Former Australia spinner Shane Warne has criticised India for maintaining a slow over-rate in the first ODI of the ongoing series against Australia, saying that the team has been ‘fluffing around’ between overs.
The Indian team copped flak for their slow over-rate in the first game, their first one-day international this year since February. Virat Kohli’s team clocked four hours and six minutes to complete their quota of 50 overs in their 66-run loss in Sydney. Unsurprisingly, the team was fined 20 per cent of its match fees by the ICC, after match referee David Boon imposed the sanction.
India have been fined 20 per cent of their match fee for maintaining a slow over-rate against Australia in the first #AUSvIND ODI.
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) November 28, 2020
Speaking at the Fox Cricket pre-match show ahead of the second ODI between the two sides, Warne said: “I don’t think it’s so much bowling the overs, it is more or less in between overs fluffing around. The batsman is just about ready… why isn’t the bowler back to the top of his mark waiting? The batsman is ready. They’re just fluffing around.
“The real issue is in-between overs, not getting back to your mark quick enough. Four hours and six minutes [the length of India’s fielding innings] was ridiculous, and you see that – that’s why it takes four hours and six minutes.
“That shouldn’t be happening, you should be running around to your spot. It’s a summer sport, it’s hot, it’s going to be hot and unfortunately, you’re fielding first.”
With Hardik Pandya not bowling in the first game due to a recent surgery, India were left with five bowling options to finish their quota. With the first innings taking over four hours, the entire game went way past the stipulated time; Steve Smith conceding that it was the “longest 50 overs in the field I’ve ever had”.
Other former cricketers also joined the chorus against India’s struggling over-rate: on Twitter, Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, called the over-rate “appalling”, going on to question India’s defensive body language, and terming their fielding standards ‘shocking’.