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DRS - Drama Review System


DRS_Decision_Review_System_CricketIn 2008, the Internaional Cricket Council (ICC) introduced the game-changing idea of the Decision Review System (DRS) to do away with the worst of errors in on-field umpiring. This became a topic of debate as the BCCI did not trust this technology, eventually snowballing into a mild controversy.

The idea behind DRS was to give batsmen and the fielding captain a chance to overturn wrong decisions. But there are many instances when the DRS technology itself returned with questionable or wrong decisions all together. For such decisions, it has been under the scanner of cricket pundits.

DRS has not been India’s cup of tea from the very beginning and they have always been hesitant to “trust” the technology. The technology was finally adopted with the arrival of the new captain, Virat Kohli, and the new coach, Anil Kumble, in the home series against England.

There was not much controversy in the matches against England and in the one- off test against Bangladesh. However, India got exposed in the 1st Test of the ongoing series against Australia when they wasted six out of seven reviews.

DRS is now causing enough chatter in India and Australia that it could be soon known as the “Drama Review System.” Consider the dismissal of Australia’s captain Steve Smith on day 4 of the recently concluded 2nd Test. As soon as Smith was given leg-before by the umpire, Nigel Llong, the Aussie captain had a short chat with the non-striker and looked at the dressing room, asking for help with whether or not to review the decision.

This didn’t impress Virat Kohli at all, and he stepped in to the drama created by the visiting captain. In the post-match conference, Kohli accused Australia of using DRS inappropriately.

Kohli said, “I saw that two times happening when I was batting out there, I pointed it out to the umpire as well, that’s it happened twice, that I’ve seen their players looking upstairs for confirmation.” He added, “When he turned back the umpire knew exactly what was going on, because we observed that, we told the match referee also, and the umpires, that they’ve been doing that for the last three days and this has to stop.”

In the same press conference, Kohli stopped just short of calling what Smith did “cheating”.

This issue aside, Kohli’s relationship with the DRS is not going very well. The current series has been a quite nightmare for the captain. Having gone for the review several times already, the Indian skipper tried his luck yet again on Monday, believing that this time he had a chance to be in the right, but even that didn’t go in his favor.

Kohli was given out LBW on a delivery bowled by Josh Hazlewood which skidded onto the pad. Kohli thought the ball had edged his bat before hitting the pad and decided to go upstairs immediately. The decision was reviewed but even after replaying the footage umpteen times, the third umpire came up with the statement “no conclusive evidence”. This again raised issues regarding the effectiveness of the technology.

With all the drama that took place on the 3rd & 4th day, DRS might be needed to put it under the scanner again as the umpire’s call is proving to be really, really crucial. Sanjay Bangar, batting coach of India said, “We are new to DRS and the rules have been tweaked a bit. We haven’t really sat down and evaluated it. We are still in the process of learning.”

Decisions like these have raised some questions that need to be addressed. Will DRS prove to be beneficial in Test cricket? Will the reviews mean more correct decisions or controversial decisions?


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Yatin Singh is a graduate of Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, studied B.A (H) Journalism. Yatin,...

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