It’s rare that a failure to review can turn around a match, let alone a World Cup final, but that’s exactly what Steve Smith did.
The Cricket World Cup final was in the balance at 2/47 before the last ball of the seventh over as Australia chased down India’s modest 241 to claim a sixth title.
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Indian quick Jasprit Bumrah was in full action, bouncing back after getting 15 runs in his first over and proving to be a handful for the Australian batters.
Throwing the last ball to Smith, Bumrah delivered a fine ball towards the right-handed Australian’s stumps with umpire Richard Illingworth’s finger raised almost immediately as it hit the cushion.
This sent India into hysteria as they appeared to have claimed Australia’s third wicket.
Smith, as is common in international cricket in 2023, asked partner Travis Head if he should review, but was persuaded to accept the decision.
However, he chose poorly.
Had Smith reviewed the match he would not have been out as his lateral movement across the crease placed him outside the line off stump.
Even if it was going to hit the stumps, if a batter is hit outside the line of the stumps, the appeal should not be withdrawn.
Former India star Dinesh Karthik was celebrating in the commentary box, but said Smith would “regret it”.
For the Australians in the commentary box – Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson – it was a blow as one of Australia’s best hitters was dismissed when he should have been still batting.
“When Steve Smith sees this replay, it’s going to break his heart even more,” Ponting said.
“My heart broke after seeing this. It will certainly break the hearts of Australians,” admitted Watson.
Karthik even offered, “In a way, unfortunately, that also kind of sums up the mindset. If this was a Test match, I can promise you that Steven Smith would definitely have thought about seeing him again because he is the most important wicketkeeper.
“I don’t know how he was convinced not to take the exam today.”
It was a blow Australia didn’t need.
With the runs rate under control after a fast start from David Warner and Mitchell Marsh, Australia were left reeling with many runs still to score.
And the cricketing world couldn’t believe that a batter like Smith would accept it.
Wisden editor Ben Gardner wrote: “Has Steve Smith just not re-watched the World Cup final?
He then added: “Steve Smith is convinced that every heavyweight ever given against him is not retired, except the one that is not actually retired. »
AAP’s Scott Bailey posted: “The one time Steve Smith doesn’t edit…”
BBC Test Match Special commentator Aatif Nawaz commented: “A huge mistake from Steve Smith. The replay showed that the impact was indeed external. Even if it wasn’t close, you wouldn’t deny your best hitter a review with 2 in the bank. This could be expensive…”
Cricbuzz’s Bharat Sundaresan added: “Maybe Jasprit Bumrah’s delivery was so good, and it was, that even Steve Smith decided it deserved a wicket and didn’t review it.” Strange to see him not go for a DRS and that too in the World Cup final.
Andrew Wu of The Age lamented: “There was a time when Steve Smith would have reviewed this straight away. There was also a time when he wouldn’t have missed the ball either.
PakPassion.net editor Saj Sadiq said: “For an experienced cricketer like Steve Smith to not review that LBW was shocking. »
Iceland Cricket couldn’t help themselves.
“Steve Smith clearly believed the rumors that Indian DRS gives every weight if it is a non-Indian batter,” the account posted.
This could have been a game-changer for Australia, but after the wicket, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne steadied the ship.
Head, who may feel somewhat responsible for Smith’s dismissal, brought up 50, while Labuschagne took his time at the other end with his pace well under control.
After 30 overs, Australia were 3/167, with the two sharing a partnership of 120.