Australia v India, 1st Test, MCG, 1st day December 26, 2011

Cowan calls for uniformity in DRS use


Ed Cowan has reiterated Australia's calls for a uniform approach to the Decision Review System on a day when he and Michael Hussey fell to decisions that would have been overturned had they been reviewed. As a Test debutant at the age of 29, Cowan has spent longer than most men watching the game from the outside, and he believes the ICC should take the lead on the DRS.

Cowan's call came after Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, had said before the match that he wanted consistency from the DRS, which the ICC mandated in Tests and ODIs earlier this year only to reverse the decision three months later. The BCCI's opposition to review technology meant that under the new rules, in which both boards must agree for the DRS to be used, the system was always going to be absent from this series.

Hussey was especially unfortunate to be given out first ball when umpire Marais Erasmus adjudged him caught behind, and replays showed Zaheer Khan's bouncer had clearly come off Hussey's sleeve. Later, Ian Gould gave Cowan out caught behind off R Ashwin, although Hot Spot showed no contact, and the batsman appeared to be surprised at the decision.

When asked if he hit the ball, Cowan said, "I was disappointed to get out, it was a bit of a lazy shot ... You saw the replays, you saw my reaction, you can join the dots I guess. With the DRS, I'm an interesting perspective because I've been a consumer of the game for so long; this is day one on the job for me.

"So as someone who loves his cricket and has watched a lot of cricket, I just don't understand why it can't be handed down by the ICC to be uniform in all games. And that's me speaking as an outsider, not as someone who has been in the bubble for a long time. It is an interesting one, we'll see how it pans out, I'm sure it'll even itself out over the course of the series."

Ricky Ponting, speaking to ABC radio, also called for uniformity. "I thought it was compulsory in every series we are going to play, but apparently not. As players you want uniformity around the world and consistency in the technology and things that you are using in the game. And it's just this one series against India that keeps poping up where we are not using the system. As players that's what we are after"

Those two dismissals, which took Australia from 4 for 205 to 6 for 214, gave India the advantage in the final session, although resistance from Brad Haddin and Peter Siddle later eased concerns for the hosts. Cowan said the loss of Hussey for a golden duck straight after the departure of Michael Clarke was pivotal in the day's play.

"It was a massive moment in the game, a huge moment," he said. "We'd just had a 100-run partnership [between Cowan and Ricky Ponting], wrestled back the momentum, almost a 50-run partnership [Cowan and Clarke]. We felt we were half an hour away from really nailing them, grinding them into the dust. We get through that Zaheer spell unscathed and it is a completely different complexion to the day's play.

"It's not an issue of DRS. It doesn't matter what cricket you play in, umpiring decisions always change momentum in the game. It doesn't matter whether it is an MCG Test match or me playing club cricket, that's the game - we all accept that. Today momentum went against us because of it, two of your top six, but that's the game and we'll take the good with the bad."

This series is the first time Australia have played Tests without the DRS since their last battle with India, away from home late last year. And while the decisions went against Australia today, Cowan said their final position was a good result at the end of a day on which batsmen had to knuckle down.

"I thought it was a really great day's cricket," Cowan said. "The bat had its moments, the ball had its moments, a good cricket wicket. If you bent your back and put it in a good spot you got something out of it. There was turn, there was bounce, but if you were good enough to play your shots, you could score runs. So it was great to see a good cricket wicket on day one. They bowled really well in patches. I thought we batted really well in patches and I think we've got our noses ahead."

That position came largely thanks to Cowan's level-headed innings of 68 on debut, an effort that showed the value of developing his technique on a difficult, green Hobart pitch over the past few seasons. He faced the first ball of the Test and while wickets fell at the other end, he stayed calm, a result of what he described as a lack of jitters.

"I was strangely not nervous, I can't explain why," Cowan said. "I was a little anxious when we won the toss and batted, but no more than we would've been if I was playing state cricket for Tasmania at Bellerive.

