Tuesday, January 8, 2008

If I am not sure, I will ask the umpire: Gilly

Two Australians are in the thick of allegations that they had not acted in the "spirit of the game" as Australia squeezed home to a 122-run second Test victory over India the SCG here on Sunday. It also took them to a record-equalling 16 straight Test victories, but much of the sheen of the feat was shorn by post-match reactions from the Indians.

However, Australia vice-captain Adam Gilchrist rejected India skipper Anil Kumble’s criticism about the lack of sportsman spirit among the hosts and said his teammates don’t regret their behaviour in the Sydney Test. Gilchrist was involved in one dubious appeal himself, seeking a leg-side caught behind against Rahul Dravid. In response to the criticism, Gilchrist told a TV news channel: "There are times when you don’t know. So, you ask the question.

"Every player has a right to ask the umpire. I will say I don’t appeal if I don’t think they are out. If I am not sure, I will ask the umpire and I’ll accept his decision." The other instance was when Michael Clarke claimed a patently dubious catch off Sourav Ganguly later on the inningss and when umpire Mark Benson queried his captain, Clarke confirmed that the take had been clean.

An enraged India captain Anil Kumble later said that only one team had played the game in the right spirit. Responded Gilchrist: "I didn’t see his comments. I would like to think that’s not quite right. We haven’t gone outside any boundaries. I don’t know what Kumble was exactly referring to.

"We obviously enjoyed the end result. Both the teams at any point of time in the game could say they had the upper hand. It was topsy-turvy and we just grabbed it from the jaws of the draw I guess. At the end it was a thrill."