Umpiring in cricket is a high-stake job, and everyone should be forgiven some mistakes. However, that becomes awfully tough when the calls being made are as blatantly wrong as the ones below. Here, we look at some of the bad decisions made by the umpires that could have changed the fate of the game for the Indian cricket team.

1. Steve Bucknor’s mistake that “might have cost India the game”. 

In the year 2008, India toured Australia and played one of the most controversial bilateral cricket series of all time. It was during the second match of the series that many contentious umpiring calls were made, including the one Steve Bucknor admitted to years later.

I made two mistakes in the Sydney Test in 2008. Mistake one, which happened when India were doing well, allowed an Australian batsman to get a hundred. Mistake two, on day five, might have cost India the game. But still, they are two mistakes over five days. Was I the first umpire to make two mistakes in a Test? Still, those two mistakes seem to have haunted me.

The “Australian batsman” being talked about is Andrew Symonds, while the “second mistake” was wrongly adjudging Rahul Dravid out.

2. Vineet Kulkarni’s consecutive judgment errors that won South Africa a T20I against India.

JP Duminy, the match-winner for South Africa, got two lives thanks to the umpire’s wrong calls, and he went on to score 68. The first time the batsman was out, he was playing at 5.

After the match, captain MS Dhoni was quoted as saying:

If decisions don’t go in your favour, that also puts pressure and I thought we were unfortunate not to get Duminy. 

3. Another Steve Bucknor blunder where he adjudged Sachin Tendulkar out on a delivery that was clearly had too much bounce, as one can hear even the commentators repeat.

This happened in Gabba, 2003, and Sachin’s look says it all.

4. In a decision as shocking to viewers as it was to the Indian cricket team, umpire Aleem Dar decided that AB de Villiers was not out, when he had clearly hit the Zaheer Khan delivery that had landed in Sachin Tendulkar’s hand.

No one could believe it, and there was a ton of protest, but Aleem did not budge.

5. Okay, too many wrong decisions with Sachin Tendulkar on the receiving end. During India’s test against Australia in 1999, Sachin was given out LBW on a delivery that had hit his shoulder.

6. Virat Kohli declared dismissed LBW when the ball had clearly hit his bat before touching the pad. Kohli quickly demanded DRS, but surprisingly, even the third umpire thought he was out based on “inconclusive evidence”. 

This was especially disappointing because Kohli got out on a duck for the 4th time in 2021, the most for him in a year.

These hurt!