Kevin Pietersen has offered a staunch defence of Stuart Broad after his England team-mate caused controversy by refusing to walk despite clearly being out caught.
It was the third contentious incident of a match that is becoming increasingly so. When Broad had 37 he got a clear edge against the left-arm spin of Ashton Agar and Michael Clarke held the catch at slip – only for umpire Aleem Dar, remarkably, to give the England player not out.
Australia were incensed but, because they had wasted both their reviews, they were helpless to challenge the decision. Questions will be asked about whether Broad’s actions were in the spirit of the game but it is rare indeed in modern cricket for a batsman to walk.
Broad and Ian Bell added a further 29 runs for the seventh wicket after that, leaving England 261 in front.
“Stuart is well within his rights to wait for the decision,” Pietersen said. “Each and every player who plays for their country, their club side, for their franchise or their county has the opportunity to wait for the decision the umpire makes and you respect it.
“We play hard. We play fair and each individual has the responsibility and makes the judgement if he will wait for the umpire’s decision.
“Aleem Dar is a fantastic umpire and he has been rated one of the best umpires in world cricket over the last few years. Wait and respect his decision. As for the review system, you have to use your reviews well.”
England might have felt they were due a break after two calls went against them on day two. Agar was reprieved when he seemed to have been stumped, and Trott was given out lbw on review even though not every camera angle was available to the third umpire, Marais Erasmus.
Australia are unlikely to take the matter to the ICC, as England did after Trott’s dismissal, but Dar was not spared the anger of Shane Warne, who expressed his thoughts on Twitter.
“No surprise re Aleem Dar,” read a tweet on the @warne888 account. “He’s always had no idea..”
Another said: “Just to clarify my Aleem Dar comments, he always gets the crucial decisions wrong & always has, that’s why he’s not a great umpire.
“We all make mistakes & it’s a very tough job being an umpire, but when Dar continually makes crucial mistakes why does he keep getting a gig.”
But Warne did back Broad. He added: “By the way, you can’t blame Broad for not walking, hats off I say if you nick it to 1st slip stand your ground & get given not out ! “
Peter Siddle, the Australia fast bowler, was far more cautious. When asked, however, if he had ever seen a clearer edge given not out, he answered: “I don’t know, maybe in the backyard off my brother.
“How many people have ever walked? Some have. That’s right, some. The umpire makes the decision and the players stick with it. People are going to be frustrated but it’s hard out there for players and umpires.
“It’s a long tough day. We have to deal with it and spectators have to understand things like that happen. It’s a long day and tough work for everyone. We can’t go blaming anyone.”
This is the first Test Pietersen has played in Britain since he was banished last August over text messages about the then captain Andrew Strauss to South Africa players.
Asked if he owed his team, Pietersen added: “I played a Test series in India, which we won, and in New Zealand I got injured.”Reuse content