Kulkarni to officiate in second one-dayer

Kulkarni to officiate in second  one-dayer
Even as an irked Indian cricket team prepares to lodge a complaint against Vineet Kulkarni, whose decisions in the ongoing series against South Africa have been openly contested by skipper MS Dhoni, the Pune-based official will be standing as one of the on-field umpires for the second ODI here on Thursday.

"It is obvious to everybody that the umpiring has not been good,” Indian team manager Vinod Phadke was quoted as saying by cricinfo. “… I am going to mention him in my report,” he added. The manager’s report will be submitted to the BCCI at the end of the one-day series.

While it has been learnt that Dhoni in his captain’s report has been critical of Kulkarni’s umpiring, he had openly expressed his displeasure about a couple of decisions that went against India in the first T20 international at Dharamsala. "We did not have quite a few decisions going our way and sometimes these can change the match. It could have been different if we could have got Duminy out early," he had said.

Dhoni was referring to the lbw appeals against JP Duminy in South Africa's successful chase of 200. Kulkarni turned down left-arm spinner Axar Patel’s appeal for leg-before when Duminy was on five with South Africa needing 96 runs off 48 balls. Later, when Duminy was on 33 and South Africa needed 43 off 23 balls, Bhuvneshwar Kumar made a strong appeal after his yorker had crashed into Duminy’s boots. It was plumb but Kulkarni signalled two leg-byes to leave a normally composed Bhuvneshwar fuming at the decision.

The tipping point, though, came when Faf du Plessis survived a strong lbw shout from R Ashwin early in his innings of 62 in the first ODI in Kanpur and Shikhar Dhawan was adjudged lbw off Morne Morkel even though the ball appeared to be slanting towards leg during India’s unsuccessful chase of 304 in the same match. Kulkarni was the umpire on both occasions.

Kulkarni has so far officiated in 18 ODIs and seven T20Is. During ODIs, it’s the home team that nominates the official from its side to stand alongside a neutral umpire, appointed by the ICC.

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