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Friday, May 10, 2019

reading situation, judging DRS ~ Thala Dhoni stands out !

The all-important CSK Vs DC match is now at Vizag .. Dhoni is credited with many things – his inimitable style of keeping, big hitting, last over finish, helicopter shot, showing no emotions, running between the wickets, lightning stumpings, run-out effected without seeing the stumps, removing a single glove to effectively throw at the stumps .. .. .. and – his near flawless reading of DRS – demonstrated today yet again !

The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS or DRS) is a technology-based system used in cricket to assist the match officials with their decision-making.  With the implementation of DRS,  On-field umpires may choose to consult with the third umpire (known as an Umpire Review), and players may request that the third umpire consider a decision of the on-field umpires (known as a Player Review).  The technological aids to this are : television replays, technology that tracks the path of the ball and predicts what it would have done, microphones to detect small sounds made as the ball hits bat or pad, and infra-red imaging to detect temperature changes as the ball hits bat or pad.  It is another matter that many a times, it is found that Umpire had not called no-ball, but is found later on review !!

While on-field Test match umpires have been able to refer some decisions to a third umpire since Nov 1992, the formal DRS system to add Player Reviews was first used in a Test match in 2008, first used in an ODI in January 2011, and first used in a Twenty20 International in October 2017.

When it was implemented on trial basis in the Test series between Sri Lanka and India – our swashbuckler Virender Sehwag was the first victim. Anil KUmble was the Indian Captain.  Dhoni opted for rest – and in those three Tests, India failed miserably in DRS with a solitary  successful review; Sri Lanka in contrast had  11.

Today at Vizag – over 2.3 Deepak Chahar to Prithvi Shaw – pulls and misses and struck on thigh.  Umpire says not out – Chahar runs towards Dhoni.  Captain Cool thinks a split second, signals DRS review ..  Prithvi is not tall – and the decision is reversed after seeing the TV inputs – commentators jumped the gun to say that perhaps Dhoni erred with the length – not to be – ball appears to have hit the stumps and review successful.

India was painted as a villain for fighting and opposing the DRS -  …… for long Cricketing World was fretting that India is the lone opposer to the system change and was  stalling the same flexing its muscle !  but when in Ashes in 2012  some decisions went against Aussies - their Vice Captain, Coach were all blaming technology – specifically the DRS.  When the pressure was intense, ICC announced that  the umpires made a total of 72 decisions, which is well above the average (49) for a DRS Test match. The umpiring team, made up of Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus, was assessed to have made seven errors during the match, out of which three were uncorrected decisions and four decisions corrected using the DRS. The three decisions that were marked as uncorrected errors included one against Trott when a correct lbw decision (not out against the bowling of Mitchell Starc) was overturned.  Australia's vice-captain Brad Haddin voiced that  that decision referrals should be taken out of the hands of players and left as a tool of international umpires.

o   Ian Bell’s first test century against  was courtesy the referral system.  He was given out on 67, insisted that he had not touched the ball, on a referral the decision was over turned.  On 16th June 12 in the 1st ODI at The Rose Bowl, he scored 126 again courtesy UDRS.  He later confessed having nicked the ball behind when on 23, but Decision Review System (DRS) gave him the benefit of the doubt, and allowed him to fire England to victory. In WC 2011, Dhoni made a referral.  the giant screen made Bell realise his defeat and made him walking – but Billy Bowden  gave him not out and struck to his decision.  That time it was the  2.5m rule
o   In Mar 2017 at Bangalore, Steve Smith took the help of dressing room in asking for DRS and ascribed it to be a brainfade.
o   In another instance -  Bangladesh’s first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. The astonishing event happened on the second ball of the fifth day with Sarkar batting on 53. He failed to judge the line of a delivery from right-arm medium pacer Asela Gunaratne as the ball clipped the top of his off stump. With Bangladesh chasing a massive target of 457, opener Sarkar’s wicket was crucial and he bowled everyone including the commentators by his asking for a review after being bowled !!

Thala Dhoni stands out !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
10th May 2019 @ 20.30 hrs.

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