The most contentious aspect of the Decision Review System (DRS) - the Hawk-Eye or ball-tracking device - has been no-balled by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
When HT spoke to a former cricketer, a physicist and an international umpire on Monday, surprisingly, it was the umpire who defended the system.
"I am speaking on behalf on the Indian umpiring fraternity and we endorse the use of the hawk-eye in determining leg-before decisions," said the umpire, on condition of anonymity, as he is contractually prohibited by the BCCI to speak to the media."Surveys show that international umpires get about 92 per cent of decisions correct. The use of hawk-eye increases that by about three to four per cent. So what's the harm in using it? We are getting more correct decisions in the end," said the umpire, who is well known in the domestic circuit.
Kiran More, the former India wicketkeeper, denounced the use of hawk-eye. "I am not convinced with it at all. There are lots of variables like camera angles, nature of the pitch, point of impact and all that," said the man who spent his playing days watching the ball from a position no one else had access to.
"Depending on all these factors, it's very difficult to come to a conclusion when it comes to adjudge a batsman leg-before by using the Hawk-Eye technology. I don't support it," said the veteran.
Professor Gautam Mandal of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, pointed out certain flaws in the technology. "They use four cameras while using this system which give two dimensional images. They then combine the four to get a three dimensional image and there can be errors in that process," said Mandal.
Elaborating, he spoke of two situations. "If the ball has travelled a fair bit before hitting the pad, you can get a somewhat clear idea of how it's going to travel further. But if the ball hits the pad right after pitching, you have to predict how it's going to move or spin after that. And prediction always involves an element of error. "It's true that the system works on a data base but there can be a certain ground of which the computer doesn't have sufficient information. Things can improve but at the moment, this system has errors," said Mandal.