Wellington: Australian captain Steve Smith remained riled on Tuesday over the “mob rule” dismissal of all-rounder Mitchell Marsh in the final ODI against New Zealand but said the fallout would not spill over to the upcoming Test series. (New Zealand Give McCullum Memorable Send-off With Series Win Over Australia)
Smith said that while Marsh was legitimately caught and bowled he should not have been given out because the umpires were reacting to crowd pressure.
There were heated exchanges on the field between the New Zealanders and Australians after Marsh was bizarrely dismissed when the ball ricocheted from his bat to his foot then back to the bowler Matt Henry. (McCullum Joins 200 ODI Sixes Club)
It ignited a batting collapse that saw Australia lose their last five wickets for 27 runs to lose the match and allow New Zealand to take the series 2-1.
When Henry caught the ball he made a half-hearted appeal before walking back to prepare for his next delivery. (World T20: Smith Replaces Finch as Captain; Wade, Lyon Dropped)
The umpires only took action when the crowd reacted vociferously to a replay on the big screen which showed the ball had not hit the ground.
The Australian media dubbed it a dismissal by “mob rule” and Smith said he believed the system was wrong.
“My thoughts are still the same as last night, the whole process of it needs to improve,” the Australian captain said when reviewing the match on Tuesday.
“I don’t think there should be a replay on the screen before the next ball’s bowled. I don’t think that’s how a decision should be made.”
No Bad Blood in Test Series
While obscenities were clearly heard on the field at the time of the incident, Smith said the fallout would not impact on the two-Test series starting in Wellington on Friday.
“We both play a good, hard, aggressive brand of cricket. It’s going to be another tough series,” he said.
“I think we are all happy with the way the game is being played. It’s been played hard and fair throughout this series, like it always is with Australia and New Zealand and I’m sure it’s going to continue to be the same in the Test series.”
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who was playing his final ODI after a distinguished 260-match career, said the umpires’ concern was whether New Zealand had actually appealed for Marsh to be given out.
“They came over and said I didn’t think you guys appealed but we did, and that’s when they then discussed it. The only thing I said was, ‘Surely the right decision has to be made’ and in the end it was.”
McCullum added it was disappointing that the controversy had detracted from the New Zealand victory.
But he added: “To walk away beating the world champions in the Chappell-Hadlee series which means so much to us is a fitting way to step away from the game.”