Last ball drama of a different kind
Siddhartha at Cricinfo
tries to decipher what eventually turned out to be the last ball of Indian innings. Now, I am not sure if Rahul really signalled enough from the dressing room to be interpreted as a 'declaration' and whether the batsmen in the middle conveyed Rahul's message to the umpires...because frankly, I am not sure if just captains signalling from the dressing room are enough indication of declaration of an innings. I feel that *offcially* on-field batsmen have to convey it to the umpires...but maybe someone can check up the rule on this(?).
Anyway, the point was that according to this report, Dhoni mentioned Ganga talking to him. Now atleast the post-play Dhoni interview I saw did not have this particular snippet, where Dhoni said that Ganga walked up to him and expressed his doubts over the catch. Either way, the whole affair had so much of *unofficiality* about it - e.g Umpires not decisively ruling either way, talking to captain, then fielder, then batsman, then captain again, then on his insistance once again to batsman - that I don't think any action would be taken against Lara. And mainly so because of the inadequate handling of the incident by the on-field umpires.
And frankly, even the on-field umpires cannot be blamed, because inconclusivity of replays here does not automatically mean benefit of doubt to batsmen. E.g. inconclusive replays on a similar line-call for a boundary mean umpire *not* signalling a four....and such an incident of line-call inconclusivity being used to rule batsman not-out has neither been written nor occured before. So none of the officials was sure what decision to take. In fact, there is no *official* rule about giving the benefit of doubt to batsmen in *any* doubtful case - that is just one convenient interpretation that has become the norm.
So..lets call it one of those quirks of cricket, where pages upon pages of rules have not been able to capture all possible scenarios..and leave it at that. Maybe this is part of what makes cricket unique and interesting afterall :-)