Umpires blunder allowing Rohit to bat again. Did umpires Sharma and Madanagopal make a massive error by allowing Rohit to bat in the second Super Over? On the surface area, it does look like that unless.

Rohit Sharma the differentiator between India and Afghanistan in the third T20I at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. From 22/4, it was because of Rohit (121) that India managed to put up a score of 212. Of course, Rinku Singh played his part too with a brilliant 69 off 39 balls but it was the Indian captain who showed the world that he belongs in this format. It was his fifth T20I century – the first male cricketer to do so. And his job wasn’t over. He had to come out and bat not once but two more times as a double Super Over needed to decide the winner on Wednesday. Thus, Rohit became the first Indian to bat three times in an international match. And he played his part in each of those Super Overs. All the boundaries India hit – three sixes and a four – in the two Super Overs combined, came from Rohit’s bat. After finally done batting, he threw the ball to Ravi Bishnoi – a leg-spinner – to defend 11 in the second Super Over and it paid off. India won the match by 10 runs (in the second over) as Bishnoi got two wickets in his three balls.

But the result could well have been different if Rohit wasn’t allowed to bat the second time in Super Over. After the fifth ball of India’s chase in the first Super Over, an interesting thing happened. Rohit decided to walk off the field and Rinku charged in without wearing a helmet. India needed two runs off the final ball and knowing he wouldn’t get to bat again, the Indian captain decided to walk off and send Rinku in who could run better than a tiring Rohit. But was he allowed to do that? Yes, there is nothing in the rules that stops the batter from doing that.

The Afghanistan players were taken aback for sure. Captain Ibrahim Zadran was seen having a lengthy discussion with umpires Virender Sharma and Jayaraman Madanagopal.

Umpires blunder allowing Rohit to bat again.
Umpires blunder allowing Rohit to bat again.

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Here is what the laws say about a retiring batter

“A batter may retire at any time during his innings when the ball is dead. The umpires, before allowing play to proceed, shall be informed of the reason for a batter retiring.” “If a batter retires because of illness, injury or any other unavoidable cause, that batter is entitled to resume his innings. If for any reason this does not happen, that batter is to be recorded as ‘Retired – not out’.

So Rohit retired out or retired hurt? That is where all the confusion is. There is nothing to suggest that Rohit was injured or ill. If he was, then he wouldn’t have come out to bat in the next Super Over. Then obviously, he was retired out, right? Yes, technically. There has been no official confirmation on the same but by the looks of it, there was no other way for India to send in another batter apart from ‘retiring Rohit out’.

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What do the Super Over rules say about the eligibility of a batter and a bowler?Then how come Rohit batted again? Did umpires Sharma and Madanagopal make a massive error? It can’t be said with certainty. We still don’t know whether Rohit retired hurt or retired out. On the surface area, it does look like the umpires made a blunder – there was nothing to suggest Rohit was injured – unless they had spoken to the Afghanistan team and they allowed it. The rules say that a batter retiring without injury or illness will remain ‘retired not out’ and can come out to bat later but only if the fielding allows it.

Rohit batting in the subsequent Super Over turned out to be significant. The Indian captain hit a six and a four off the first two balls and despite India losing their two allotted wickets in the next three balls, the 11 runs they got proved to be enough as spinner Ravi Bishnoi struck thrice in his first three balls to win the match for India.

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