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Recently, the 40-year-old English umpire Michael Gough revealed an interesting story of an international match where the Australian limited-overs captain Aaron Finch asked him for an advice how to get rid of the amazing partnership of two great Indian batsmen – Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
Before taking the umpiring role, Michael Gough was an English County cricketer who played 67 first-class matches and 49 List A games from 1998 to 2003. In his English County career, the right-handed opening batsman and right-arm off-spinner Gough served for Durham.
Gough is handling the umpiring role in international cricket from 2013. In men’s international cricket, Gough has experienced 129 matches as an umpire (90 matches as an on-field umpire and 39 matches as a TV umpire). He also officiated in few matches during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Recently, talking with Wisden Cricket Monthly, Gough revealed one interesting story during an international match between India and Australia. While Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were setting up a big partnership, the Australian team had no clue to stop them.
Gough said, “I remember a match between India and Australia, and Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were putting on a huge partnership. I was stood next to Aaron Finch at square-leg and he said to me, during the game, how it was unbelievable to watch these two great players.”
Michael Gough answered after Aaron Finch asked the surprising question
Later, Aaron Finch asked the square-leg umpire Gough for some tips to break that partnership. The umpire had an answer for the Aussie limited-overs skipper.
Gough added, “Then he asked me how I would bowl at them! I looked at him and said, “I’ve got enough on my plate, you’re on your own there!”
In his umpiring career in international cricket, Gough handled a total of six ODIs between India and Australia. At the same time, he was involved during India tour of Australia 2018/19 and Australia tour of India 2019/20. Out of those matches, he was the on-field umpire in four ODIs, and TV umpire in two ODIs.
Among those on-field umpiring matches, there was one ODI where Kohli-Rohit managed to put a strong partnership. It was the last ODI between India and Australia at Bengaluru on 19th January 2020 where Rohit and Kohli set up the 137 runs partnership for the second wicket. That partnership helped the Indian team to win that game easily by successfully chasing down the 287 runs target in 47.3 overs after losing just three wickets.