Cape Town — In a Test match that is likely to be decided by the barest of margins on Friday, the spotlight has been placed firmly on the Umpire Review Decision system after the Indian team were left fuming on Thursday here at Newlands.
The furore erupted when on-field umpire Marais Erasmus’s decision was overturned after he had adjudged Proteas captain Dean Elgar to be out LBW. Television replays indicated otherwise though, much to the surprise of both Elgar and Erasmus, who was overheard on the stump microphone as saying “That is impossible”.
And although India ultimately gained their revenge with the final ball of the day when DRS ruled in their favour on this occasion to eventually dismiss Elgar caught down the leg-side, the initial frustration with use of technology by the host broadcaster SuperSport was made very clear.
Kohli led the charge when he walked up to the stumps and yelled: "Focus on your team while they shine the ball. Not just the opposition. Trying to catch people all the time," before being joined by vice-captain KL Rahul, saying: "It's the whole country against 11 guys."
Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin chimed in with "You should find better ways to win, SuperSport."
The Proteas tried to diffuse the situation with fast bowler Lungi Ngidi stating that at the close that “It's (DRS) the system in place. That's what we use as cricketers."
India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey was also not willing to take the matter further, only claiming that the visuals were there for everyone to witness.
"We saw it, you saw it. I'll leave that for the match referee to have a look at it. There's nothing I can comment on it now. We've seen it all, just want to move on with the game now," Mhambrey said.
South Africa seemed to profit in the immediate aftermath with Keegan Petersen, in particular, taking advantage of the Indian bowlers and fielders letting their frustration get the better of them with a flurry of boundaries.
"Reactions like that show a bit of frustration and sometimes teams capitalise on that. You never want to show so much emotion, but we could see emotions were high. That tells us they are feeling a little bit of pressure,” Ngidi said.
"That was a good partnership [Elgar and Petersen] for us and they really wanted to break it. Those feelings ended up showing there. Everyone reacts differently and what we saw there was what those guys were feeling at the time."
The emotions will certainly run high again on Friday when the series will be decided. It will certainly be a career-defining day for many, with Petersen, who is unbeaten on 48, looking to carve out a piece of history early on in his Test career.
India, meanwhile, will fight until the very end to forge their legacy as they remain committed to being the first team to win a series here in South Africa. Rishabh Pant certainly gave it all with a monumental unbeaten 100 of a second innings total of just 198.
The visitors will be seeking for similar inspiration with the ball, but they will be met by a Proteas wall that will be equally eager to close out this ripper of a series on a positive note.