Rohit Sharma’s return to bat in the second Super Over raised doubts about the regulations and playing conditions near the end of an extraordinarily entertaining dead-rubber between India and Afghanistan. Why? because the captain of India changed roles during the first Super Over and then batted during the second.
The Men’s T20 International playing criteria set forth by the ICC state that “Any batsman dismissed in any previous Super Over shall be ineligible to bat in any subsequent Super Over.”
‘Dismissed’ was the operative and ambiguous word in this instance. When Yashasvi Jaiswal replaced Rohit with Rinku Singh, possibly to race faster between the wickets, India’s pursuit of 17 was reduced to just 2 off 1. Whether Rohit had been “retired out” or “retired not out,” however, was not confirmed.
If the former had occurred, he would not have been allowed to bat in the second Super Over. However, he left the game after making all 11 of India’s runs in the second innings. Clause 25.4.2 of the ICC men’s T20I playing regulations describes the ‘retired not out’ scenario as follows: “A batsman who retires due to illness, injury, or any other unavoidable cause may continue his innings.” The batsman is to be listed as “Retired – not out” if, for whatever reason, this does not occur.”
“If a batsman retires for any reason other than as in clause 25.4.2, the innings of that batsman may be resumed only with the consent of the opposing captain.”
Based on the two provisions mentioned above, Ibrahim Zadran should have given his permission for Rohit to rejoin the game during the second Super Over. However, from what Jonathan Trott stated at the press conference following the game, the teams were also in the dark.
Trott responded, “I have no idea,” when asked if the officials had conferred with them about the circumstances. “Have two Super Overs ever occurred? That’s my main point here. It’s similar to a new system in which we continuously establish new regulations. I’m attempting to convey that we continued to test the standards and the rules.”
Trott stated, “It was not communicated,” but instead of addressing the issue relating to Rohit batting twice, he continued by describing the circumstances his team faced with the ball. Even a bowler who has previously bowled in one Super Over is not permitted to bowl anymore, according to the rules of play. As a result, Afghanistan decided to use Fareed Ahmad in place of Azmatullah Omarzai.
“Fareed bowled a fantastic over; we wanted Azmat to bowl the second over again. However, such kinds of things will be clarified because they have occurred and will be done so in writing in the future. It’s excellent if those are the guidelines. Trott stated, “I simply think we had a great game, and I don’t think that should be the talking point.”
Head coach Rahul Dravid added, “Taking himself out was Ashwin-level thinking,” when discussing this move taken by Rohit, which added to the ambiguity around the choice.