The heat is on – both literally and metamorphically- at the Optus Stadium in Perth as New Zealand continues to battle to stay in the contest against a fiery and relentless (but Josh Hazlewood-less) Australian pace attack. After having been ground into the dust by the Australian batsmen, the Kiwis top-order was rocked by the duo of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood as they knocked over both Jeet Rawal and Tom Latham.
Reeling at 2-2, New Zealand needed their most-experienced pair of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson to address the fledgling ship. It could have even more disastrous for New Zealand had Tim Paine opted for the Decision Review System [DRS] after it was clear on replay Williamson had nicked a Pat Cummins delivery to the wicket-keeper.
The Austrians weren’t really sure and decided against taking it upstairs. Generally, the batsman’s reaction gives you an indication as to whether he has nicked or not, but Williamson’s poker face ensured he didn’t give anything away.
Interestingly, someone who knows a thing-or-to about having nicked and not walked, Stuart Broad replied to the video posted by cricket.com.au where he was seemingly shocked as to why Williamson didn’t walk. Broad replied, “Did he not walk?! Wow”
Did he not walk?! Wow
— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) December 13, 2019
Stuart Broad hadn’t walked after clearly edging to slips during the 2013 Ashes
For the uninitiated, Stuart Broad came under heavy scrutiny when he chose not to walk after having clearly edged the ball to first slip during the 2013 Ashes. He was treated with hostile reception across Australia during the 2013-14 Ashes, and fans, after all these years, still did not forget to remind Broad that Williamson’s nick wasn’t as obvious as his.
Whether a batsman should walk after he has clearly nicked the ball or not, has always been a topic of huge contention and has often been equated with the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ and ‘morality’. Adam Gilchrist was one of the rare batsmen who walked after edging the ball. That was during the 2003 World Cup semi-final.
According to Gilchrist, the reason for him walking was that in the past whenever he had nicked and not walked, he did not score much! But, even if a batsman doesn’t walk, he shouldn’t be judged on ‘morality’ because that is the job of the on-field umpire.
Coming back to the game, it took a one-handed screamer from Steven Smith to dismiss Kane Williamson as Australia continue to tighten the screws on the Kiwis with Mitchell Starc bamboozling Henry Nicholls and Neil Wagner to reduce the Kiwis to 5-97, in reply to the home sides’ first-innings total of 416.
Watch: Quinton de Kock’s brilliant run out in MSL 2019
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