Controversial run-outs unjustified: Dhoni

Sydney: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has criticised the two run-out decisions that went against the team during the 10th match of the tri-series versus Australia here Sunday, involving Sachin Tendulkar and David Hussey.

India lost the match by 87 runs and now face an improbable task of making the finals. They need to win with a bonus point against Sri Lanka Tuesday and hope Australia beat the islanders in the final league match of the tournament.

The first controversial run-out took place in Australia’s innings when Hussey was adjudged not out by umpire Billy Bowden after the Indians appealed for a run-out for obstructing the field as he was clearly seen handling the ball, violating the rules of the game. Hussey went on to make 54.

Tendulkar (14) was given out following a direct hit from David Warner with bowler Brett Lee coming in his way near the non-striker’s end. Lee’s obstructing did not look deliberate but Tendulkar was seen shaking his head in disbelief.

Dhoni said Lee had “no business” to come in Tendulkar’s way.

“I don’t think we can justify the fact that Lee was going towards the point fielder. I don’t think he had any business there. Then he stopped right in front of Sachin, which means you have to take a longer way, across him. That is my reading of that particular run-out,” Dhoni told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“It was unjustified for Tendulkar because he had to take an extra yard to run. I think Billy (Bowden) should have said something because he was in a better position to see where exactly the bowler was and where he stopped. It was really difficult for Simon Taufel to take a call because he would not know which angle the batsman was running and where Lee actually stopped,” he said.

On Hussey’s decision, Dhoni reckoned he was lucky to be let off the hook and related the incident to Inzamam-ul-Haq’s dismissal in Peshawar in 2006.

“I was involved in another run-out in Pakistan, where Inzi bhai defended something that was right at his face, and he was given out. In this case David was really lucky. I think he should have been given out, but it is not in my hand.”

He compared Hussey’s act with the handball in football.

“In his judgement he (Hussey) was protecting himself, but his hand was too far ahead. Just like an example, a soccer incident where your hands are popping out and it hits your hand, you get a penalty irrespective of what is happening. So that is why I said, plain and simple, it is out.”

Australian stand-in captain Shane Watson, however, said Bowden and Taufel interpreted the law in a correct way and made the right decision.

“Simon Taufel and Billy Bowden are two of the best umpires in the world so I have got total trust always in their decisions,” he said.

“Dave Hussey would never do anything untoward. He plays the game hard but fair.”