Skip to main content

Need To Review The Decision Review ‘System’!

4th innings of a popular test match. The last wicket of the batting team ‘stunningly’ closes in on the finishing line. An appeal. Umpire nods in disagreement. Bowling side calls for a 3rd umpire review. The infra-red beams show a feather nick. Decision made. Fielding side ecstatic and batsmen rue an opportunity of a miracle. The last part of the sequence of events came as a forced reaction rather than one of spontaneity.

The conclusion of the test match gave way to post-match reviews and analysis. Names like Agar, Bell, and Anderson featured in most pieces but keywords like DRS, umpiring too found their way into them. A couple of reports stressed upon Broad’s ‘unsporting’ move to hang around despite consciously edging a delivery to the slips, others criticized the quality of umpiring. A few had some things to say about the way both skippers used their set of reviews and a couple of others stressed upon the lack of foolproofness of the DRS.

All the chatter about the DRS is taking so much out of the real action, at the same time highlighting that the technology implementation has a few loopholes to address. By limiting the number of reviews for a side, the DRS is asking captains to be smarter in choosing referral calls rather than ensuring that the game is devoid of any howlers; the primary objective of introducing the technological aid! Rules like lbw calls being left to (on-field) ‘umpire’s call’ despite a particular amount of the delivery projected to hit the stumps are leaving too much space for ambiguity.

The ICC post the Trent Bridge test said that it is considering involving the TV umpire more for adjudication in case of obvious non-referred decisions. Today almost every wicket is followed by a no-ball check via TV replays. Close to ground catches or run-outs are adjudicated by the 3rd umpire. On-field dismissal decisions are overturned courtesy the DRS. Technology in sport is en route making it more professional and error-free, at the cost of disempowering the most respected authority on the cricket field!

Technological tools - TV camera frames, infra red imaging depth/sensitivity, ball tracking frame speeds aren’t perfect at the moment, but that doesn’t imply that its implementation should be barred. What can be more sensible is the way these tools are applied. For example, while there is still no absolute consensus on the ball projecting methodology (for lbw’s), line calls (ball pitching zone) should be made without the tag of referral. The conflict between capping number of reviews, given the time a particular instance of scrutiny consumes, and ensuring there isn’t any howler is the crux of the matter. A few voices have suggested that instead of allowing captains to review decisions, why can’t on-field umpires be empowered to refer the TV umpire on instances of doubt? While this makes sense in theory, it is pretty subjective in execution.

The criticism about the DRS in recent weeks has been equated to vindication of the reluctant stance of certain empowered authorities. The equality isn’t entirely valid as opposing technology isn’t exactly opposing the way it is implemented. The DRS should be looked upon as an add-on to the package and not a revolutionary modification to fundamentals of the sport. As it is in its nascent stages, the DRS is expected to have its share of teething issues and the ICC needs to address the feedback as much as possible. With contemplating about the decisive role of the TV umpire, subject to ‘uniformity’ of sharper and quicker television replays, the ICC authorities are showing urgency and reacting to situation with a purpose. If this experiment does indeed click, there could be a window for having 2 TV umpires to monitor ball by ball proceedings. Technology has shown that decision making can get close to 100%, but there is definite need to review the Decision Review ‘System’!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Captaincy Conundrum!

8 teams, 60 matches and 7 ‘Indian’ skippers (discounting Duminy and Miller) constituted the recently concluded 9th edition of the Indian Premier League. This featured 2 new teams, unfamiliar captains (Raina, Vijay), seasoned IPL leaders (Gambhir, Rohit, Dhoni), a motivational veteran (Zaheer Khan) and Indian cricket’s man of the moment - Virat Kohli captaining a powerful side. Right through pre-tournament previews till the beginning of the finals, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) wasn’t the most fancied team in the competition. The team was led by the only non-Indian skipper - David Warner, who didn’t have any prior experience of leading Australia. The middle order appeared fragile and injuries to experienced Indian international players (Nehra and Yuvraj) added to the perceptual woes.
Quietly and probably facilitated by the lack of attention, SRH managed to string in consistent wins and stay in the hunt for the title. The template of SRH was designed to ensure penetration with the new ball …

Which Kohli Will Turn Up For The 2017-18 Season?

1st ODI, India vs England, Pune, 15 January 2017. Score 63-4. Dhoni has just been dismissed. The original target of 351, now reads 288 off 229. Kohli is batting on 27*. India’s trio of all-rounders, relatively unfancied, to follow. Kohli scores his 17th hundred in a run-chase, but the hero of the day is Kedar Jadhav whose prominence in the 200-run stand with Kohli took the game away from the opposition. Kohli the batsman extends his incredible record of successful hundreds in run-chases to 17, but Kohli the captain (leading in only his 18th ODI) has found a bankable lower-middle order batsman; the latter more critical as there only 2 more games to play to before India defends its Champions Trophy title in England later in the year.
1st Test, India vs Australia, Pune, 23-25 February 2017. An extraordinarily dry surface greets the opening contest of the big ticket series. India dismiss Australia for 260 after losing the toss. Kohli walks in to bat at 44-2. Two balls later Kohli is back in …

Satisfactory Grades In A Tough Examination!

The googly from Amit Mishra on the last delivery of the 85th over of Sri Lanka’s second innings overwhelmed the number 11 batsman Nuwan Pradeep and sealed a famous, rare series win for India in the island nation. Celebrations, accolades followed and a sense of satisfaction settled on the contemplation of India’s away tours’ log-book for the last two seasons (Oct 2013-Sep 2015). India travelled to 6 test-playing nations within ~21 months, played 17 matches, won only 3 but ticked a lot of boxes affirmatively.
Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit, Rahane, Dhoni were India’s top 7 in the first test against South Africa in Johannesburg in December 2013; Rahul, Pujara, Rahane, Kohli, Rohit, Binny, Naman Ojha formed the top 7 in the latest test at Colombo versus Sri Lanka. Ashwin, Zaheer, Ishant, Shami were the frontline bowlers then and Ashwin, Mishra, Ishant, Umesh in the recently concluded test. Dhoni retired (from tests) in that phase, likes of Gambhir & more recently Harbhajan were g…