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Damned Review System


Umpire_Aleem_Dar_CricketJust 2 Tests into the tournament and the Ashes has already found a clear winner. The first Test was a close contest built on the back of Australia's technically equipped batsmen coming in at number 11. The second one was a meek surrender as the lower order batsmen started taking tips from Phil Hughes. Even as England take a 2-0 lead, the winner clearly, is the BCCI.

In opposing the DRS as if it were a porn movie featuring Haroon Lorgat, the BCCI has found quite a few supporters. The ECB and CA might start singing the same song which is 'Twisting by the pool.' Just kidding. It's actually 'Smack my bitch up.' The BCCI was cauterized for its defiance of technology. So much so that it wouldn't be foolhardy to think they were the ones who planned this Ashes series all along. Maybe they didn't. Else the fifth Test would involve Sri Lanka as well.

Adam Gilchrist seems to support the BCCI. He mentioned a few valid points. The most aesthetically pleasing was the one about DRS robbing the game of its spontaneity. In the 2005 series, Flintoff would have had to stand by Brett Lee's side and wait for the decision before consoling him or spewing expletives depending on whether hotspot was 'primed' for that delivery by Harmison. #Awkward. Michael Vaughan would have run to Flintoff, only for the T sign to interrupt his jump. Bring in the DRS only when the tools are a 100%. Till then, we have umpires to make mistakes, thank you very much.

The inconsistency of the decisions made by the third umpire after the use of DRS is baffling too. Johnathan Trott discovered the ball isn't nicked if hotspot doesn't show a mark while Ashton Agar found out the ball is nicked even when there's no spot. Michael Clarke found out he's not as smart a captain as he thinks he is and that doing the Macarena after a wicket, requires a DRS in hand. In general, batsmen have discovered that even after being given out, there is still hope. As Shane Watson so selflessly reviewed an 'oh so doubtful' decision, an embarassed Rogers let one pass after being given a tummy tuck by the ball that was going down his leg.

DRS has shown that batsmen aren't really sure of where their leg stump is. If it wasn't an important aspect of batting before, it definitely is now. In the end, what really matters is that BCCI has won, in more ways than one. With Cricket Australia releasing a statement saying 'the strategy for the BBL is working', the IPL doesn't seem so bad now, of course discounting Siddhu and the unfortunate pretty legs who have to speak.

On a more serious note, with almost every country jumping onto the T20 league bandwagon, there has risen a need to rediscover the basics of cricket. Batsmen need 'Test' cricket technique before they learn strokes straight out of Christopher Nolan's brain. In the maidans of Mumbai, it isn't uncommon to find young kids trying the ramp or the helicopter shot.

Boards need to look into their scheduling. First Class cricket needs to be given huge French windows.

Umpires need to start taking more responsibility, instead of relying on technology. Not many umpires get into good positions to judge run-outs because they know they can draw a TV from position 69 as well. Perhaps with the DRS they think about giving decisions against the team with reviews left, instead of the correct one? Whatever the reasons, umpires need to get back on track too and not philander, not the Vernon kind, the Rauf kind. It's a cruel generalization, but the standards need to be picked up. Experienced umpires shouldn't be making atrocious decisions.

Moving forward, innovations may help improve the game. Both umpires as well as the players may find things easier. However, while focussing on what is, it's easy to forget what was. It shouldn't happen. Evolution merely builds on what exists. The game is evolving but the basics will always remain the same. They, quite obviously need to be learnt and no, this article isn't paid for by the BCCI. Although if they wish to, our account no. is 'supporters for you, one series at a time.'

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