Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney, 2nd day

Ford defends Sri Lanka's use of DRS

Andrew Fernando at the SCG

January 4, 2013

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford has defended his side's poor use of the DRS on day two in Sydney, after they burnt a review in Rangana Herath's first over, but did not refer an lbw shout that would have been turned in their favour a few overs later.

Sri Lanka could have had Michael Clarke out first ball when Herath struck him on the pad with one that pitched outside off stump and straightened, but were unsure if Clarke had inside edged a ball onto his pad. The unsuccessful review had been another lbw chance off David Warner, where the ball was not projected to hit enough of the stumps to overturn the original decision. Clarke went on to make 50.

"It was tough for Mahela [Jayawardene]," Ford said. "I think he wanted reviews intact. Having blown one he was reluctant to blow another one unless he was absolutely sure that it was out. I think the captain tries to get as much information as possible from close fielders, like what the height was, and he has to follow his gut feeling.

"It all happens quickly and standing in the slips, it's very hard for Mahela. If they had reviewed that and maybe if one or two chances stuck today, and a couple of things had gone our way, we would have been in a better position. Although we are still in the game, we could have been in a powerful position."

Australia finished 48 runs ahead of Sri Lanka at stumps, with four first-innings wickets still in hand. However the SCG pitch has already shown signs of dryness on day two. With Australia having to bat last, Ford was hopeful a strong second-innings performance might take the visitors close to a maiden win in Australia.

"We know we are in the game. We have fought hard and deserve to be in the game, because of the spirit and the fight we've shown. We're well aware that it's going to be tough from here on, but we certainly haven't been blown away and we are sitting in a much better position than at the MCG. We will take heart from that. A number of young players have come in and shown that they have the guts and desire to play at this level."

Ford also praised Jayawardene's knock on day one, which helped set a positive tone for Sri Lanka's first innings, as their captain collected 72 from 110 balls, hitting 12 fours and a six. Jayawardene had struggled in the first two Tests, in which he made 12, 19, 3 and 0.

"It was fantastic to see him go out and play so well. It shows what a fantastic leader he is. He was up for the challenge and went up the order and batted at three. He played superbly and I was hopeful he would get a hundred as this is his last Test match as captain, but I am sure he will have a bigger role to play in the second innings."

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 5, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

@CricketPissek, I agree with your 2nd point. MJ is far worse as captain now. Saw how he kept on giving Malinga the bowling when Kohli was thrashing him in Hobart that day?? Not just that, how MJ opted to abort the chase against Pakistan in Pallekelle a few months ago? Very negative captain.

Posted by CricketPissek on (January 5, 2013, 2:00 GMT)

Although Sinhaya does have a point about SL "not getting a good taste of DRS" because of the last 2 series, we can't just blame it on that. Mahela has used DRS for 4 years now (on and off). You can't blame it on lack of experience as such. Mahela has SERIOUSLY lost his mojo in his 2nd stint as captain. It's actually embarrassing! This series was always going to be tough, but this is ridiculous. It's been so painful to watch :(

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 5, 2013, 1:44 GMT)

@geminianrahul, big thank you for your response. As you seeming look like an Indian, I want to apologize if you saw me posting harsh comments on India on cricinfo. I too got annoyed seeing what Indian fans said about Sri Lanka. I will try my best not to repeat my past mistakes. There are some nice Indian fans but there are Indians who are no angels as well. Just like some Lankan fans who are no angels. Cricket is a minority sport globally and I have to thank India for helping cricket be only 2nd to soccer in the popular team sport ranking. We South Asians need to be united as that is lacking in us. We must draw inspiration from our neighboring ASEAN which is so united that they even have a common ASEAN anthem. We Lankans, Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis have one thing in common and that is our love for cricket. That should help us be more united than ASEAN which is not so sports crazy like us. Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by The_Wog on (January 5, 2013, 1:38 GMT)

We're calling the Clarke not out a howler now?? 3m from the stumps, took 10 replays to decide whether it grazed a strip of his pad before hitting the bat, and just inside off?

Wow, after BC Curray, KT Francis and AdS were introduced to the world by SL you guys must have really lifted umpiring standards there.

Posted by peeeeet on (January 4, 2013, 22:00 GMT)

The umpire's call in the DRS is there for the 50/50 decisions. Say a batsman is given out LBW and reviews, if the ball is just clipping it stays with the on field call. Similarly, if a batsman is given not out to the same delivery, he'll stay not out. It works well. In a perfect world, the players wouldn't call for a review and it would all be left to umpires. Well really in a perfect world umpires would never make a mistake and peas would taste like ice cream. But there just isn't time in the game to allow umpires to converge on every call and if so the on field umpires would be merely babysitters and rendered useless.

Posted by Moppa on (January 4, 2013, 21:52 GMT)

@InsideHedge, in what world was the Clarke decision a howler? Have you ever heard of the phrase "benefit of the doubt"? For 130 years of Test cricket most umpires on most days would have given that not out. In real time, there was doubt about whether ball hit bat and pad simultaneously or pad first, there was some doubt as to whether it struck in line, and given the stride forward and the fact that Herath's stock ball turns away from the stumps there was doubt about actually hitting the stumps. EagleEye gives a false sense of certainty about what would have happened. I think it would have hit the stumps, but to call it a 'howler' demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of cricket. Further, you say DRS should be used for all decisions, and if its not good enough to do that at all, it should not be used. DRS is good enough to overturn howlers, e.g. where a batsman nicks a ball onto his pad or it pitches outside leg. Do you want these decisions to stand in pursuit of perfection?

