Irate England skipper Eoin Morgan bemoaned the quality of umpiring after his side succumbed in the final over to hand India a Twenty20 series-levelling victory in Nagpur.
With the tourists requiring eight runs to win, Joe Root was dismissed off the first ball of the final over, given out LBW by umpire Chettithody Shamshuddin despite a thick inside edge. England never recovered and lost by five runs.
India had earlier posted 144-8 as opener KL Rahul top scored with 71 from 47 balls and it proved enough to level the three-match series at 1-1 after England wilted in the dying embers of a clash played out on a challenging, slow surface.
Morgan confirmed that England intend to report Shamshuddin, who was not originally listed to stand in the match, to the relevant authority prior to the series decider in Bangalore on Wednesday.
“It’s very frustrating as it absolutely shifted the momentum in the 20th over,” said Morgan. “Losing a batsman [Root] off the first ball, who has faced 40 balls on a wicket that’s not easy to time the ball on is quite a bit of a hammer blow.
“It proved very costly, all things considered. A couple of decisions didn’t go our way, [although] we still should have won the game.”
Asked if England would report their observations regarding the umpiring to the International Cricket Council or match referee Andy Pycroft, the 30-year-old Dubliner added: “Absolutely. We have an opportunity to do so before the next game.
“It’s part and parcel of the job, to be able to cope with the pressure and make good decisions more often than not. The fact that comes out of today’s game as a highlight is disappointing, it shouldn’t be like that.”
England were forced to rebuild their innings from 22-2 after openers Jason Roy and Sam Billings fell to veteran left-armer Ashish Nehra, and a patient approach followed as runs were accumulated methodically.
The chase was ignited by Stokes, who smashed two sixes on his way to 38 from 27 balls, and when he departed, also to Nehra, England required a seemingly manageable 28 from 19 deliveries.
Vice-captain Jos Buttler struck 12 runs off Nehra’s final three balls but inside the last over came the controversy of Root’s dismissal, which left the Yorkshireman enraged.
In the end India right-arm seamer Jasprit Bumrah, who finished with figures of 2-20, conceded just two runs as Buttler, all-rounder Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan were unable to conjure victory.
India had earlier attacked England’s slow bowlers Adil Rashid and Liam Dawson as Rahul, who averages 64.50 in his seven T20 internationals, led the charge with six fours and two maximums in his enterprising knock.