Reportedly lack of experience, especially in Tests, will pose a "huge challenge" for indian umpires when they get down to officiate in the post COVID-19 pandemic scenario, feel current and former officials. The ICC cricket Committee on monday recommended the appointment of local match officials (umpires and match referees) in the short-term to avoid international travel in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With S ravi dropped from the ICC elite panel of umpires last year, there is no indian in the premier category from which match officials are usually picked for Tests. The lower rung ICC international panel of umpires has four indians but only one of them, Nitin menon (3 Tests, 24 ODIs, 16 T20s), has experience of the longest format and that too has not come in high-pressure games. The other three C Shamshuddin (43 ODIs, 21 T20s ), anil chaudhary (20 ODIs, 20 T20s) and Virender Sharma (2 ODIs and 1 T20) have no Test experience but they are in line to officiate a five-day game during England's tour of india in January.
"It is a massive challenge but a great opportunity at the same time. Different formats bring different kind of pressure. In the Tests, the pressure is created by the close-in fielders while in limited overs cricket, the noisy crowd makes the umpires' job tougher," former international umpire Hariharan, who stood in 34 ODIs and two Tests told.Not just umpiring decisions, factors like aggressive appealing and bad light also come into play often and there the neutral umpires are more likely to take an unbiased call sub-consciously than local umpires," he said. local umpires have not officiated in Tests since 2002 while a combination of an ICC and local umpire is in practice in ODIs. In T20s, local umpires are in charge. Match referees need to be neutral in all three formats but for the current situation arising out of the pandemic, india has only one local option in Javagal Srinath.