Australian coach breaks silence on Muhammad Rizwan’s controversial dismissal
- Web Desk
- Dec 31, 2023
MELBOURNE: Australian coach Andrew McDonald has defended the third umpire’s decision to give Pakistan wicketkeeper Muhammad Rizwan out caught behind in the Melbourne Test, saying that there was enough evidence to support the verdict.
McDonald expressed his surprise at the criticism of Pakistan team director Muhammad Hafeez, who questioned the reliability of technology and accused the umpiring of being inconsistent.
Speaking to the media, McDonald said that he and the Australian players were confident that Rizwan had edged the ball to the keeper, and that the third umpire Richard Illingworth had followed the correct protocol to confirm the dismissal.
McDonald acknowledged that technology is not perfect and can be challenged at times, but he said that it is the best available option to ensure fair and accurate decisions.
Rizwan’s dismissal was one of the turning points of the match, as he was batting well on 35 and had added 79 runs with Babar Azam for the sixth wicket.
Hafeez expressed his frustration with the umpiring and the technology after the match. He said that Pakistan had made some mistakes as a team, but he also felt that the umpiring and the technology had given them a different result than what they deserved.
He said that these are the areas that need to be addressed properly, and that he hoped that the International Cricket Council (ICC) would look into the matter.
Australia beat Pakistan by 79 runs in the second Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Pakistan were bowled out for 237 in their second innings on the fourth day, chasing a target of 317. Pat Cummins was the star of the show for Australia, taking five wickets for 48 runs in 20 overs. Mitchell Starc also chipped in with four wickets for 63 runs in 18.2 overs.
Pakistan’s top order failed to provide a solid start, as they lost Abdullah Shafiq (4) and Imam-ul-Haq (12) inside the first 10 overs. Shan Masood and Babar Azam tried to steady the ship with a 78-run partnership for the third wicket, but both fell in quick succession after reaching their fifties. Masood was caught by Steve Smith off Cummins for 60, while Azam was caught by Alex Carey off Starc for 41.
Pakistan’s middle and lower order could not offer much resistance, as Cummins and Starc ran through the line-up. Saud Shakeel (24), Muhammad Rizwan (35) and Agha Salman (50) were the only other batsmen to reach double figures, but none could convert their starts into big scores. Aamer Jamal, Shaheen Afridi and Mir Hamza were all dismissed for ducks, as Pakistan folded up in 67.2 overs.
Earlier, Australia had declared their second innings at 262 for 10, setting Pakistan a challenging target. Mitchell Marsh was the top scorer for Australia with 96, while Carey made 53. Shaheen Afridi and Mir Hamza took four wickets each for Pakistan, while Aamer Jamal claimed two.
The third and final Test will be played at Sydney Cricket Ground from January 2, 2024. Australia will be aiming for a clean sweep, while Pakistan will be hoping to salvage some pride.