Tim Paine, the Australia captain, admitted on Sunday, August 25, that his decision to use the review at the wrong time cost Australia the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
Jack Leach, England’s No.11, was on nought, with England requiring eight runs to win, when he missed a pitched up delivery from Pat Cummins, and it skidded onto his pads. The Australians appealed, half-heartedly, and when the umpire turned it down, Paine decided to use up their only review, more in desperation than anything.
However, the ball-tracking system showed the delivery had pitched outside leg, and Leach survived.
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) August 25, 2019
Then, just five balls later, Lyon had Ben Stokes trapped plumb in front after the England all-rounder missed a slog-sweep. The umpire was unmoved, though, and with Australia having used up their only review, Stokes survived and hit the winning runs.
“I’ve got every review wrong,” Paine later rued. “Patty Cummins said, ‘I think it might have pitched in line, but I think he hit it’. And I said ‘well, he definitely didn’t hit it’, but I was worried where it pitched. Then it was just a spur of the moment [decision] … have a dabble at it. But, yeah, I got it wrong.”
Paine also refused to blame umpire Joel Wilson for not giving Stokes out, saying he himself had not got a correct referral the whole series.
“I don’t think I’ve got a referral correct the whole series, so I can’t sit here and bag the umpires,” said Paine. “He [Wilson] is no different to everyone else – he is allowed to make mistakes.”
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) August 26, 2019
In the space of six deliveries, Australia had let other chances go begging as well. Lyon was guilty of fluffing a straightforward opportunity to run-out Leach, which would have sealed victory, and before that, Marcus Harris had fumbled an admittedly difficult chance at third man off Stokes.
“The important thing is that, when it happens, you cop it on the chin, you hold your head up, you stick together as a team and walk off together,” said Paine. “Those losses hurt, and you are allowed to show that, but … [if] you let things drag on, and you get caught up in the emotion, it is just wasted energy.”
Paine also lauded Stokes, whose match-winning 135* has kept England’s Ashes hopes alive. “I thought it was an amazing game of cricket,” said Paine. “Ben Stokes was unbelievably good and it was one of the great Test innings.
“We finished up on the wrong side of it but in terms of an advertisement for Test cricket, I think that was bloody exciting. It was great to be involved in so I can only imagine what it was like to watch.”