DRS set for busy bap­tism on In­dia’s turn­ing pitches

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -


Af­ter years of re­sis­tance against the De­ci­sion Re­view Sys­tem, the In­dian cricket board has fi­nally agreed to em­ploy tech­nol­ogy for the home tests against Eng­land and if the tourists’ se­ries in Bangladesh is any­thing to go by, it will get plenty of use. In the open­ing match on a turn­ing Chit­tagong track, Ku­mar Dhar­masena wit­nessed 16 chal­lenges to his de­ci­sions and af­ter eight of them were over­turned, the Sri Lankan had earned an un­wanted record of the most re­versed de­ci­sions in a sin­gle test. Fol­low­ing that match last month, which saw a record 26 re­views in to­tal, opin­ions were di­vided on whether DRS had im­proved de­ci­sion-mak­ing and the im­pact it had on the morale of um­pires, es­pe­cially on the spin-friendly pitches in South Asia.

Ahead of the sys­tem’s de­but in a test in In­dia next week, the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) said re­fer­rals were al­ways more likely on spin­ning tracks and that was why the re­view sys­tem was an es­sen­tial tool for um­pires. Ge­off Al­lardice, the ICC gen­eral man­ager for cricket op­er­a­tions at the gov­ern­ing body, is a strong ad­vo­cate for DRS, say­ing the sys­tem en­sured more con­sis­tency in de­ci­sion-mak­ing. “Gen­er­ally in DRS se­ries, we de­liver 97 to 98 per­cent correct de­ci­sions,” Al­lardice told re­porters on a con­fer­ence call.

“What that does is pro­vide a con­sis­tency of correct de­ci­sions, whether the con­di­tions are dif­fi­cult for um­pir­ing, or whether the um­pire is hav­ing a good day or a bad day. “With re­gards to the se­ries in Bangladesh and the im­pact on the um­pires, of­ten DRS de­liv­ers its best re­sult when the pitch is turn­ing or seam­ing and um­pir­ing is dif­fi­cult. “It’s quite a test for an um­pire, be­cause you can of­ten be mak­ing good de­ci­sions that are later proven to be in­cor­rect, you know, through get­ting a glove on a sweep shot that then lends to an lbw be­ing over­turned or some­thing like that.”

The gov­ern­ing body takes into ac­count the num­ber of wrong de­ci­sions made while as­sess­ing the um­pires, which prob­a­bly puts them under more pres­sure. Al­lardice said while um­pires al­ways pre­ferred get­ting as many de­ci­sions right as they could, they were very sup­port­ive of DRS and their re­ac­tion to the im­me­di­ate feed­back pro­vided by the tech­nol­ogy was cru­cial for the job. “Be­ing able to process feed­back about your de­ci­sions, and then try to ei­ther use it to im­prove your de­ci­sion-mak­ing, or to not let it af­fect your de­ci­sion-mak­ing, is the thing that de­ter­mines an elite um­pire from the next level down,” he added. “Gen­er­ally um­pires are like play­ers: They have very good matches and they have an odd match where they don’t per­form up to their nor­mal stan­dards. “The thing that we are in­ter­ested in is how they bounce back... if things aren’t go­ing their way.”

In­dia on board

The in­flu­en­tial In­dian board (BCCI) has long been a staunch op­po­nent of the re­view sys­tem, which aims to re­duce um­pir­ing howlers by de­tect­ing edges and pre­dict­ing the ball tra­jec­tory to en­sure correct catch and leg-before wicket (lbw) de­ci­sions. But in a tri­umph for the ICC, the BCCI said it would use the re­view sys­tem on a trial ba­sis to as­sess im­prove­ments made to the tech­nol­ogy af­ter hav­ing re­fused to al­low its use in any bi­lat­eral se­ries in­volv­ing its test team in the past. The BCCI had pre­vi­ously ob­jected to the use of ball-track­ing tech­nol­ogy, in which a third um­pire goes through a num­ber of pro­cesses to de­ter­mine if the on-field of­fi­cials were correct, say­ing it was not re­li­able enough. It will mean that Dhar­masena, who will be an on-field um­pire in the open­ing two tests of the five-match se­ries against Eng­land, will con­tinue to re­main under scru­tiny.

Uni­form tech­nol­ogy

DRS, in its cur­rent form, has no uni­for­mity on the use of tech­nol­ogy across the globe. While ball-track­ing tech­nol­ogy is manda­tory, sound and heat-based edge de­tec­tion sys­tems are only used in some coun­tries. —Reuters

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