Posted by geminianrahul on (January 4, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

CricketMaan and Sinhaya: Nice to see that you guys are talking in good terms about other's respective country which is a very rare site here in Cricinfo. If only others can realise that we all are humans and respect each other without fighting in the name and cricket which is just a sport, then there will be peace everywhere with end to Terrorism..

Posted by PFEL on (January 4, 2013, 21:10 GMT)

@InsideHedge, putting it out of the players hands would be pointless and not solve anything. How would the umpires know which decisions to review? they wouldn't. And the 3rd umpire can't do it all themselves, by the time they make a decision based on replays the game would have already continued on with play. The way the system is now is basically perfect, the only errors with it are the way it is used by the players, and it is their own fault if they fail to utilize it to their full advantage (read: waste reviews on marginal decisions, fail to review howlers). The sticking with the umpires original call is important as their is significant error still present in hawkeye technology, i have personally seen some completely wrong ball tracking while watching replays. And this also allows the umpires original decision to still have significant import, even if challenged.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2013, 20:45 GMT)

On field umpires should all ways refer lbw decisions to the third umpire if they are not sure about the ball pitching out side leg stump,inside edge,hitting inline ,missing the stumps or the height.Simply raising the finger or say not out is not umpiring.ICC please do something or make Michael Clark batsman of the year for for 2013.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

I must say that as a scientist and cicketer, the way Eagle Eye is used is not scientific enough and is not in keeping with the spirit of the game. The way it is currently used would be more in place if it were in a casino. It is purely gambling...that's all. Okay so how can we improve the way Eagle Eye is used ....well the ball contact surface and rotational velocity statistics needs to produced and used. Basically the surface area of ball/stump contact and how much the ball is spinning needs to be used and a threshold should be set below which a simple out/not out outcome would be possible. At the moment to go with the umpire's gut feeling is not scientific as the % of ball clipping the stump is too simple a criterion to use in DRS (and most probably a meaningless criterion due to the spherical nature of a cricket ball) . However at it stands the umpire should be allowed to use the DRS in marginal decisions. That would take the gambling element out of this game.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

DRS is there to correct marginal decisions- not for howlers like the Clark not out.That was blatantly the umpires fault.If so, you must have unlimited reviews! Also the situation where the umpire doesn't call a no ball and the fielding side calls for a review. The batsman is given not-out and the fielding side further penalised for a no ball and a run is given.Whereas IF the umpire had called no-bnall the fielding side obviously would NOT have gone for a review. It is therefore unfair that the fielding side lose one of their reviews because or the umpires incompetence.This happened yesterday when Pradeep was bowling.

Posted by tallgrass on (January 4, 2013, 18:23 GMT)

InsideHedge well said! hell that rhymed too! Totally agree that it should be the TV umpire who does the calling.

Posted by InsideHedge on (January 4, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

DRS is supposed to overturn howlers. The Clarke non-lbw was a howler. It's obvious that the rules surrounding DRS are absurd. (1) There should be no limit to the number of reviews (2) All reviews should be instigated by the 3rd umpire not the on-field players who often are guessing.

Finally, if DRS is so great, so special, so accurate then why do on-field umpire calls stay in the event of the ball shown to be marginally grazing the stumps? Nonsense, if the umpire gives not out, and the ball is shown to be hitting, it doesn't matter if it's just grazing or bang on half way up middle stump. It should be OUT. If you can't trust the system, then don't use it....or wait till you've improved it.

Posted by InsideHedge on (January 4, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

"It all happens quickly and standing in the slips, it's very hard for Mahela. If they had reviewed that and maybe if one or two chances stuck today, and a couple of things had gone our way, we would have been in a better position."

And if the seam bowlers had seamed their way to wickets and if we had another spinner, and if the batsmen made maybe another 100 runs and if we slowed down the Oz scoring rate, and if the sun shone brightly and the stars were better aligned...

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 4, 2013, 15:51 GMT)

@CricketMaan, thanks for your wishes. As a Lankan I disagree. Sports success is not about how large is the population. It is about economic development and other social indicators. It is upto the government's of each country to invest in sports and related infrastructure. You might know that Sri Lanka's per capita income is nearly twice that of India if you look at wikipedia. But still we are nowhere in other sports. Our biggest problem is really political meddling. India has all the cricket talent with abundance of stars. Problem is that IPL aspirations have superseded that of playing for the country. India will definitely produce great batsmen. Bowlers can emerge too provided BCCI gives support for them by endorsing DRS. Problem both SL and India have in bowling is that we lack the giants Pakistan has which helps the big time in bowling.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 4, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

How can we Lankans have a good taste of DRS when we did not use it for our last 2 home series. ICC must make DRS mandatory and threaten SLC with suspension if it does not use DRS! ICC can press hard on the corrupt incompetent SLC who is powerless unlike BCCI. SLC has money and that is why we used Haroon Lorgat for 6 weeks at a price of USD 100,000! Perhaps the notorious Nishantha Ranatunga's black money was used to pay Lorgat. Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2013, 15:27 GMT)

Glad that we are still in the game, but need quick wickets tomorrow

Posted by   on (January 4, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

it was bad luck for SL.it also stresses the point that DRS is for howlers &not for close calls

Posted by CricketMaan on (January 4, 2013, 14:13 GMT)

SL's performance this summer is way way better that what India managed. For such a small nation to keep producing world class crickters is amazing, now compare that to India which is a large country with over 27 ranji teams and 300 First class players, yet struggling to get a decent bench strength. SL can still do something special from here. Good Luck from India.

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