It’s amazing to think that not long before India were the biggest critics of the Decision Review System in cricket but that has changed completely under Virat Kohli’s captaincy.
Australia endured some frustrating moments during their 31-run loss to India in first Test when a few decisions went against the hosts after reviewing the umpires’ calls and that left captain Tim Paine frustrated.
But his counterpart Kohli, while admitting that system wasn’t perfect, said it has changed the way cricket is played in a positive way.
Umpire Nigel Llong had given Ajinkya Rahane out caught at bat-pad for 17 in India’s second innings early on Sunday but the decision was overturned on review when replays indicated that the ball had hit the batsman’s front pad outside the line of off stump and missed his bat and gloves. Similarly, Cheteshwar Pujara, who had scored a gritty 123 in the first innings, was adjudged out on eight and 17 to Lyon in the second innings but the dismissals were overturned. Replays found no contact with bat or gloves in his first dismissal and the second one was overruled as ball tracking suggested that the ball would have gone over the bails.
“You have to take the pros and cons with it. Sometimes the inconclusive decisions go your way and something they don’t. It all depends on whether the spike comes on the snicko or there is a hot spot mark and no snicko spike as such,” Kohli said ahead of the Perth Test. “There are variables in the technology for sure. But I think if it wasn’t for DRS, you probably be in a different situation in the game because as a batter or as a fielding side you don’t have any second chance of checking a decision that can be a game changer to be honest.”
Paine had said on Wednesday that the system was not perfect yet and there are moments when it gives “interesting” decisions. Kohli said that it was just part of the package.
“See nothing is gonna be perfect. You take human errors into consideration. I don’t see how anything can be totally error free. So I guess, unless things are rectified totally we have to take these things in our stride. But we need to understand that there are significant decisions that the DRS has been able to overrule and the game has gone to a completely different dimension all together, which is something all the cricketers should be happy with and I am sure they will look at the technology blips that are happening,” the Indian captain said.
In Australia’s second innings, Aaron Finch was caught in close to off-spinner R Ashwin but he didn’t use the DRS after consulting partner Marcus Harris.
Reviews suggested that the ball had not touched the gloves and later third umpire Chris Gaffaney informed Nathan Lyon there was not enough evidence to overturn the decision.
Paine said: “It’s one of those things. You can’t do much about it. We’ve been told Aaron’s for instance would still not have been overturned. Yeah, the DRS is interesting.
“It’s a bit different when the batters are out there, it’s up to those two, isn’t it? Aaron felt something on his glove, it ended up being his pad, that can happen.”
Paine said he didn’t know what the answers to getting the system to work correctly was.
“Look, it’s (DRS) not a perfect system and I haven’t got the answers. It’s just frustrating, I’d imagine it’s frustrating for everyone. But it is what it is,” Paine was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“A lot of balls seem to be going over the top of the stumps, I know that, that live don’t look like they are. So yeah, it is what it is.”
(With PTI inputs)