top of page

WTC Final - Virat Kohli not happy with Umpire's review on caught behind, Sehwag says Funny Umpiring

After winning the toss on Day 2, New Zealand asked Team India to bat in World Test Championship (WTC) Final at the Rose Bowl, Southampton. In the 41st over of the game an incident happened that didn't go well with many cricket pundits and cricket fans. Some found Umpire Richard Illingworth's decision funny and some found it really confusing.

Virat Kohli not happy with Umpire's decision on caught behind
Virat Kohli playing down the leg, no spike found on Ultra Edge.

Let's see step by step explanation of the incident-

Trent Boult vs Virat Kohli Appeal

India were struggling at the score of 88/3 as Cheteshwar Pujara was sent back by Trent Boult off a peach of a delivery nipping back in. Four balls later, Boult bowled to Virat Kohli and appealed for a catch down leg as he heard something when the ball went past the leg side of the batsman who unsuccessfully tried glancing it.

Trent Boult thought he had got Virat Kohli edging down leg to the keeper and appealed confidently. Meanwhile, umpire Richard Illingworth started discussing with leg umpire Michael Gough without giving any soft signal. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson went up to the umpires but Illingworth denied the player review as he thought he heard something too.

Umpire Review used

Illingworth and Gough started consulting the TV Umpire Richard Kettleborough, effectively using the Umpire Review to confirm the catch because Illingworth thought Kohli had nicked it. According to the rule, Umpire can ask for an on-field decision of catch to be reviewed by third umpire, even if they need to give soft signal.

What was the Soft Signal here?

Here, Illingworth thought Virat Kohli has nicked the ball. They referred upstairs for checking the catch. Was catch taken by Watling was clean?

Yes. It was clearly visible from the naked eyes. Many fans were fumed over it.

What was the Third Umpire's Judgement?

Third Umpire declared Virat Kohli Not-out because Ultra Edge showed no spike when ball passed the bat on screen.

Is Third Umpired allowed to check Ultra Edge as well when he's only referred for the Catch?

Yes, according to the protocol, third umpire can check that too.

The ICC playing conditions mandate:

2.2.3 The third umpire shall determine whether the batsman has been caught, whether the delivery was a Bump Ball, or if the batsman obstructed the field. However, in reviewing the television replay(s), the third umpire shall first check the fairness of the delivery for all decisions involving a catch (all modes of No ball except for the bowler using an Illegal Bowling Action, subject to the proviso that the third umpire may review whether the bowler has used a prohibited Specific Variation under Article 6.2 of the Illegal Bowling Regulations) and whether the batsman has hit the ball. If the delivery was not a fair delivery or if it is clear to the third umpire that the batsman did not hit the ball he/she shall indicate to the bowler's end umpire that the batsman is Not out caught, and in the case of an unfair delivery, advise the bowler's end umpire to signal No ball. See also paragraph 2.5 below. Additionally, if it is clear to the third umpire that the batsman is Out by another mode of dismissal (excluding LBW), or Not out by any mode of dismissal (excluding LBW), he/she shall notify the bowler's end umpire so that the correct decision can be made.


If a decision is referred to Third Umpire for catch, apart from the catch, he/she is also empowered to check the legality of the ball whether it was a No Ball (overstepping) or not and batter hit the ball or not.

See how people on react on Twitter on Umpire's decision and confusion.

Virender Sehwag found it funny as without giving soft signal it eventually became a review. Has umpire not referred, New Zealand might have lost another review.

It will really calm things down for Virat Kohli fans at least if there is any formal explanation to the case.


bottom of page