 fours and 1 six), was completely set and confident in guiding his team in a crucial run chase.

Finally, it has been proved that a test cricket is incomplete without any controversies.