It is 'walky time' these days at Chennai. According to news reports, Gilchrist 'walked' after he edged Kumble to Yuvraj via his pad. Then Gillespie turned towards the pavilion after he was caught by Kaif. Kasprowicsz then edged Kumble to Laxman at silly mid off and walked away. It did not end at that. At the fag end of the day, Yuvraj 'walked' soon after he realised that Gilchrist had pouched his thin edge off Warne.
Of these four Walkabbies, only Kasprowiscz seemed have walked when/after the umpire, in this case David Shepherd, turned down the appeal. Going by the reports, the umpires were in the process of making the right decisions in the other instances. So why the huge fuss?
It is because, in some ways, walking when the ump says 'not out' is going against the official decision and hence dissent. Cricket 24x7 points out that a couple of years ago, Stephen Fleming was fined by the match referee for pointing out that Australia had gone against fielding restrictions in the first 15 overs and placed three men on the boundary, even though the umps on the field agreed and no-balled the Aussies for the digression. Fleming was doing the right thing and then fined too, which sounds stupid.
Well, maybe the both the teams wanted the umpires to look stupid. So did the teams get together before the start of the test match (in light of the mistakes from the umps that went un-punished at Banglore) and decided that they will walk for every legit dismissal regardless of what the geriatrics in the black trousers feel.
And making Shepherd look foolish might just be the start of this exercise to induce the ICC to act and pull up the inconsistent umps and maybe even push the introduction of more technology aids for the umps. Anybody know what Gangs and Gilchrist (and Ponting) think about this whole fracas vis-a-vis umpires using technology?