Cricket legend Shane Warne has delivered a scathing assessment of Bruce Oxenford’s umpiring during the first Test match between Australia and India at Adelaide Oval.
Oxenford came under scrutiny after a pair of questionable decisions during India’s first innings in Adelaide.
He incorrectly adjudicated Cheteshwar Pujara not out after the Indian batsman was caught at leg slip off Nathan Lyon’s bowling on Thursday afternoon.
Oxenford then pinged Indian captain Virat Kohli for a short run on Thursday evening, only for replays to show the batsman had in actuality made his ground while running between the wickets.
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But Oxenford’s most blatant error took place on Friday evening, which prompted Warne’s explosive rant.
Indian spinner Ravi Ashwin bowled a full delivery to Lyon in the 63rd over, which struck the tailender on the pads.
To everyone’s surprise, Oxenford raised his finger after a stifled appeal from India’s fielders, and Lyon quickly called for the DRS.
“He’s hit that,” Warne immediately said on Fox Cricket’s coverage. “Is that our man Oxenford again? He’s having a bit of a shocker this game.”
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Replays showed that Lyon had not just edged the ball, but absolutely smacked it onto his front pad, and third umpire Rod Tucker overturned the on-field decision.
Warne candidly vented: “People have said to me out the back of this ground, ‘Maybe you’re a bit too harsh on Bruce Oxenford’.
“But you can’t keep getting these decisions wrong … we saw yesterday, he gave a short run to the Indians which just wasn’t a short run.
“Everyone can make a mistake, but he’s made three of four already.
“This is a huge mistake — look at how much that deviates. You could hear the two noises straight away.
“What is Bruce Oxenford looking at? He’s having an absolute stinker.”
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Using local umpires has traditionally been frowned upon, but the coronavirus pandemic has understandably made it difficult for international umpires to travel overseas.
To minimise cost and reduce risk of spreading the virus, local umpires have officiated Test cricket since the England vs West Indies series got underway in July.
Because less experienced umpires are being employed, the International Cricket Committee have allocated three unsuccessful reviews per innings for both sides.
Oxenford has umpired 59 Tests since 2010, and has also officiated 97 ODI matches. The 60-year-old also represented Queensland in six first-class matches between 1991 and 1993.
Australia were bowled out for 191 on Friday evening, trailing by 53 runs after the first innings.