April 5, 2011

The DRS effect on lbw decisions

A look at how the Decision Review System has affected lbw decisions in the 2011 World Cup
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The DRS: has considerably improved bowlers' chances of getting lbw decisions
The DRS: has considerably improved bowlers' chances of getting lbw decisions © Getty Images

As the 2011 World Cup tournament proceeded through its 49 matches, it became clear to me that bowlers, particularly spin bowlers, were winning many favourable lbw decisions that they would not have won in previous tournaments. I presume it is unnecessary for me to describe the process whereby a bowler, having unsuccessfully appealed for lbw, was able to have the decision re-visited, and through the microscopic examination of video footage, the initial decision was often reversed.

Using our CSW database software, I have tracked back through all World Cup tournaments since they started in 1975, and from my research, have come up with the following table:

LBW decisions in World Cups
Year Venue %lbw %lbw (quicks) %lbw (spinners)
1975 England 14.90 18.01 6.06
1979 England 12.38 14.45 0.00
1983 England 11.52 14.61 3.23
1987 Subcontinent 7.01 9.35 6.54
1992 Australasia 6.42 7.08 8.51
1996 Subcontinent 7.59 10.17 6.86
1999 England 14.24 15.15 17.44
2003 South Africa 12.40 13.33 12.89
2007 Caribbean 11.31 11.38 14.76
2011 Subcontinent 16.28 15.34 21.03
Total 11.57 12.79 12.92

The third column (%lbw) gives the number of lbw decisions as a percentage of all dismissals. Until this year, those tournaments held in England clearly gave the greatest incidence of lbw decisions as a proportion. I initially thought this might be as a result of the higher propensity of English umpires to give batsmen out lbw compared with their counterparts in other countries, but unlike the 1975, 1979 and 1983 tournaments, the 1999 event included only two English umpires of the dozen who officiated that year. One can only therefore conclude that English conditions provide a higher likelihood of players being dismissed lbw than in other countries.

The last two columns (%Qlbw and %Slbw) give the number of lbw dismissals as a percentage of all dismissals engineered by "quick" and "spin" bowlers respectively. (The category "quick" includes all bowlers from medium-pace upwards.) One can see that in early years, spin bowlers found it very difficult indeed to win an lbw decision from umpires. In fact, in the first three World Cups, there were only four lbw decisions given to spin bowlers in total, with none at all in 1979! The removal of the tournament to the sub-continent in 1987 doubled the chance of spin bowlers winning lbw decisions, and there was a significant jump again in the 1999 event. This year, there has been an almost 50% rise in the proportion of dismissals won by lbw decisions for spin bowlers compared with the 2007 World Cup, and for the first time, more than one in five dismissals have been earned this way for these bowlers.

The DRS has clearly shown that umpires have been too conservative in considering lbw appeals in the past, and that batsmen have been getting away with murder for years! The higher incidence of lbw dismissals for both spin and quick bowlers is a result not only of the direct intervention of video replays, but also, in all probability, of a realisation by umpires that they are safer in giving out what they originally would have considered to be marginal decisions only a year or two ago. I recall many referrals in this last World Cup by batsmen given out lbw in the hope they would be reprieved- but weren't.

With batsmen now being at greater risk in being given out lbw at the top level, it will be interesting to see what batsmen will do to counter this danger. Presumably playing straighter, and less "across the line" will be a first strategy, but also coming down the wicket more might be an effective counter. We may expect more stumpings as a result! It is fascinating to watch the game continually evolving.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Abhi on April 7, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    Ha. Mr.Finlay I guess my previous comment didn't quite pass muster. So, I'll abbreviate it:

    To all our Pakistani friends. Hawk-eye has provided an explanation for the “Tendulkar-Ajmal gate” issue. (available here on cricinfo as well)

    I'm the "first" Abhi

  • Faisal on April 7, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    the invention of 'doosra' since 1999 and quality of spinners available in last 4 world cups in warne, saqlain, maurli, kumble is the key factor in more %age of lbw decisions by spin bowlers

  • Devesh Tiwari on April 7, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    I agree that spinners have increased their chances of getting LBWs in their favor with DRS in place. One important aspect that this table is not looking into is how many overs spinners and quicks bowled in each world cup. For example, in 2011 a lot of teams came prepared with spinners to play on turning sub-continent pitches, so they bowled a lot more overs compared to previous versions.. hence, chances of getting LBW also got increased...

