No backlash in Tests to 'mob rule' decision: Smith

Australia's captain Steve Smith during a match in Perth, on Jan 12, 2016.
Australia's captain Steve Smith during a match in Perth, on Jan 12, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

WELLINGTON • Australia captain Steve Smith remained riled yesterday over the "mob rule" dismissal in the final one-day international against New Zealand, but said the fallout would not spill over to the upcoming Tests.

He said that, while Mitchell Marsh was legitimately caught and bowled, the batsman should not have been given out because the umpires were reacting to crowd pressure.

There were heated exchanges on the field after Marsh was bizarrely dismissed when the ball ricocheted from his bat to his foot and then back to the bowler Matt Henry on Monday. 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.

The umpires took action only when the home 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 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 yesterday.

"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."

While obscenities were 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.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum 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," he said. "The only thing I said was, 'Surely the right decision has to be made' and in the end it was."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2016, with the headline 'No backlash in Tests to 'mob rule' decision: Smith'. Print Edition | Subscribe