According to Basit Ali, a former cricketer from Pakistan, he has alleged that Australia engaged in ball tampering during the first innings of the World Test Championship final against India. Ali shared his observations on his YouTube channel, highlighting an incident around the 15th over of the first innings where he believes the Australian team manipulated the ball.
He further suggested that this strategy aided them in removing Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara from the game. Notably, Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc were responsible for the dismissals of Pujara and Kohli, respectively, which occurred in quick succession.
During his YouTube channel discussion, Basit Ali highlighted Australia’s ball manipulation in the match was being overlooked. Ali pointed out that the batters on the field seemed unaware of what was happening, citing examples of batsmen getting bowled while leaving the ball. To support his claims, he provided specific evidence.
“Australia clearly played with the ball and no one is talking about it. No batter is wondering ‘What is happening?’ The biggest example is batters getting bowled while leaving the ball,” part of his statement reads.
Ali explained that until the 54th over when Shami was bowling, the shine on the ball was on the outside, causing it to move back into Steve Smith. He emphasized that this occurrence should not be mistaken for reverse swing, which typically involves the shine on the inside of the ball causing it to move back in.
Ali continued his analysis by drawing attention to specific overs, particularly the 16th, 17th, and 18th overs. He pointed out a particular delivery on which Virat Kohli was dismissed, urging viewers to observe the shine on the ball.
“Look at the 16th, 17th and 18th overs. Specifically, the ball on which Virat Kohli got out… look at the shine,” he said.
According to Ali, Mitchell Starc held the ball with the shiny side facing outward, but the ball behaved in the opposite direction. He also highlighted instances where Ravindra Jadeja struck the ball on the on-side, yet it flew over the point region. Expressing his frustration, Ali questioned the awareness of the umpires, wondering if they had missed such a straightforward observation.
Important to note is that during the 18th over of the innings, the ball was replaced on the instructions of umpire Richard Kettleborough due to its deformation. After the new ball was introduced, Basit Ali observed that the ball exhibited peculiar behavior, coinciding with India’s decline in the match from a score of 30/2 to 71/4.
Australia has a sensitive history with ball tampering, following a scandal that unfolded in 2018. The incident, commonly referred to as the “sandpaper gate,” involved Australian players being caught on TV cameras deliberately altering the condition of the ball by using concealed sandpaper bits.
This controversy resulted in severe consequences for the players involved. David Warner and Steve Smith were handed one-year ban from cricket, while Cameron Bancroft received a nine-month suspension. The incident sparked widespread discussions and led to significant repercussions within the Australian cricket community.