Rohit Sharma’s innings of 137 helped India defeat Bangladesh. But his innings would have ended much earlier if not for some questionable umpiring.
Rewind back to the quarterfinal of the 2015 ICC World Cup between Bangladesh and India, on Melbourne Cricket Ground. It's the fourth delivery of the 39th over of the first innings. Rubel Hossain is bowling to Rohit Sharma. The ball is a full toss and Sharma miscues it straight to Imrul Kayes at deep-midwicket. Bangladesh are ecstatic to send back the well-set Indian opener.
But what actually happened came as a surprise to not only the players but also to commentators and cricket fans. The delivery was called a no-ball. No, Rubel Hossain didn't overstep. Umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould decided that the ball was above waist height, which it was not. Captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza rushed to the umpires and pleaded with them to reconsider the decision, but it was not to be.
This controversial decision enraged 160 million fans back home. After that, the dismissal of Mahmudullah also drew controversy. After that match, India became a cricketing 'enemy' of Bangladesh.
That decision frustrated the cricketers as well. Bangladesh could've come back strongly into the match if Rohit Sharma had been given out. Three of the Bangladeshi cricketers who played in that match spoke to The Business Standard about the controversial no-ball.
I don't think it was a no-ball. When we watched the replay on the giant screen, we felt that it should have been given out. It was extremely disappointing. Rohit Sharma is someone who can change the fortune of a match in a jiffy.
It was the quarterfinal of the World Cup. We had never gone beyond that in an ICC event. That decision really frustrated us.
But we had nothing to do. Many things happen when we play India. Luck also doesn't favour us when we play against them.
We spoke to the umpires at that moment. The Captain, as well as a couple of senior players, came over to have a conversation with the umpires. They asked why it was called a no-ball. Well, they had to ask. Many decisions go against us, whereas the umpires ponder a lot when they give a decision against big teams.
We were disappointed, especially I and Imrul Kayes. Still, now, people talk about that controversial decision.
If Rohit was given out, it would have changed the course of the match. The momentum could have shifted. They couldn't have scored so many runs at the back end of the innings. It wouldn't have been easy for the new batsmen to take on the bowlers.
When it was called a no-ball, I was disappointed. Because I took the catch. When we saw the replay, it didn't seem out. Rohit Sharma spoke about the incident with Tamim Iqbal a few days back as well. But I don't think the umpires made that mistake intentionally. After all, they are human and they are bound to make mistakes.
India were under a bit of pressure at that moment. India couldn't have managed such a big total if Rohit had got out. The scenario would've been different altogether. For a moment we thought the umpires were biased towards India.
We were extremely frustrated because Rohit was the only Indian batsman who was batting aggressively and taking his chances. The others were struggling. After the no-ball, he scored another 47 runs. India made 302 eventually. We could've restricted India to 250 if the decision had been in favour of us.
The trajectory of the ball suggested that the ball was not over the waist. But the umpires took the call and to be honest, we had nothing to do.
When the catch was taken, I was running towards the bowler. Then the umpires surprisingly called a no-ball. It was difficult to digest. But it wasn't in our control.
I think it was not a no-ball. I am sure a lot of people will agree with me. But it was part of the game.
Rohit was batting on 90. After that, he made another 47. I think those 47 runs made the difference.
I got Rohit Sharma out eventually. It was satisfying. Every international wicket satisfies me. But it would have been better if I had got him earlier. He stitched a good little partnership with MS Dhoni, which was vital.
I got Dhoni out as well. Earlier, I sent back Ajinkya Rahane. I got three wickets in that match. The famous 'Mashkin celebration' also happened that day.
As far as I remember, Mashrafe Bhai went up to the umpire and spoke to him. But the decision was already made. So there was nothing to do.
The aftermath of that match was huge as then ICC president back then, AHM Mustafa Kamal gave his resignation from his position and there were protests all over Bangladesh. Later, when India visited Bangladesh, they were defeated by the hosts in the three-match ODI series.