Indian seamer Umesh Yadav could have been denied the wicket of Joe Root. And he must express his gratitude to former South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs for his catch which dismissed well settled England batsman Joe Root, who was batting on 124. There was a drama regarding Umesh’s catch. There was a question that whether he had full control over it or not. But the change of law in 2000 helped Umesh to take the wicket after his compatriots dropped few catches on day one of first Test at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
On day one just before the drinks break Root played back towards Umesh Yadav, who grabbed the ball and within few seconds tossed it up in celebration, maybe too early. He then lost control of the ball. But TV replays and third umpire confirmed he had the control over the ball for some considerable time.
It would have been given not-out if it had happened in pre-2000. The law of catching changed after a controversial catch taken by Gibbs during the 1999 World Cup. Australian captain Steve Waugh flicked the ball at the square leg where Gibbs was fielding. The acrobatic fielder grabbed the catch and threw it up immediately. But he lost the control; as a result, the ball fell on to the ground. It happened quickly, so it seemed that Gibbs had no control over the catch. It was the last Super Six match of the 1999 World Cup. Waugh was ruled not out due to previous prevalent law. After his drop catch the famous sledging from Waugh came, “You’ve just dropped the World Cup.” (Blind cricketers have exceptional qualities, says Rahul Dravid)
As per the ICC’s Law of 32 and code number 1980, “The act of making the catch shall start from the time when the fieldsman first handles the ball and shall end when he both retains complete control over the further disposal of the ball and remains within the field of play.” So as per this law then Gibbs didn’t had control over the ball and now neither Umesh Yadav. (Positive footwork was the key, says Joe Root)
But then how Root was given out. It was a dramatic situation. After the Gibbs’ incident, a few changes were made to the catching law. Now it reads, “The act of making the catch shall start from the time when a fielder first handles the ball and shall end when the fielder obtains complete control both over the ball and over his movement.”
In the new rule, the part of disposing of the ball has been removed. The only thing that mattered was whether he was in control when he palmed the ball or not. The reply showed that Yadav after grabbing the ball kept it in his hand for a good two to three seconds before he decided to toss the ball up with a smiling face as he finally got rid of much waited wicket of Root. The replays convinced the umpires that Yadav has had a complete control over the ball so they gave Root out.