Virender Sehwag had a blank look on his face when England’s players went up in appeal on the very first delivery that he faced on Wednesday morning.
He had moved forward, and seeing the line just outside the off-stump, shouldered arms. The ball pitched and nipped back sharply, to go dangerously close past him.
On its way, it seemed like it hit something; in fact, this writer definitely heard a loudish noise which couldn’t have been anything but a nick. Strangely, umpire Steve Davis didn’t notice it. He negated the appeal.
England, however, were not going to give up so easily: they invoked the DRS. The first replay itself confirmed that the ball had kissed Sehwag’s glove even as he was letting it go. The hot spot too indicated that he was out.
The joke doing the rounds was: why did Sehwag, who is some kind of a walker, not walk? The answer: well, maybe, he didn’t hear it. After all, he is being treated for partial hearing loss, after apparently being exposed to a loud explosion last month.
That’s fine. But why didn’t he feel it? Didn’t it touch the glove? Or maybe, he was just exercising his right to stand there and allow the umpire to make the decision. Which is, of course, absolutely fine.
Funnily, captain MS Dhoni had spoken about exactly such a scenario on Tuesday, the match eve. When asked about Sehwag’s ailment, he said, “He is fine. At the most, he may not hear the nick and not walk.”
Well, one can understand why Sehwag didn’t walk. But what happened to the umpire? Why did he not hear it? Or see it? Maybe, there’s something there too.