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Absence of referral system hurt us

It was disappointing not to have the Decision Review System in place as it made a big difference. Like players, umpires are human and make mistakes, Mahela Jayawardene comments.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2009 20:01 IST
Mahela Jayawardene

When we started the third Test, we won an important toss. On a pitch that was doing a bit, we batted ok.

At least, that’s what you think when you’ve got a respectable 400 on the board. At that time, we felt that we had enough. Certainly we could have got more, but some guys got starts and couldn’t go on.

Then we were struck by Virender Sehwag. There’s no other way to put it. When a batsman scores nearly 300 in a day, there’s not much you can do. India batted well to build around Sehwag and you have to give credit where it is due. The game went away from us a bit by the time the Indians had finished with their first innings.

In the second innings, it was always going to be tough as there was a bit of turn and bounce. We were not consistent enough, and pretty much fell apart.

Looking back at the series, you’d have to say that the Indians played much better cricket overall.

They were consistent with the bat and had different bowlers chipping in at various times to pick up 20 wickets. That’s what wins you Test matches.

Having said that, it was disappointing not to have the Decision Review System in place as it made a big difference. Like players, umpires are human and make mistakes. The tricky part is that this does influence the result and direction of a match. The last time we played India, at home in 2008, the Decision Review System worked in our favour. Not having it here cost us quite a lot.

Dilshan was batting on 109 in the first innings and was given out caught bat-pad. The umpire came to Dilshan later on and apologised for the mistake, and that was a nice touch, but by then the damage was done.

If we have the technology to help avoid these obvious errors, we should use it.

At the moment, there are two other Test series on in different parts of the world, and they are using this system. No excuses, we were outplayed, but not having the Decision Review System did hurt us.

On a personal note, I started the series well but was not consistent.

I was very disappointed with the way I got out in the first innings of this match. I played a poor shot, let the team down and put the others under pressure.

But the moment belongs to the Indians. They totally deserve the Number One ranking. They’re a balanced team — a strong top seven with a mix of explosiveness and solid experience and a bowling attack led by Zaheer Khan that can take wickets in any conditions. They’re quite capable of beating any team, and this competition for the top spot is only good for the health of the game.