DRS snub blows up in India’s face

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    England players look on at the big screen as they await the thrid umpires decision on a possible LBW off a James Anderson delivery. AAP Image/Ben Macmahon

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    India’s stubborn attitude against using the umpire decision review system, as well as selecting a team based on sentiment rather than form, could well cost them the first Test match against Australia in Chennai.

    Michael Clarke scored his 23rd Test century and put on a partnership of 151 with Moises Henriques to frustrate the Indians after they were reduced to 5/150 at one stage. It could well have been 6/206 had umpire Kumar Dharmasena spotted a huge inside edge off Clarke’s bat when he was on 39.

    But once again the Indians had objected to the use of DRS, and Clarke took full advantage as he went on to finish the day unbeaten on 103, taking Australia to an above-par total of 7/316.

    At the conclusion of the play Ravichandran Ashwin was asked at the press conference if he thought the DRS would have made a difference. He said, “We could have used it twice before and when it came to Clarke decision no reviews would have been left, so in hindsight we could well be in the same situation.”

    Perhaps it will take more than a solitary decision to change the Indian thinking. However if India are in a precarious position tomorrow they might be ruing that chance.

    The other facet which greatly benefited Australia was the Indian team selection. It seems even after 100 odd years in the game, the India selectors still believe in handing out matches on basis of personal landmarks.

    It becomes even a bigger issue when it comes in the expense of their best spinner, Pragyan Ojha.

    The whole benefit of having an extra off-spinner was to make it difficult for the Australian left handed batsmen, but Ashwin later said, “When the wicket is turning and there are footmarks a left arm or right arm spinner can be equally effective.”

    The theory was even more puzzling when Ashwin, a few minutes later, contradicted himself, saying, “I would have picked two off-spinners as well.”

    On a track tailor-made for spin, dropping Ojha and playing Harbhajan Singh was a bizarre tactic, not that the Australians are complaining.

    Indians had been suggesting a four-nil whitewash before the series started. If they continue playing these foolish tactics, the prediction could well be right, but in the Aussies’ favour.

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • February 23rd 2013 @ 4:06am
      Johnno said | February 23rd 2013 @ 4:06am | ! Report

      I would hate to think Indian cricket doesn’t want to use DRS because, there is a sinister side to this. That illegal bookmakers, make a fortune form exotic bets and results, and fuel money into Indian cricket. If that;s the case it’s unfortunate.

      • Columnist

        February 23rd 2013 @ 11:51am
        Brett McKay said | February 23rd 2013 @ 11:51am | ! Report

        and what Johnno, these illegal bookmakers are going to profit from the use of DRS, are they? How exactly?

        Please humour me and explain – even briefly – the sinister side to DRS.

        Honestly, you made more sense yesterday when you had DRS preventing Sehwag dropping the sitter at first slip…

        • February 24th 2013 @ 1:06am
          dasilva said | February 24th 2013 @ 1:06am | ! Report

          I think what he is saying that there is a sinister side of India not wanting to used DRS not illegal bookmakers profiting from DRS used

          He is implying that without DRS, referees can be bribed and make mistakes without being overturned.

    • February 23rd 2013 @ 7:08am
      Allanthus said | February 23rd 2013 @ 7:08am | ! Report

      Zero sympathy for the Indians. Clarke was out, Australia could have been dusted for 250, and extra 100 runs or so will make a massive difference on this track. What was noticeable was the reluctance of the commentators not to discuss this point, as if they’d been gagged. If so, more BCCI nonsense.

      And to Ravi Ashwin… great bowling but, no you wouldn’t have used up two referrals already because you wouldn’t have gambled on using them before this, because you would have only used DRS to reverse an obvious howler, like Clarke’s one was… if you were to use DRS properly that is.

      Are players really that stupid? All summer we have seen Clarke, Jayawardne, Sammy, McCullum and Smith gamble on 50/50 referrals and lose, and then not have any up their sleeve for when they needed it. One day perhaps players will start using the system properly, and then we might stop talking about it.

