India beat West Indies by 4 wickets in the 3rd ODI to clinch the 3-match ODI series 2-1 on Sunday. Chasing a steep total of 316, the openers laid the foundation for the Indian team once again before skipper Virat Kohli played a brilliant knock of 85 off 81 balls for contributing to India's victory. But there is an incident from the game that has been a subject of discussion.
During the 9th over of India's run-chase, India opener KL Rahul decided to not offer a shot although he had got into a position to play the ball. Having made the right footwork, the 27-year-old player could have been given out had the ball hit the stumps. As soon as he pulled out from the Keemo Paul delivery, Rahul signalled towards the square leg region to indicate some sort of disturbance. The batsman gestured that he was distracted, perhaps by the in-stadium music, which took time to stop and hence, refused to face the ball at the very last minute.
Umpire Nitin Menon deemed the delivery as a dead ball, which did not amuse West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard. Pollard was later seen discussing with the umpire about the fact that the batsman had almost played a shot before pulling out. Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who was commentating during the India vs West Indies match, agreed with Pollard's assessment by saying that Rahul actually looked to play the ball and added that if that ball had gone onto the stumps, he really would’ve been in trouble. Former West Indies pacer and one of Gavaskar's co-commentators, Ian Bishop later clarified that music was played just as pacer Keemo Paul approached the crease and that perhaps distracted the batsman. The play continued without any further fuss and Rahul added 60 more runs thereafter before Alzarri Joseph got the better of him with a well-directed bouncer on 77.
@irbishi kL rahul moving due to an announcement at the ground as the bowler started bowling and he got distracted— Alok Deshpande (@alok_de) December 22, 2019
I've never seen that before. How can that be dead ball? KL Rahul went forward and then back to it!— cricketingview (@cricketingview) December 22, 2019
Surely that was too late for KL Rahul to back way from the stumps? Plus, he played at it! Ally that to several missed wides, and umpires Nitin Menon and Shaun George haven't had the best of days.#INDvWI🏏🇮🇳🌴— Guerilla Cricket (@guerillacricket) December 22, 2019