Ball changes create drama on day three of Oval Test

Umpires change the ball three times in the final session, with India unhappy with the cherry.

Ajit Vijaykumar 2018/09/09

The Indian team were left frustrated after two ball changes out of a total of three in the final session of Day Three of the final Test at The Oval left them with a less responsive cherry.

The Duke ball that India received for the second innings went out of shape after 20 overs and India demanded for a change of cherry. Umpire Kumar Dharmasena decided to change the ball after the older one was found to be out of shape.

However, the ‘new’ ball provided to the Indians turned out to be in poor condition. While the earlier ball the Indians had was out of shape, it had a good shine on one side and was moving considerably in the air and off the pitch. However the changed ball lacked any shine and was equally dull on both sides which meant hardly anything for the quicks to work with.

Captain Virat Kohli was visibly upset at being forced to bowl with a ball that was going to do nothing for his bowlers. He asked umpire Dharmasena to change the ball again but couldn’t do so.

And just as expected, the swing and seam died down completely.

Three overs later, the ball went out of shape again and India got the ball changed. The ‘newer’ ball produced a wicket first ball with Ravindra Jadeja landing the ball in the footmarks and bowling Moeen Ali through the gate. However, it was the same story when it came to the seamers as the ball pretty much went straight on.

Alastair Cook and Joe Root got to bat in the best conditions and push the lead towards 150. However, a third ball change close to stumps saw them receive a cherry with a much better shine and Jasprit Bumrah started to move the ball both ways immediately.

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