England captain Eoin Morgan believes contested catches are an unavoidable part of the landscape after watching Glenn Maxwell cash in on a debatable decision and power Australia to victory in Hobart.
Maxwell’s superb 103 not out saw the hosts to a second straight win in the Trans-Tasman T20 series, having thrashed New Zealand in Sydney, but it might easily have been a very different story.
Having already been dropped by Alex Hales on 40 he chipped the ball to long-off on 59, where Jason Roy stooped to claim a low catch.
Standing umpire Gerard Abood offered a ‘soft signal’ of out but sent it for review and was overturned by colleague Chris Brown, despite typically inconclusive replays and the precarious position of the match.
Morgan felt that was the wrong call but shied away from a hard luck story, admitting there was no easy way to avert such controversies.
“Jason said it was out. I trust the player’s call, I agreed with the on-field umpire at the time, but I can understand how it got overturned,” he said.
“Sometimes you don’t get those decisions going your way. There were two dropped catches, officially.
“My opinion doesn’t really matter but we always know TV makes it look worse than it is.”
Asked if he would support a review of umpiring protocols for similar incidents, Morgan demurred.
“I would say yes but I don’t know how, I don’t have an answer,” he said.
“If there’s no right answer to something then you can’t correct it. I’m all for reviewing catches.
“If the umpire is 60 metres away and can’t see he needs to go upstairs but there’s no solution to it yet. Until somebody comes up with one I’m not sure.”
Morgan did not allow the issue to shunt his side’s dreadful batting collapse too far into the shade, making it clear a total of 155 for nine was unacceptable.
Dawid Malan’s stylish 50 had steered the side to a sturdy halfway score of 96 for three but Australia’s bowlers took full control in the second part of the innings.
England bowler David Willey removed David Warner, Chris Lynn and Travis Head cheaply to make a game of it but the hosts held on for a five-wicket success.
“The batting stands out like a sore thumb,” Morgan added.
“It was a really bad day for us with the bat. We were looking at 170-180 plus but we were 25 short of par.”
Maxwell, back in the spotlight after playing no part in the Ashes and only the final game of the one-day series, offered his own assessment of the Roy catch.
As a regular boundary rider in the field he can see both sides and was happy to leave the decision to Brown and his television monitor.
“As a fielder you think you catch it,” he said.
“When it doesn’t go completely cleanly into your hands and it’s more of a fingers catch you always have that little bit of doubt and you’re almost trying to convince yourself that it’s out.
“The rule states if the ball touches any part of the ground (it is not out) and it looked like it was touching part of the ground when it came up on the big screen.
“You’re trying to get the best decision for the game and making sure all the little errors in cricket are scratched out by technology.”