MI vs DC: The 13th match of the Indian Premier League, which was played between the defending champions Mumbai Indians and Rishabh Pant-led Delhi Capitals has witnessed many controversies after its conclusion.
After Kieron Pollard’s ‘Mankad’ warning to Shikhar Dhawan, now the ‘wet ball‘ has become another topic to debate on. What exactly arose the controversy is the decision of on-field umpires to change the ‘wet ball’ after Rohit Sharma’s request.
The ball was clearly slipping from bowlers’ hands during Delhi Capitals chasing and it was becoming tough to bowl with that wet ball in the situation. Rohit Sharma after 13th over urged the umpires to change the ball, and as per request, umpires did what they have been asked.
However, this was not the case when Punjab Kings took on Delhi Capitals in the 11th match at Wankhede Stadium. Even in that match, the ball was slipping from bowlers’ hands and it had become almost impossible to deliver with that ball and considering the situation of their bowlers, KL Rahul, the captain of Punjab Kings asked the umpires to change the ‘wet ball’. However, umpires completely denied his demand and asked them to bowl with the same ball.
Irfan Pathan, who was commentating during MI vs DC on Tuesday even raised the same question and said that rules should be the same for every team.
“Why has wet ball changed today by Umpire while KL Rahul asked for same against DC in 11th match but the umpire didn’t change the ball. Rules should be Equal for all the teams”, said Irfan Pathan during commentating.
The dew has been a big factor at the Wankhede, making it easier to chase totals in night games as the ball comes better on to the bat in the second innings. Moreover, spinners struggle to grip the wet ball and find it hard to get any purchase from the surface, as was seen on Sunday when the ball slipped from Jalaj Saxena’s hand during his delivery stride and landed behind him. Rahul said his side expected those challenges but it’s not easy to overcome them.
KL Rahul, the Punjab Kings captain, also shared his thoughts on the same in the post-match conference on Sunday. He said that there should be a provision to change a wet ball during the second innings of a T20 game, especially in dewy conditions else the bowling team faces a “huge disadvantage”.
Defending 195 against the Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday, the Kings’ bowlers struggled with the dew, forcing Rahul to even check with the umpires if the ball could be changed. The playing conditions didn’t allow that and the Capitals went on to win the game with ten balls to spare.
“I think that [the ball change] will really be fair to the team bowling second, and I am not just saying that because I am on the losing side,” Rahul told Star Sports at the post-match presentation. “I think that’s only fair that the team bowling second doesn’t have such a huge disadvantage. Our bowlers try and practice their skills with the wet ball, but when you go out in the middle with the pressure it’s always difficult. I did ask the umpires to change the ball a couple of times, but again, it’s not in the rulebook, so that’s how the game goes, we’ve got to take it.”
“It was not something that was unexpected. When we come to Wankhede, we know that bowling second is always a challenge. We, as a bowling unit, tried to prepare for such conditions as well, but, again, it does get a bit difficult in a game situation, and especially when you are bowling against quality batters.”
Meanwhile, Punjab fans are also furious with the decision and are sharing their thoughts on the same on Micro-blogging website Twitter.