"Those nerves of wanting to contribute for the team upfront, it is my job to set the game up. I should've been a lot more nervous. I had to keep pinching myself to think, 'mate you should be more nervous here, more anxious', but being relaxed really helped me through it and it felt like another bat-on-ball contest."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jeff on December 29, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    To those advocating 3rd umpire review systems. - Firstly the 3rd umpire is NOT a professional technician with 20+ years of training on ball tracking, he is an onfield umpire doing an unfamiliar job that he is untrained for in an unfamiliar environment. To properly use something like ball tracking you should have at least 4 years at university on a relevant subject and 20 years on the job - umpires get a few hours training. You can see this when they do things like forgetting to turn the mike up or not setting the ball tracker properly. Secondly the umpires would review EVERYTHING and the over rate rate would drop by half - the replays would be called for EVERY time the ball hit the pad 'just to be sure'. Want proof - look at how they handle runouts now - EVERY runout is referred to cover their backs.

  • stuart on December 29, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    Is the reason for not backing the review system because it would show how often certain players are really out and start to deflate some of the averages? Lets face it in a fair fight India will always lose because they just don't have the talent. i think they should stick to 20/20 or just play tests against second ranked nations and leave test cricket to Aus,Eng,Sa and Pak.

  • saurabh on December 29, 2011, 8:54 GMT


  • saurabh on December 29, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    I think now ICC should implementthis UDRS when seeing that 4 decision went wrong the rickyponting in which he made 15 runs given not out and then 2day when hussey twice was out when lbw and then the nick down the leg side caught by dhoni it was shown on hot spot nick.

  • RAJESH on December 29, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    Hey Guys.... I am a proud supporter Of UDRS but the Problem associated with this system is umpire/person who is using the this technology to make decision are not good or in other words they are fit for nothing... Majority of the times INDIAN team suffered a lot because of those guys/Umpires.... In Sri Lanka (2008) and England (2011) Series many decisions went against us even after using UDRS.... In England series Dravid was given out on number of occasions even after using UDRS.. In the 4th Test Dravid asked for review but was given out when hotspot dint find any edge… In this case it was the failure of Umpire Not UDRS… So Finally, I would like the best Umpires who knows about technology to use UDRS System rather than giving to dumb guys….

  • shuvo on December 29, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    yahoooooooooooooo india have lost this game. india should loose the game continuously as BCCI thinks they will rule out the whole world of cricket nations and whatever they decide everyone has to follow? ICC cant be run only by india. other cricketing nations should raise their voice to stop such monopoly. UDRS should be implemented compulsory for all cricketing nations.

  • Alex on December 29, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    It is utterly laughable to hear indians and especialy sachin fans to say no to DRS. Indian team need DRS more than any other team because indian team bowling is more weaker than others. India needed ponting wicket and he was out clearly in DRS. India would have won the first TEST. It is bad KARMA we are losing first TEST. When majority makes a blunder there is a 100% negative feeling and whole world wants india to lose. Because BCCI is in wrong side of HISTORY. Every one has to be pro growth or every one gets destroyed eventually.

  • Sarwar on December 29, 2011, 4:22 GMT

    Guys I have real joke on India's Foot Ball. I can't remember the year but once they selected to play world cup. You know what happened, they intended to play in bare foot without wearing any boot. But FIFA didn't allow them to play.. LOL.... I am with the DRS anyway, life in modern days without technology beyond of imagination. Since technology used in the Game already such as snicko, hawk eye etc. why not using hotspot. It would not benefit to the Australian only, guys.. its for all other nations playing cricket. Why you guys are thinking this way..? So come on guys, nothing in the world are 100% accurate.

  • Brent on December 29, 2011, 1:41 GMT

    I like the UDRS and always have. I don't mind the stoppage in play as it adds to the tension and excitement of the game.Test wickets need to come at a high price and the UDRS gives that. One new innovation that im not a fan of is giving a player OUT and then check for a possible noball while they walk off. NoBalls should be monitored by the 3rd umpire with a close up camera. Give him something to do rather than sitting there waiting for a runout appeal

  • Dummy4 on December 28, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    speaking about the systems how would it certainly support, when the system is permitted in the match, then there are limited- it can only be viewed 3 or 4 times and so on, it cant be viewed for every time either of the team wishes to view and no matter they were wrong they can ask for viewing on every appeal, if it is limited, then there can be a time many certain decisions which would be averted are not permitted due to its limited, then what is the use of the system it its limited when applied or introduced, as then there are equal chances the umpires deciions still can be inaccurate, so then its best entirely to rely on the umpire.

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