IT was supposed to be all about Bodyline at the Gabba — but it became about Wobbly line.
Moeen Ali was controversially given out stumped for 40 when TV umpire Chris Gaffaney ruled no part of his boot was behind the line.
But the line itself was wider in the middle than at the edges after a member of the Gabba groundstaff applied too much whitewash.
If it had been painted uniformly, Moeen would not have been dismissed when Aussie keeper Tim Paine whipped off the bails.
Moeen said: “If I’d been bowling, I’d have wanted it out. You have to respect the umpire’s call and move on.”
With Mooen’s dismissal, England subsided from 155-5 to 195 all out in their second innings.
Former England skippers Michael Vaughan and Mike Atherton agreed the correct call was made though.
Vaughan said: “I think it was fair, it was obviously very tight. I also reckon it’s the thickest crease line I’ve ever seen.”
Atherton added: “To my mind, there was no part of his foot behind the line.
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“The line was a bit wonky and crooked but you have to have something behind the line as it is, not as it should be, so I thought the right decision was made.”
But former Australia skipper Michael Clarke said: “I disagree with that decision.
“I thought he had something just behind the line and I thought the benefit of the doubt had to go to the batsman.”
Let’s hope the extra whitewash is not an omen.
After all, England have suffered 5-0 whitewashes on two of their last three Ashes tours . . .
LAW 39 STATES THAT: A batsman can be out stumped if the wicketkeeper puts down the wicket while the batsman is out of his ground, and not attempting a run.
“Out of his ground” means no part of the batsman’s body or bat is touching the ground BEHIND the crease.
If a batsman’s foot is on the crease line but not actually touching the ground behind it, then he is out.