Pat Cummins calls for radical changes to third umpire after Australia were denied two wickets at the SCG and Marnus Labuschagne survived controversial call against South Africa
Pat Cummins says there has to be a better way for the third umpire to adjudicate on catches after Richard Kettleborough was forced to make three contentious decisions during the third Test.
Match umpires lodged reviews for three catches taken low to the ground in the slips at the SCG.
On each occasion, third umpire Kettleborough found evidence the ball had touched the ground before the fielder was able to control it.
Pat Cummins (left) has called for changes to be made to the way the third umpire operates
Consequently, none of the catches were paid.
Cummins’ teammates Marnus Labuschagne and Josh Hazlewood previously suggested the first step to changing the way such catches were officiated would be to scrap the on-field umpire’s soft signal, given the third umpire overturned it on two of the three occasions.
‘I don’t really know the answers but there has to be a way to try and improve it somehow,’ Cummins said after the Test against South Africa ended in a draw.
‘As it currently stands, it’s really hard to give a batter out. If there’s any kind of benefit of the doubt, it goes the batter’s way.
Steve Smith (middle) appeared to have caught Heinrich Klaasen at slip on Day 5 of the Test against South Africa but the third umpire ruled it not out
‘I think with a couple of camera angles really slowed down, it’s pretty hard to not find doubt somewhere. I do feel for Ketts [Kettleborough] a little bit up there.’
In making a decision, the third umpire only has access to footage from the host broadcaster, Fox Sports and not from Seven Network cameras.
‘Maybe there’s more cameras we can use down the track,’ Cummins said.
Proteas captain Dean Elgar was visibly frustrated when his side was on the receiving end of the first non-catch call but at stumps said he was pleased the umpires remained consistent throughout the match.
Smith (bottom) was denied a seemingly perfect catch when he looked to have removed Dean Elgar on Day Four only for the TV umpire to rule the ball had touched the grass
Simon Harmer (bottom) looked to have removed Marnus Labuschagne on Day Two, only for the third umpire to give the batter not out instead
‘The way the umpires conducted the three was pretty good. I think it was brilliant,’ he said.
‘Once you’ve set the bar with the first one, you can’t really budge much from there.
‘Those things are always going to be a grey area, some guys will say out, some guys will say not out.
‘At the end of the day, their decision is final and as players we respect that.’