  • moe on April 6, 2011, 23:29 GMT

    MR.Ric Finlay what do you have to say about the Sachin Tendulkar LBW decision against pakistan during the semi-final.

    Ric: Absolutely nothing! It has very little to do with my article!

  • Youvi on April 6, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    May be I missed it in the analysis but is percent of spin LBWs correlated to number of spinners that played (versus quicks) ? One would think it might be simpler to obtain per capita LBW (vis-a-vis quicks). Or figure out average LBWs per spinner vs quick. Between different WCs thru the years one could look at coeff of variation. Am no statistician so pardon any errors on my part and am barking up the wrong tree ! Interesting article though. Tx

    Ric: No, the percentage of spin lbws does not depend on the number of spinners, because of the fact that it is a percentage (of all spinners' wickets), not an absolute figure. Using the number of spinners as a base figure is susceptible to distortion, but another way of doing it would be to compare spinners' lbws to the number of balls bowled by spinners, and track that over time.

  • John H. on April 6, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    @ Naeem -- conspiracy theories require too many people to be complicit on the fly. How do you plan tampering with software on the fly so an lbw decision on Sachin misses the stumps by a shade. Clearly, he just got lucky, and Ajmal was unlucky. Rather than focusing on the shortcomings of the technology, Pak might want to focus on their fielding. You don't give Sachin 4 reprieves and expect to win a game.

  • Mohak on April 6, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    Interesting observation. But i would like to add one more point . maybe the LBW decisions are more because of increase in number of tweakers. Bowlers who ball slow rely on line and length and do not turn the ball a lot . Yuvraaj singh, Mohammad hafeez, entire Zimbabwe team for instance. Clearly they will have a better chance of getting LBW. If one can differentiate ( a difficult task) tweakers and spinners perhaps a better idea of the impact of UDRS may be obtained . Perhaps a less conclusive but easier way could be to take into account only one frontline spinner from every team and then calculate teir LBW % across all world cups. What say?

  • Yogesh on April 6, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    Ric, Your article concerns LBW decisions in world cup alone. What i asked was all ODIS. More accurately, what is the % of LBW decisions in all ODIs in 1970s, 1980s, 1990s,2000s and the last 1.5 years since DRS system.

    Ric: An idea for a future article - thanks!

  • Hemant Gandhi on April 6, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    It wud be interesting to know what wud be the % without DRS in 2011 WC. I was hoping to see that stat here. That wud give us the exact change due to DRS.

    Ric: Good point. Someone with more time than me might like to trawl through the matches and find out this stat!

  • Manesh on April 6, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Funny to see someones claim that Sachins LBW was to help India. I never heard such a dumb comment. I just wonder how can that software identify it as Sachin and change the actual graphics and produce a fake one!!!. Do you have such software's with you to support a particular person? Also, he game you 3 more chances and you were not able to hold them. So, that too a help from your players??

  • Abhi on April 7, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    Ha. Mr.Finlay I guess my previous comment didn't quite pass muster. So, I'll abbreviate it:

    To all our Pakistani friends. Hawk-eye has provided an explanation for the “Tendulkar-Ajmal gate” issue. (available here on cricinfo as well)

    I'm the "first" Abhi

  • Faisal on April 7, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    the invention of 'doosra' since 1999 and quality of spinners available in last 4 world cups in warne, saqlain, maurli, kumble is the key factor in more %age of lbw decisions by spin bowlers

  • Devesh Tiwari on April 7, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    I agree that spinners have increased their chances of getting LBWs in their favor with DRS in place. One important aspect that this table is not looking into is how many overs spinners and quicks bowled in each world cup. For example, in 2011 a lot of teams came prepared with spinners to play on turning sub-continent pitches, so they bowled a lot more overs compared to previous versions.. hence, chances of getting LBW also got increased...

  • moe on April 6, 2011, 23:29 GMT

    MR.Ric Finlay what do you have to say about the Sachin Tendulkar LBW decision against pakistan during the semi-final.

    Ric: Absolutely nothing! It has very little to do with my article!

