How Steve Smith Exploited a Loophole For Extra Reviews Against India in Indore

Last Updated: March 03, 2023, 14:14 IST

Steve Smith signals for a third umpire review. (AP Photo)

Steve Smith signals for a third umpire review. (AP Photo)

On multiple occasions, Australia appealed for stumping chance against India forcing the on-field umpire to go for a review

Steve Smith may think his time as Australia Test captain has passed as he threw his weight behind full time skipper Pat Cummins but his knowledge and cricket acumen is second to none. An example of it was on full display, on multiple occasions, during the second day of the third Test between India and Australia in Indore when Smith exploited a loophole in match playing conditions to get extra reviews so he wouldn’t have to waste any of his three DRS calls.

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For the uninitiated, each team gets to make at most three incorrect appeals for reviewing an on-field decision per innings of a Test. And at times, teams have ended up burning all three of their DRS calls leaving them with no option to review any on-field decision later on should they deem it to be wrong.

How Smith Exploited the Loophole

During India’s second innings, quite often when an Aussie spinner would beat the edge of a batter, wicketkeeper Alex Carey would take the bails off and let out an appeal for possible stumping. The umpire at square leg then would decide whether to judge it by himself or use umpire review to send it upstairs.

Nothing wrong, right?


However, as when the decision for a stumping chance is reviewed, the third umpire has to go through the process of checking whether the ball may have taken an edge en route to the wicketkeeper’s gloves before checking for stumping.

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This means in the scenario of an edge, a favourable decision would have been had without the fielding team captain having to dip into his limited DRS resources and there’s no cap on how many reviews an umpire can call for.

And should there be no edge or stumping, no reviews are lost either leaving the fielding side in a win-win situation.

Followers of the game were quick to spot the tactics which few termed as ‘genius’ while others claimed it didn’t look good Smith’s part.

Australia went on the beat India by nine wickets in Indore.

Former India cricketer Parthiv Patel praised Smith’s captaincy while pointing out the ‘loophole in the rule’.

“There is a loophole in the rule. Steve Smith is aware of that and he exploited the loophole. The on-field umpire should avoid going to the third umpire if he is sure that it’s not out when there is an appeal for a stumping,” Patel said on Cricbuzz.

“The ideal solution is that the TV umpire should only review the stumping if the appeal is made only for a stumping. A caught behind should not be checked unless the fielding captain opts for a review,” he added.

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