Steven Smith blames ‘Spidercam’ after dropping KL Rahul
What is a bird’s-eye view worth? That’s the question television executives and cricket officials were confronted with after a camera suspended above the field distracted Australia captain Steve Smith as he attempted to take a catch during the fourth Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
India opener Lokesh Rahul, on 46, skied a Shane Watson delivery high in the air behind the stumps, just before the lunch interval.
Smith ran back from slip to take the catch but reacted angrily after putting down the chance, pointing toward the wires of the aerial camera.
The ‘spider cam’ is suspended from wires attached to light towers and can maneuver over the playing area at varying heights. The camera was subsequently moved away from play, near the boundary rope.
Australia messed up two chances to dismiss Rahul on 41 and 46, the second one possibly caused by the positioning of spidercam held up by cables above the field. The first went astray as Kohli was beaten by Nathan Lyon’s flight and the ball fizzed past wicketkeeper Brad Haddin with Rahul charging down the pitch for a run.
Rahul was sent back then fell over and lost his bat yet still managed to scramble home and beat Haddin’s delayed throw to the non-striker’s end. Skipper Steve Smith stood glaring at Haddin with his arms outstretched at the botched chance as India had a big let-off. But it was Smith who was next at fault when he put down Rahul behind the wicket three overs before lunch after the Indian skied a pull shot.
Smith was seen to mouth an expletive to team-mates, which suggested he was distracted by the cables connecting the spidercam aerial TV camera.
Rahul appeared to have another chance earlier in the session when the Australians appealed for a catch by Joe Burns at bat-pad off spinner Lyon but umpire Richard Kettleborough was unmoved.
Infrared TV replays showed the ball may have brushed a glove and off the thigh guard to Burns, who did not refer the catch to the third umpire.