ICC punished India by docking two World Test Championship points and slapping a 10% fine on match fees for every player for maintaining a slow over-rate during the Boxing Day Test match against South Africa at the Supersport Park in Centurion. South Africa won the match by an innings 32 runs after India were bowled out for 131 in their second innings. The defeat slid India to the fifth spot in the WTC points table. But a day after that India were jolted further.
“Rohit Sharma’s side has been docked two crucial ICC World Test Championship points in the opening Test against South Africa for bowling two overs short and has also been fined 10% of their match fee,” ICC said in a release.
Chris Broad of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees imposed the sanction after India were ruled to be two overs short of the target.
India captain Rohit Sharma pled guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction, so there was no need for a formal hearing.
On-field umpires Paul Reiffel and Langton Rusere, third umpire Ahsan Raza and fourth umpire Stephen Harris leveled the charge.
As per Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, the players are fined 5% of their match fee for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time.
After the Test loss, India found themselves at No.5 with 16 points from three Tests and a points percentage of 44.44. However, the deduction of points for the slow-over rate further weakened India’s position in the standings, causing them to slip below Australia to No.6, with 14 points and a points percentage of 38.89.
India were outplayed in all departments in Centurion. They were in the game after the first day’s play thanks to a brilliant knock by KL Rahul but from Day 2, South Africa started to build a huge gap. Dean Elgar hit 185 and Marco Jansen scored a career-best 84* to take the hosts to 408 in their first innings. India captain Rohit admitted that it was not a 400 wicket and that is where the game slipped away from India.
Despite that, the way India folded in their second innings would keep the team management worried. They lasted only 34.1 overs on Day 3 and apart from a fluent 76-run knock from Virat Kohli, there were no other notable contributions.
India’s pacers, apart from Jasprit Bumrah were mostly disappointing. Debutant Prasidh Krishna and Shardul Thakur were taken to the cleaners by the South African batters.
India came here with the hope of winning their first-ever series on Rainbow Nation but after a defeat in the series opener, the best they can now do is level the series by winning the New Year’s Test in Cape Town.