      • February 23rd 2013 @ 8:04am
        Red Kev said | February 23rd 2013 @ 8:04am | ! Report

        Yeah India really blew the day – dropping a sitter means Warner scored 59 instead of 18, and no DRS means Clarke is 103* instead of out for 39. That plus the dropping of Ojha is just poor. I can’t understand why India is so … apathetic about test matches.

      • Roar Guru

        February 23rd 2013 @ 10:04am
        JGK said | February 23rd 2013 @ 10:04am | ! Report

        The refusal of the commentators to even say the words is because they are hand picked by the BCCI.

        It was truly hilarious.

        Seems that Ashwin has also been told what to say about DRS.

        Having said that, I reckon maybe one or two of the Australian dismissals might have been overturned on DRS anyway.

        • February 23rd 2013 @ 10:15pm
          Jason Cave said | February 23rd 2013 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

          I do seem to recall that in the 1982-83 summer, the then owner on Channel 9, the late Kerry Packer, instructed his commentary team-Richie Benaud, the late Tony Greig, Bill Lawry, Ian Chappell, Frank Tyson-to be very critical of umpires decisions (this was around the time when each country has its own panel of umpires to stand in Tests and ODI matches).

          The result was that a couple of umpires quit by season’s end because of the pressure put on them by the media and the reports from each of the 4 captains involved in that summer of cricket-Australia’s Greg Chappell and Kim Hughes, England’s Bob Willis and Geoff Howarth of New Zealand.

    • Roar Guru

      February 23rd 2013 @ 7:30am
      biltongbek said | February 23rd 2013 @ 7:30am | ! Report

      It makes no sense to me that the BCCI is against the use of the DRS system, it reduces errors and anything that can increase the accuracy of dismissals should be used.

      • February 23rd 2013 @ 8:50am
        Ian Whitchurch said | February 23rd 2013 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        They are against it because Gavaskar and Tendulkar are against it.

        Gavaskar and Tendulkar are against it because they figure you hire umpires, and then they make the decision, and you follow their decision.

        Im against it because insitutionalising dissent in the umpires decision is bad for cricket.

        • Roar Guru

          February 23rd 2013 @ 10:06am
          JGK said | February 23rd 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report

          Isn’t losing respect for umpires who are shown to make errors after using ultra slo mo and 15 replays also bad for cricket?

          DRS as a concept is fine. The execution is still a bit rubbish. And the players are still pretty clueless in using it.

        • February 23rd 2013 @ 11:26am
          jameswm said | February 23rd 2013 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          Tendulkar is against it because he thinks his reputation is such that an umpore would be too intimidated to give him out in front of his home crowd.

          I don’t agree about dissent Ian – overturning howlers is more important anyway. The umpires don’t take challenges personally now, it’s part and parcel of the game.

    • February 23rd 2013 @ 9:45am
      Praveen said | February 23rd 2013 @ 9:45am | ! Report

      Yes its a shame the DRS is not being used as it removes the howlers from the game and is fair to both sides

    • February 23rd 2013 @ 11:49am
      dcnz said | February 23rd 2013 @ 11:49am | ! Report

      Come on India were against the DRS because they believed the could beat visiting teams more easily without it…

      And now lookie what is happening.

    • Roar Guru

      February 23rd 2013 @ 12:04pm
      Vas Venkatramani said | February 23rd 2013 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

      It begs the question: is the 2015 World Cup going to be with DRS or without? As it is an ICC-sanctioned tournament, but at the recent meeting the BCCI threatened to pull out of any tour/series that imposed the system, will that mean the ICC will cave and make the World Cup without the decision review system?

      • Columnist

        February 23rd 2013 @ 12:16pm
        Brett McKay said | February 23rd 2013 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

        Vas, I’ll happily stand corrected, but I thought when the ICC confirmed DRS for the 2011 World Cup, it was also extended it to all ICC events from there on, including WT20s and World Cups. The BCCI voiced its displeasure, but the ICC stood its ground..

      • Roar Guru

        February 23rd 2013 @ 12:16pm
        JGK said | February 23rd 2013 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

        I’d doubt it. India are defending champs. There is no way that they would pull out.

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