The introduction of the limited use DRS courted controversy this Ranji Trophy season and players, including title-winning skipper Jaydev Unadkat and and teammate Cheteshwar Pujara gave their nod for full use of the technology to be used from next season.
The DRS became a talking point ever since it was introduced in the semi-finals with an aim to reduce howlers.
“It is important to have it,” said Pujara. “Sometimes umpires can make an error as they are human beings and it is part of the game. BCCI using DRS in knockout games is a good step but I still feel there is scope for improvement.
“There is no ball tracking and snickometer at the moment. So, I would like to see that in the big games going forward, especially the semi-finals and finals,” he added after Saurashtra’s first-ever Ranji Trophy triumph.
Unadkat concurred with his friend and teammate. “I agree with him [Pujara],” Unadkat said. “But it is partial DRS with partial errors so if they can make it full nothing like that. Like you saw yesterday there were a couple of decisions which were not quite convincing to be honest, but at the same time, there were instances when both teams benefitted from it. So I am not at all against DRS but full DRS is something we would like to see especially in knock-outs,” the left-arm pacer added.
On day four of the final, Unadkat was at the receiving end of two incorrect DRS calls while bowling Bengal wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha.
In the first instance, which took place in the third over of the day, Saha was adjudged out by the on-field umpire but on referral, third umpire S Ravi gave him not out. The ball shaped back in at sharply and Saha appeared to be plumb in front.
The second instance came late in the session and this time the ball seemed to be crashing the stumps but the on-field umpire did not give it out this time. The replays showed only half of the ball was in line of the impact, therefore, the third umpire stayed with the on-field umpire’s call.
Saba Karim, BCCI’s General Manager of Cricket Operations, said that the board is open to the idea of a full DRS. “The season has just ended. We will take a call in due time. We will discuss it at the annual captains and conclave and then take a call,” said Karim.
Ball-tracking technology, which is a major component of the DRS, was not used by the BCCI for the Ranji Trophy semis and final. The snickometer was also not available.