Domain Tests v India

Clarke: That ball touches the grass

The former Australia skipper believes Peter Handscomb's catch that saw Virat Kohli dismissed on Sunday hit the ground

Dave Middleton

16 December 2018, 11:38 PM AEST

Battered and bruised in a brilliant Test

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke has inflamed debate over Virat Kohli's dismissal in the ongoing Domain Test between Australia and India in Perth, declaring "that ball touches the grass". 

Kohli stood his ground – as he is entitled to do – after edging Pat Cummins to second slip where Peter Handscomb grabbed a low chance to his right. 

The Australian raised his finger to indicate he was claiming a clean catch, but Kohli shook his head, and gestured with palms upraised while watching the big-screen replays at the Perth Stadium. 

Kohli stands ground amid catch drama

He then started to walk towards the dressing room before the screen displayed the 'Out' signal. 

Clarke, in India commentating for Sony Picture Networks, criticised the practice of an on-field umpire giving a 'soft signal' before the third official turns to the slow-motion footage.

"I hate third umpire for catches, I really do, because when you slow something down so much, you can see the doubt," Clarke said. 

"This dismissal was given out because the on-field umpire puts his finger up (for a soft-signal). 

"If that's given not out on-field (then) 100 per cent it stays not out (after the third umpire review). It's given out on-field and then you've got to look at it so closely. 

"Does (Handscomb's) fingers get under the ball? Yes, they do. Does the ball touch the grass? I think yes, it does. 

"Even if it splits the fingers. Because of the momentum of the ball (hitting) the hand, splits those two middle fingers and that's where I think the ball does touch the grass."

Full highlights of Kohli's Perth classic

Australian Test legend Ricky Ponting said he believed "the right decision has been made". 

"Having been someone that's fielded in the slips a lot through my career, you just know if you've caught it or not," Ponting told

"I know we'll see thousands of replays of that and there'll be different angles and millions of Indian fans that will think that wasn't out. 

"It's not a decision for the third umpire anyway, the on-field decision was out. There had to be enough evidence to conclusively say that it didn't carry, and for mine it certainly hit his fingers on the full, and I think the right decision has been made."

Ponting on Kohli's knock and THAT catch

Ponting, who was the target of Indian fans' opprobrium during his playing days for his hard-nosed approach as Australian captain, said there was still place in the game for the fielders' word to be accepted, especially given modern camera technology.

"I tried to bring that back into the game when I was captain and it didn't last that long. I still think it's the right way to go," Ponting said.

"It just puts it back on the fieldsman, and the way technology is now if it does bounce then you'd be labelled a cheat for the rest of your life. 

"The system is in place and with technology – it's not perfect, it's never going to be perfect, but I think today we got the right outcome."

India seamer Jasprit Bumrah confirmed the side was "a little surprised" by the on-field call, but said the team had moved on. 

"But now that's been done, it's been done, we will move forward with the game," Bumrah said. 

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon told reporters after play his side was adamant the catch was clean. 

"We thought it was out, so the conversation was 'great catch'," Lyon said.

Domain Test Series v India

Dec 6-10: First Test, Adelaide Oval, India won by 31 runs

Dec 14-18: Second Test, Perth Stadium

Dec 26-30: Third Test, MCG

Jan 3-7: Fourth Test, SCG

Australia squad: Tim Paine (c, wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Mitch Marsh (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain

India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar