If ever evidence was needed that there are flaws in the DRS, they were amply provided in the three Ashes Tests so far. Even an irate former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd expressed angst after a howler nailed Usman Khawaja at Old Trafford.
What is Decision Review System?
The system gives players the right to question an umpire’s decision and seek the help of video replays and tools (like the ball tracker, hawkeye, hotspot, pitch mapping etc). It has been heavily criticised since it debuted during the Sri Lanka-India Test series in 2008.
How it works?
Each team is allowed two unsuccessful reviews per innings during a Test and one unsuccessful review request per innings during a one-dayer.
With regards to lbw decisions, in cases where the original decision is out, the Hawk Eye must show the ball to be completely missing the stumps in order for the umpire to undo his decision.
Hawk-Eye extrapolates beyond where the ball hits the pad, and predicts whether it would have hit the stumps or not.
Also, Hot Spot, the infra-red imaging system that illuminates where the ball has been in contact with bat or pad, is a tool used to detect edges.
Why is India opposing the DRS?
The DRS is not fool proof when it comes to reviewing leg-before decisions. The ball-tracker technology cannot reproduce the same effect as bounce and turn vary from each particular point of the pitch and there can be infinite points. “Our objection is to ball-tracking. It becomes just a case of someone else’s imagination versus the umpire’s imagination,” out-of-favour BCCI President N Srinivasan once said.
With regards to DRS, you have to look at the economics. Every board is not making money out of Test matches and ODIs. The system requires about $60,000 per match.
Football has scope to use technology regarding offside and penalty decisions but FIFA have agreed to use only goalline technology to ascertain whether the ball crossed the line. Also, Hawk-Eye uses 7 cameras per goal to detect the ball & claims its system is “millimetre accurate, ensuring no broadcast replays could disprove the decision”.
Hawk-Eye was first used in a tennis tournament in 2005, making its official Wimbledon debut in 2007. Despite being praised by many, not everyone has been in favour of the technology. Hawk-Eye works through a number of cameras that capture locations of the ball as it travels, and a model of the field of play.