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Opinion - DRS Inconsistency Is Infuriating

Matthew Prior walks off
Matthew Prior - out at Trent Bridge against India, but against any other team, he would have reviewed and been allowed to carry on batting.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

Since making its entrance into the Test arena five years ago, the Decision Review System (DRS) has been systematically criticised, praised and derided in equal measure.

The ICC claim that the system has seen a four per cent rise in correct decisions during Test matches. So why then, despite evidence of its success and its place in the public consciousness assured, does the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) still refuse to use it?

Their main grievance is that until the system is 100 per cent accurate they will refuse to use it, instead preferring to adhere to the decision given on the pitch. This is a rose-tinted glasses viewpoint on cricket; in reality there will never be a moment when 100 per cent of the decisions are correct.

Cricket deals in too many minute details and on the whims of human beings to be accurate all of the time. I can see why the BCCI want to hold back on using DRS but it’s the double standard around the world that I am peronally beginning to lose patience with.

During this Test it now appears an odd sight to see a batsman dismissed leg before and simply turn his back and walk back to the pavilion rather than gesticulating towards his partner for advice on a review.

I’m sure the purists will be enjoying the simplicity of a batsman accepting his fate.

However, cricket is a multi-million pound industry and has been thrust into the modern age; it is too vital a commodity to be tarnished by human error.

We are now in the infuriating position where, in theory, you could face two identical deliveries in Test matches in both India and South Africa, for example, and be out in one part of the world and not out in the other.

This is making a mockery of Test cricket and the statistics which are collected. If the BCCI continue to dig their heels in, will we need to separate Test match statistics into those played using DRS and those played without? This would be an extreme step I confess, but if the double standards continue then that is where we will stand.

A single country's insistence not to use DRS can often lead to accusations of bias; I would argue that despite England being on the end of some poor umpiring decisions in the current test at Trent Bridge, this is not where my grudge lies.

I am not alone in simply wanting to see a level playing field across world cricket.

DRS has improved the decision-making process in Test cricket during the past five years and having been tweaked along the way it continues to improve year on year. The only criticism I would make of the system is that it does occasionally rob spectators and players of that moment of pure ecstasy at a vital LBW or caught behind dismissal.

This is but a small gripe however, when compared to the alternative. Imagine a scenario where a team is nine wickets down and requires one run for victory and the batsmen is dismissed caught behind despite missing the ball.

It may only be a single wicket but it has the power to change an entire match, a series and perhaps even a career.

I think as a player, you would want all available tools used to help in the decision-making process to eliminate human error from a potentially match-changing scenario.

Cricket has turned a corner in the past few years. During this Test it now appears an odd sight to see a batsman dismissed leg before and simply turn his back and walk back to the pavilion rather than gesticulating towards his partner for advice on a review. I’m sure the purists will be enjoying the simplicity of a batsman accepting his fate.

However, cricket is a multi-million pound industry and has been thrust into the modern age; it is too vital a commodity to be tarnished by human error.

As a younger viewer of the game I welcome DRS and all its trappings, but I just wish the ICC would and make DRS compulsory in all international cricket.

© Cricket World 2014


Fixtures & Results

9th-13th July: 1st Test, Trent Bridge, Nottingham

India 457 & 391-9 dec. (Binny 78) drew with
England 496 (Root 154no, Anderson 81)
17th-21st July: 2nd Test, Lord's, London

India 295 & 342 (Vijay 95, Jadeja 68) beat
England 319 & 223 (Sharma 7-74) by 95 runs
27th-31st July: 3rd Test, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton

England 569-7 dec. & 205-4 dec. beat
India 330 & 178 (Ali 6-67) by 266 runs
7th-11th August: 4th Test, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

England 367 (Root 77, Buttler 70) beat
India 152 & 166 by an innings & 54 runs
15th-19th August: 5th Test, The Kia Oval, London

England 486 (Root 149no, Cook 79) beat
India 148 & 94 by an innings & 244 runs
25th August: 1st ODI, Bristol

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain
27th August: 2nd ODI, SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff

India 304-6 (Raina 100, Woakes 4-52) beat
England 161 (Jadeja 4-28) by 133 runs (D/L)
30th August: 3rd ODI, Trent Bridge, Nottingham

India 228-4 (Rayudu 64no) beat
England 227 (Cook 44) by six wickets
2nd September: 4th ODI, Edgbaston, Birmingham

India 212-1 (Rahane 106, Dhawan 97no) beat
England 206 (Moeen Ali 67) by nine wickets
5th September: 5th ODI, Headingley, Leeds

England 294-7 (Root 113, Buttler 49) beat
India 253 (Jadeja 87) by 41 runs
7th September: T20I, Edgbaston, Birmingham

England 180-7 (Morgan 71, Hales 40)
India 177-5 (Kohli 66) by three runs