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Time to review DRS as well as umpires using them

india Updated: Sep 08, 2011 01:58 IST
Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra
Hindustan Times
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Dravid's dismissals in England, wide of the mark as they were, have stirred the debate about the use of Decision Review System (DRS) once again. He's been at the receiving end of this technology most often, except once when he was given a reprieve. While BCCI's stand on the use of the review system is well known, Dravid's plight would have made them firm non-believers. However, nothing in those decisions, as incorrect as they were, vindicates the popular sentiment against the DRS. In fact, didn't we agree on using the 'Hotspot' and the 'Audio Tracking device' to detect edges, believing they were infallible? Of all things, these two technologies have been the most unreliable so far. Besides, we'd been sceptical about the accuracy of 'Hawk Eye', hence carefully omitted its use. So, why blame the whole review system now when we handpicked the technologies to be incorporated in the DRS? It's worth discussing what we know of the technology we backed, rather than the futility of it all. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/08_09_pg20b.jpg

Yes, 'Hot Spot' has failed to detect faint edges and the Audio Tracking device hasn't been of much help either. But is that enough to dump the DRS completely?

Let's revisit Dravid's caught-behind dismissal off Broad in the first ODI. The umpire turned down the appeal and the decision was referred to the third umpire. Hot Spot showed nothing, there was no visible deviation off the bat and the nick wasn't loud enough, either to suggest that Dravid had indeed edged the ball. In short, technology didn't show anything conclusive for the third umpire to overturn the original decision. Still, he went ahead and did just that. Would you blame the technology or the standard of umpiring? I'd blame the latter, for the fundamentals on which the DRS works is to look for conclusive evidence. Guesswork is the prerogative of the on-field umpire. Isn't there a bigger issue that must be addressed before debating the merits of using the DRS? After all even the best technology will fail if the people who're handling it are incompetent.

Whenever the ICC decides to review the DRS, it must ensure that accepted technologies are not only available but also used in every single series.