Why was Virat Kohli given out against KKR and the laws supporting it?

During RCB’s 223-run chase against KKR, the opening batter Virat Kohli was caught off by a high full toss above the waist height because he was standing outside the crease. Despite reviewing the on-field umpire’s decision, Kohli’s dismissal was validated by the third umpire Michael Gough stating that it was a fair delivery.

The 36th match of the IPL 2024 between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) at Eden Gardens on 21st April sparked a huge controversy regarding Virat Kohli’s dismissal in the 3rd over off the first ball bowled by Harshit Rana.

Virat Kohli believed that it was a no-ball delivery as it appeared to be above the waist height of the naked eye.

Moreover, KKR held their nerves to secure a 1-run victory, thereby eliminating RCB from the playoffs race in the ongoing season.

Was Virat Kohli really out or not out? What exactly happened during the match? What are the opinions of the former Indian cricketers about this no-ball controversy in IPL 2024? Let us scrutinize the reasons in a detailed manner…

What exactly happened during the match between KKR and RCB?

Virat Kohli, who smashed 18 runs from just 7 deliveries (including 2 fours and 1 six wasn’t happy with the on-field umpire’s decision when he was caught and bowled by Harshit Rana’s slow high full toss delivery and indulged himself into a heated argument before departing. 

Immediately, he opted for a DRS (Decision Review System) and the replays from different angles showed that Kohli was standing out of the popping crease

Even the spectators and the commentators felt that it would be a no-ball. Also, Kohli was trying to defend that ball, but he was deceived by the lack of pace.

Despite RCB facing a huge blow at an early stage of the 2nd innings, the half-centuries from Rajat Patidar (52 runs from 23 balls- including 3 fours and 5 sixes) and Will Jacks (55 runs from 32 balls- including 4 fours and 5 sixes) maintained a 102-run partnership to anchor the innings. Especially, Karn Sharma’s cameo of 20 runs from 7 balls (including 3 fours) kept RCB alive in the chase till the last ball of the match.

Meanwhile, the umpires find themselves blasted by several fans for denying the six struck by the impact player Suyash Prabhudessai in the 17th over of the match. Furthermore, the allegations increased to a peak level when the third umpire didn’t even make any attempt to check through multiple camera angles if the ball hit the ground inside or outside the boundary ropes. As a result, fans claim it as a six by expressing their feelings that these 2 runs could have helped RCB secure their 2nd win of the tournament.

Should Virat Kohli be given out or not out?

According to the laws of cricket, Virat Kohli should officially be given out as he was standing out of the crease. But the rule needs to be rewritten as batters cannot stand still inside the popping crease in an upright position while facing a delivery.

Moreover, the ICC’s Law 41.7.1 states that any delivery which passes above the waist height of a batter without pitching while standing upright at the crease is considered as unfair and the umpire shall signal it as a “No-Ball”.

Also, it was calculated that Virat Kohli’s waist height was 1.04 meters, which indicated that the ball could have passed below the waist if he had stood inside the crease. Furthermore, using the hawk-eye technology, the ball was estimated to pass the batter’s waist height at 0.92 metres from the waist height, only if he was standing at an erect position at the crease.

Former Cricketers About Virat Kohli’s Dismissal: Should he be given out or not out?

Former South African cricketer Ab de Villiers supported Virat Kohli by sharing a post on social media platform X, saying that the ball tracking technology needs to be used effectively by drawing the lines. It helps prevent the 3rd umpire from making inaccurate decisions. Also, ABD means that these grey areas in the game open up for anger and confusion, which can be rectified by analyzing the batter’s stance.

Similarly, the retired Indian cricketer and current politician Navjot Singh Sidhu feels that when a bowler delivers a beamer, the ball’s impact with the bat is typically 1.5 feet and above. He voiced his opinion that Virat Kohli should have been given not out and the rule must be changed to avoid similar controversies.

Contrarily, the former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan favoured the 3rd umpire’s decision by believing that it was a legal and slow delivery since the ball was going down. Furthermore, he stated that if Kohli had stood at the popping crease, the ball would have reached lower than his waist’s height.

Conclusion:

The mixed perspectives of former cricketers and fans highlight the complexity of the game and the judgements made by the umpires.

Most importantly, the TV umpires (also known as the third umpires) must avoid making errors during the match by skillfully making use of the ball-tracking technology that has improved cricket over the years. 

Ultimately, Virat Kohli’s no-ball controversy in the ongoing season of IPL 2024 fuelled heated debates among fans and experts, thereby forcing the ICC to review the laws and make certain modifications to ensure a smooth game flow.

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