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The Mystery of England’s Five Runs at the Start of the Rajkot Innings

Indian were given a five-run penalty because R Ashwin ran on the protected part of the pitch while batting during the first session of day two of the Rajkot Test. This meant that England started their first innings on 5 for 0.

When Ravindra Jadeja was warned for running in the covered area on the first day of the third Test, it was India’s first and last warning.

Protected Area Rule

The law defines the safeguarded area as “that area of the pitch contained within a rectangle bounded at each end by imaginary lines parallel to the popping creases and 5 ft/1.52 m in front of each, and on the sides by imaginary lines, one each side of the imaginary line joining the centers of the two middle stumps, each parallel to it and 1 ft/30.48 cm from it”.

In the 102nd over of India’s first innings, Ashwin hit the ball towards cover and ran down the pitch before Dhruv Jurel sent it back. This gave England the penalty runs. Before calling for the penalty runs, umpire Joel Wilson talked to Ashwin, who was mad about being given out.

Protected Area Rule

Understanding Law 41.14 With Cook

Ashwin may have done it tactically, according to former England skipper Alastair Cook. Is it intentional? It is, Cook told TNT Sports. It’s a method to unsettle the middle of the wicket because Ashwin wants as much help as possible when bowling. Usually in the third innings. “You’re 150-200 runs ahead and you think, ‘just make sure you get up and down the wicket’—guess what?

According to Law 41.14, batters who intentionally or unintentionally injure the pitch are unfair. The striker must leave the protected area immediately after playing or hitting the ball. The umpires will consider a hitter to be inflicting avoidable damage if they believe their presence on the pitch is unreasonable.

“If either batter intentionally or avoidably damages the pitch, other than in 41.15, the umpire who sees it must notify the other when the ball is dead. The bowler’s end umpire will then advise both batters that the practice is unfair and give a first and final warning. The warning applies throughout the innings. The umpire will inform each oncoming batter, the fielding captain, and the batting captain as quickly as possible.

Law 41.14 With Cook

Impact on the Game

“If any hitter in that innings causes deliberate or unnecessary pitch damage, the umpire who sees it must notify the other umpire after the ball is dead.

“The bowler’s end umpire shall disallow all runs to the batting side, return any not-out batter to his/her original end, signal no-ball or wide to the scorers if applicable, and award 5 penalty runs to the fielding side.”

India was 358 for 7 after losing overnight batters Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja in the opening hour of play on the second morning. England won the first Test in Hyderabad and India drew level in Visakhapatnam to square the five-Test series.

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