Herschelle Gibbs speaks on Umesh Yadav’s controversial catch of Joe Root


On a pitch full of unpredictability, sometimes a catch may go completely wrong even after it has been held by the fielder. And this was seen in the India vs England game yesterday.

England star batsman Joe Root was caught out and the catch became the talk of the town due to the manner in which the catch was celebrated.

Root’s catch, held by pacer Umesh Yadav in his own delivery in the 81st over of the first Test at Rajkot on Wednesday, was brought under the scanner because Yadav, ecstatic after taking the most important wicket, threw the ball back in the air without it being settled in his hands.

Whether the ball settled in Yadav’s hands or not had to be consulted by the field umpire with the third umpire, who gave it a green signal.

Soon after Root’s dismissal, the commentators compared the catch with South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs, who had done been in a similar situation after taking Steve Waugh’s catch, but the umpires had ruled out the appeal.

It was the Super Sixes clash of the 1999 World Cup and Australia were chasing 272 for a win. Captain Steve Waugh was on 56 and offered a simple chance to Herschelle Gibbs at mid-wicket. Gibbs caught it but in his completely haste to throw it up in celebration, happened to dropped the ball.

“Mine happened quicker than Yadav’s”, Gibbs said, speaking exclusively after watching the video of Umesh’s catch.

“Having looked at to-day’s catch and comparing it to mine which happened at the 1999 World Cup, in my opinion there’s not much difference other than Yadav held onto the ball slightly longer than I did.”

“He actually had control of the ball and threw it in the air, where as I wanted to throw it up but dropped it in the process”, he added. “Mine was not out but Yadav’s catch was valid. The umpires got it right both times”, Gibbs signed off.

After this blunder, most people blamed Gibbs for “dropping the World Cup” and the catch went down in history as one of the most careless and unjustified drops.

India and England are currently playing the first of their 5 Tests at Rajkot. This will be followed by 3 ODIs and 3 T20 games scheduled for early 2017.