Mumbai: Rising Pune Supergiant’s Ajinkya Rahane and Mumbai Indians’ Harbhajan Singh defended Rohit Sharma, who was fined 50 per cent of his match fees after a heated exchange with on-field umpire S Ravi on Monday.
The final over of the MI vs RPS game at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday witnessed a heated conversation between Mumbai Indians skipper and the on-field umpire.
Having seen Rohit shuffle across the stumps, Jaydev Unadkat pushed the third delivery of the over wide and Rohit, realising that the ball was veering away from the guideline for wide deliveries, left it alone.
But umpire S Ravi didn't call it a wide that infuriated Rohit and he started arguing with Ravi forcing the square-leg umpire A Nand Kishore to intervene.
Asked about the issue, Rahane said, "That was a right call by the umpire. As a batsman when you move and if the bowler bowls outside that area goes to the bowler. Rohit's behaviour at that point was natural. Somewhere as a captain, as a player you feel when the match is so close. I don't think there was any fault in Rohit's behaviour."
"That happens on the field and remains on the field, it is part and parcel of the game. It will also happen in future, but you should respect the umpire's decision."
"The ball was too far outside, to be honest, but I don't really know whether it was wide or not," Harbhajan told reporters at the post match conference.
"If both the batsman's leg move, then bowler should get the margin, but Rohit's one leg had moved and as per me it should have been a wide. But we have to move on with the umpire's decision and they played better than us and it was great game of cricket.
"He (Rohit) wanted to check what is the rule then, where he need to stand, he did not shout at the umpire and asked him why did he not call a wide, he was asking where should I stand so that it is called a wide, if the bowl so outside, the more you move, the bowler will get the margin," he explained.
Harbhajan also differed that because of that particular ball, the hosts and especially Sharma lost the momentum.
"I don't know whether momentum was lost (because of the wide not being called), Rohit was hitting nicely but unfortunately he ended up hitting the ball straight in the air. That's what happens, cricket is game, anything can happen," he said.
"Just before that he hit a six and a similar ball went up in the air. I don't think momentum would have lost, at that time (you need to do) as a batter, just see and hit the ball, Rohit was batting on 50 odd, so don't think there were chances to lose the momentum," he added....