WTC Final: Utilization of soft signal in question as Shubman Gill’s dismissal sparks debate

In a pivotal moment during the ICC World Test Championship Final, the absence of the soft signal came under scrutiny as the TV umpire was faced with a challenging decision in the second Test match since its removal.

Shubman Gill’s shot off Scott Boland resulted in an edge that flew towards slips, where Cameron Green made a low catch, diving to his left. However, uncertainty arose regarding whether the ball had made contact with the ground while Green was completing the catch. As a result, the decision was referred to television umpire Richard Kettleborough.

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Despite Green managing to get his fingers under the ball, Gill and his opening partner Rohit Sharma believed that the ball might have grazed the ground during the process. This led to extensive deliberation, as Kettleborough meticulously reviewed numerous camera angles and replays to make an informed decision.

Eventually, after careful examination, the catch was given, and Gill, visibly frustrated, had to depart from the field of play. Interestingly, this incident occurred right before the tea break, with India already one wicket down in their pursuit of a record-breaking target of 444 runs.

The absence of the soft signal, a feature previously employed to provide initial guidance to the third umpire, raised questions regarding its exclusion in this crucial match. The soft signal, which allowed on-field umpires to indicate their initial opinion on close catches, acted as a reference point for the TV umpire’s decision-making process.

While the incident sparked debate and left Gill disappointed, it also highlighted the need for clarity and consistency in decision-making procedures. The match continued with India facing a formidable challenge to achieve an unprecedented chase and rewrite the record books.