It’s a farce that India continue to refuse DRS

Date: December 14, 2014 / Posted by Glenn Mitchell

DRS 1There was high farce again yesterday when the Indian team was refused the wicket of David Warner when he was on 70.

The fielding team went up as one when a short ball from Varun Aaron appeared to be gloved down the leg side to wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, however the beseeching mass appeal was turned down.

The bowler was demonstratively upset and so was his skipper, Virat Kohli, who after the over questioned umpire Ian Gould as to why it was given not out.

Gould could easily have responded by saying, “if you had agreed to use DRS like everyone else you could find out for yourself”.

Replays indicated that Warner had in fact gloved the ball through to the ‘keeper.

Earlier, in India’s first innings, Nathan Lyon was the recipient of a free wicket when Saha was given out caught at slip by Shane Watson.

Saha stood his ground for an instant after the finger was raised before trudging off the ground shaking his head.

No wonder he was dismayed as replays indicated the ball had come off his pad.

However, like Aaron later in the day, there was no right of appeal.

India continues to display its intransigence towards the Decision Review System.

Its argument is that the system is not totally foolproof.

That may be the case but in the vast majority of referrals it appears that it provides an effective and accurate outcome.

So much so that the other nine Test playing nations are in favour of it and happily use it.

But not India.

And as such, every one of their opponents is denied the opportunity to avail themselves of the technology whenever the play them.

How in the world one nation can opt out and in the process deny its opponent the use of DRS is ridiculous.

Would such an outcome happen in other sports?

Imagine if, for argument’s sake, Roger Federer felt that the hawk-eye tracking system used at Wimbledon was not a reliable arbiter of line call decisions – keeping in mind it can rule a ball in or out to a measurement of 1mm – and as such said he did not wish to use it.

It is inconceivable that he would be allowed his request and should he march through to the final his seven matches would be played out without the technology available to his opponent.

Tennis authorities would certainly not yield to one man’s belief.

The NFL – which comprises 32 teams – utilises a DRS whereby each coach is allowed to ask for two decisions to be reviewed per match.

Again, if for example the Green Bay Packers said to the NFL Commissioner it did not believe in the replay system would it would be allowed to sit aside from the other 31 teams and go through the season refuse opponents its use?

Again, the answer would be no.

A few years back the ICC amended the standard playing conditions for Test cricket by removing the ability of nations to refuse the use of artificial lights to supplement natural light should the conditions warrant it.

Nowadays the only time a ground’s lights are not utilised is when the host board conveys to the ICC pre-series that it believes the said ground has inefficient lighting.

Otherwise the use of lights is a non-negotiable for all Test nations.

Prior to the re-drafting of the standard playing conditions India steadfastly refused to play with the aid of artificial light.

It was forced to fall into line however when the ICC stated that teams could no longer veto the use of lights in Test cricket, thus allowing the paying spectator to see more for his money.

Previously on several occasions Australia would said to India that it was happy to play under lights but the decision was vetoed by India which simply said “no”.

In the end the Indian team was given no choice.

The same should happen with DRS.

If nine out of ten Test nations are happy to use it then majority rule should see India told that it will fall in line.

And until such time as the ICC has the fortitude to simply lay down the law, no Indian captain or player should be asking why a decision did not go in their favour.

The option is there for them to answer such a question whenever they wish.

First published on The Roar – theroar.com.au – on 13 December 2014