India star Hardik Pandya’s wife Natasa Stankovic’s reaction to his resentful dismissal against New Zealand has taken the internet by storm.
For the uninitiated, India’s vice-captain got under controversial circumstances in the first ODI in Hyderabad, leading to heavy criticism of the umpire on social media.
The shocking episode happened in the 40th over of the home team’s innings when Hardik Pandya went for a cut-shot against New Zealand pacer Daryl Mitchell. But the 29-year-old cricketer mistimed his shot and the ball went into the gloves of Tom Latham, who kept wickets for the visitors. Like the ball whizzed past the wicketsthe bails fell and the Kiwis appealed for a dismissal.
When the on-field umpires were unsure whether Hardik Pandya was out, they asked the third umpire to take the decision. KN Ananthapadmanabhan then looked at several replays before declaring the Indian batter out. This came after shots from various angles appear to indicate that it was Tom Lathan who had untied the bails.
When the decision was shown on the big screen, a shell-shocked Hardik Pandya walked back to the pavilion.
The decision shocked Natasa Stankovic, who took to Instagram to share her reaction to the case.
Natasa Stankovic wrote: “No bat involved, no throw out. So what’s up?”.
Soon after, the Serbian dancer/model’s post went viral on the popular video and photo sharing platform.
Apart from Natasa Stankovic, former cricketers and Indian cricket fans were stunned after the umpire’s decision-making.
Former India coach Ravi Shastri, who was in the commentary box at the time, opined that the Indian batter was “not out”. “Oh, it’s out! Daryl Mitchell should be happy,” Shastri said on live television.
“Should be really happy because if you look again at where the keeper’s gloves are, where the ball is when it passes the stumps, it looked like the ball was at least an inch, inch and an inch. -half over the stumps.. . The ball clearly appears to be over the bail. You can see when it goes past the gloves, there is no red light, it’s only after that. Go ahead. From that angle you can see that the gloves are closer to the hoops than the ball,” he added.
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also felt that Hardik Pandya was done with the umpire, whose call was clearly not fair to the Indian cricket team’s vice-captain.
“Forget about split screens and replays, the cut shot from Shubhman Gill proved why Hardik was clearly not out,” Ravichandran Ashwin wrote on Twitter.
Cricketer-turned-commentator Wasim Jaffer shared similar views and tweeted, “Hardik robbed there.”
Meanwhile, Shubman Gill, who was at the non-striker’s end when the incident took place, also believed that Hardik Pandya was not out.
“Being a non-striker batsman, I didn’t think the ball hit the stumps even when I saw the replay. Sometimes there is a blind spot – you can’t really tell what happened. I thought with the bail falling towards the crease, it’s a bit strange if the ball hits like that and the bail falls towards the crease,” said Shubman Gill at the post-match press conference.
“These bails are different. It’s a heavy bail and the stumps are a bit different. But at the end of the day you have to go with the third umpire and respect his decision,” he added.
Coming back to the game, India posted a mammoth total of 349/5 on the board in their allotted 50 overs, thanks to Shubman Gill’s blistering double hundred which eventually came out for 208 off 149 balls.
If Gill was India’s batting hero, New Zealand’s reply was led by Michael Bracewell, who was equally good at wreaking havoc on Mohammed Shami and company.
At 110/5, the Black Caps were looking down, but when Michael Bracewell arrived at the crease, the whole complexion of the game changed quite quickly.
Throughout his knock, Michael treated Bracewell in boundaries and sixes, bringing up his hundred in just 57 balls. Afterwards, he took the Kiwis extremely close to victory with 20 runs needed to win in the last over.
The left-hander then hit a six on the first ball of the 50th over. But his dream of taking New Zealand over the line was not fulfilled when Shardul Thakur got him out LBW, giving India a narrow 12-run triumph over the Tom Latham-led side.
After India managed to escape and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, Shubman Gill revealed that Ishan Kishan is one of his closest friends in the dressing room.
“He (Kishan) is one of my best mates. I was there when he scored his ODI double hundred and it was special. It feels nice when you want to do something and it comes off at regular intervals. Definitely a sense of satisfaction. It (double ton) has sunk in pretty well. The game was a lot closer than I expected,” said Shubman Gill.
“He (Kishan) ruins my entire pre-match routine as he doesn’t let me sleep. He does not use headphones and watches movies at full volume. Isko main gaali deke bolta hu bhai awaz kam kar le ya headphones laga le. Par ye bolta hai ‘tu more room mein so raha hai. More marzi see chalega. Have roz ladai hoti hai. (I abuse him and ask him to turn the volume down but he says it’s his room and the rules will be up to him. I fight him daily). That’s my pre-fight,” he added.