Umpiring in India or a match involving the Indian team is widely regarded as one of the toughest tasks in the profession. The immense scrutiny and pressure that come with officiating these high-profile matches can be daunting. However, for Nitin Menon, being in the firing line has helped him develop as an ICC Elite Panel umpire
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Menon’s umpiring duties were mostly confined to home matches. Nevertheless, he did get the opportunity to officiate in the last two T20 World Cups held in the UAE and Australia, as well as travel to England for their series against South Africa. Since his induction into the ICC Elite Panel in June 2020, Menon has officiated in 15 Tests, 24 ODIs, and 20 T20Is.
In an interview with PTI, Nitin Menon revealed that the constant pressure faced during India’s home matches has made officiating overseas games feel easier. He acknowledged the tactics employed by the Indian team to create pressure on umpires but emphasized the importance of staying composed and not succumbing to external influences. Menon sees this as a testament to his strength and ability to handle any situation, ultimately boosting his self-confidence.
Elaborating the same, as per the quotes in Hindustan Times, Nitin Menon said, “When India play in India there is a lot of hype, a lot of big stars in the Indian team they always try to create pressure on you, they always try to get those 50-50 decisions in favor of them but if we are in control of ourselves under pressure, then we don’t focus on what they are trying to do.”
He further added, “It just shows that I am strong enough to handle any situation rather than getting working up by the pressure created by players. That has given me a lot of self-confidence. Leading the Indian international panel of umpires at home has also been a big responsibility. I did not have a lot of experience initially (when he entered ICC elite panel) but the last three years has helped me grow as an umpire.”
Anticipating an exciting contest, Nitin Menon recognized the strength of Australia’s bowling lineup and praised England for their innovative approach to Test cricket. Approaching each match with a simple mindset, Menon’s focus remains on the contest between bat and ball.
Elaborating the same, Nitin Menon said, “I was there last year in England when they hosted South Africa. I could actually see what ‘Bazball’ is. Australia have a fantastic bowling line up and the England the way they are playing are redefining test cricket. Stakes will be high but for me every match is a game between bat and balll. Will keep it simple just watch the ball and make decisions accordingly. I am very excited about it too as this was my dream.”