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Nasser Hussain
Cricket Expert & Columnist

Ashes 2013: England 'cross' with Agar and Trott DRS decisions

Out or not out?

England will be 'spewing' after key third umpire decisions went against them on day two of the first Ashes Test, says Nasser Hussain.

"The umpire might have got it wrong but I don't think that is the point of the third umpire. His job is to tell the third umpire that he made a howler of a decision."

Nasser Hussain

The hosts have asked ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle for clarification over the second innings dismissal of Jonathan Trott, who fell lbw to Mitchell Starc after umpire Aleem Dar's not out decision was over-ruled by Marais Erasmus.

Earlier in the day, with Australia in deep trouble on 131-9, Erasmus had ruled that last man and debutant Ashton Agar was not out when England believed he had been stumped off Graeme Swann with just six runs to his name.

The 19-year-old went on to make 98, the highest score by a No 11 batsman on Test debut, and help Australia secure a 65-run first innings lead.

England quickly found themselves 11-2 in reply as Joe Root and Trott fell in successive deliveries and Hussain said the hosts will be disappointed with both dismissals.

Evidence

"It was an odd five minutes because Root was given out and he didn't review it although he did speak to Alastair Cook, and if he had used the review Hotspot would have shown that he didn't hit it - or there was no mark on Hotspot and Snicko suggested there was nothing there - so he might well have been called back," he said.

"Hotspot was so busy trying to set that up for the third umpire that it didn't have the right footage for the Trott dismissal.

Records fall on Agar debut

"My gut feeling is that Trott probably did get an inside edge. Umpire Aleem Dar felt that on the pitch and then the third umpire over-ruled the not out decision.

"I didn't see enough evidence from what we saw from all the replays and technology for the third umpire to say 'Aleem, you got that wrong'. He might have got it wrong but I don't think that is the point of the third umpire. His job is to tell the third umpire that he made a howler of a decision.

"I think Trott will be very disappointed and when you combine that with the not out decision given against Agar, England will be very disappointed with the third umpire review system today."

He added: "England will be very cross with the Agar decision. I know Matt Prior is absolutely spewing over it. England will look at the Root dismissal in the Champions Trophy final when there was a very similar incident and the umpire gave him out on review, then they get something like that and it cost them a lot of runs.

"But they lost the plot a little bit after that moment, to be honest. They needed the lunch break to regroup. Cook and Steven Finn need to have a look at the communication and the lengths that they bowled and how they bowled to get Australia 117-9."

Stunned

Hussain said that the controversial decisions should take nothing away from a phenomenal performance by debutant Agar, who shared a Test record last-wicket stand of 163 with Phil Hughes.

Agar family proud of Ashton

"I thought it was a remarkable story," said the former England captain. "He played properly. We saw Tino Best score 95 against England last year but he played a bit like a tail-ender, just smashing it, but Agar just didn't look like a number 11 to be honest.

"He stunned England. At no stage would they have tried to work out how to bowl to Agar because they won't have seen him play. They have done now and he could end up a really, really good batsman and a very good all-rounder for Australia.

"He seized the initiative. The coach, Darren Lehmann, has told his players to go out there and be positive and England went on the defensive too early and immediately alleviated the pressure. Finn bowled a poor spell when he went short to Agar without men back.

"In the end the plan was right when Broad came on. It's fine going short at someone like that but you need to put a short leg in and three men out on the hook and that's how he got out on 98. Cook didn't have his best hour as captain at that point."

Fellow Sky Sports commentator Andrew Strauss also paid tribute to Agar, adding: "At 117-9 Australia were dead and buried but incredibly they managed to resurrect themselves through a fantastic partnership from Agar and Phil Hughes.

"We knew nothing about Agar's batting or his bowling yesterday but today he's looked nothing like a No 11 and has played some fantastic shots.

"Both of them played Graeme Swann very well in particular, even though with two left-handers in there you are almost expecting him to get them out.

"Agar took the game to Swann and as a left-hander that's not easy to do but he showed some deft touches, too - he showed that he wasn't a one-trick pony."