  • Youvi on April 6, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    May be I missed it in the analysis but is percent of spin LBWs correlated to number of spinners that played (versus quicks) ? One would think it might be simpler to obtain per capita LBW (vis-a-vis quicks). Or figure out average LBWs per spinner vs quick. Between different WCs thru the years one could look at coeff of variation. Am no statistician so pardon any errors on my part and am barking up the wrong tree ! Interesting article though. Tx

    Ric: No, the percentage of spin lbws does not depend on the number of spinners, because of the fact that it is a percentage (of all spinners' wickets), not an absolute figure. Using the number of spinners as a base figure is susceptible to distortion, but another way of doing it would be to compare spinners' lbws to the number of balls bowled by spinners, and track that over time.

  • John H. on April 6, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    @ Naeem -- conspiracy theories require too many people to be complicit on the fly. How do you plan tampering with software on the fly so an lbw decision on Sachin misses the stumps by a shade. Clearly, he just got lucky, and Ajmal was unlucky. Rather than focusing on the shortcomings of the technology, Pak might want to focus on their fielding. You don't give Sachin 4 reprieves and expect to win a game.

  • Mohak on April 6, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    Interesting observation. But i would like to add one more point . maybe the LBW decisions are more because of increase in number of tweakers. Bowlers who ball slow rely on line and length and do not turn the ball a lot . Yuvraaj singh, Mohammad hafeez, entire Zimbabwe team for instance. Clearly they will have a better chance of getting LBW. If one can differentiate ( a difficult task) tweakers and spinners perhaps a better idea of the impact of UDRS may be obtained . Perhaps a less conclusive but easier way could be to take into account only one frontline spinner from every team and then calculate teir LBW % across all world cups. What say?

  • Yogesh on April 6, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    Ric, Your article concerns LBW decisions in world cup alone. What i asked was all ODIS. More accurately, what is the % of LBW decisions in all ODIs in 1970s, 1980s, 1990s,2000s and the last 1.5 years since DRS system.

    Ric: An idea for a future article - thanks!

  • Hemant Gandhi on April 6, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    It wud be interesting to know what wud be the % without DRS in 2011 WC. I was hoping to see that stat here. That wud give us the exact change due to DRS.

    Ric: Good point. Someone with more time than me might like to trawl through the matches and find out this stat!

  • Manesh on April 6, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Funny to see someones claim that Sachins LBW was to help India. I never heard such a dumb comment. I just wonder how can that software identify it as Sachin and change the actual graphics and produce a fake one!!!. Do you have such software's with you to support a particular person? Also, he game you 3 more chances and you were not able to hold them. So, that too a help from your players??

  • JRP on April 6, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    2 things - I think tendulkar's dismissal was quite close even for hawk-eye..its not quite clear why its being made out as if it was a completely wrong. I think its becoz the wkt was tht of sachin!! However, I have my doubts with respect to the ball-path..esp. the bounce. For ex: the sehwag dismissal in same match..I felt the bounce shown was completely wrong.It hit sehwag just below the pad-roll and he was also in the mid of small hop. In my mind, I visualized the ball hitting the bail or just below the bail on middle stump. But NOOO...drs showed that ball hitting mid of middle stump...I was quite stumped by that :) Likewise, even malinga's hat-trick had a couple of yorkers which hit the boot in front of leg..and I thot atleast one of them wud miss leg.Actually, one of them showed just 10% of the ball hitting outer edge of leg and it was given out!!

  • JohnIn CambridgeUK on April 6, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    The fourth column is the % of wickets TAKEN BY QUICK BOWLERS which were lbw.

    The fifth column is the same for spinners.

    It doesn't matter that there were fewer spinners in earlier world cups - these figuures show that in the early world cups spinners were less likely to take THIER wickets lbw.

    Run outs. If you exclude runouts, then in 2011 the third collum is 17.8% -whihc is still lower than the fifth column. This is because the third column is a WEIGHTED AVERAGE of columns four and five, taking in to account the proportion of overall wickets taken by quicks and spinners.

  • Ananth on April 6, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    Ric A nice thought-provoking article, especially the last paragraph. What intrigues me is the 1999 figure. I went to my database and found that the collection of spinners in this WC was probably the best ever. Warne, Kumble, Saqlain, Muralitharan et al. And Jayasuriya. He was, at his best, more potent than Yuvraj. Imagine what this collection of spinners would have done with the aid of DRS. Kumble, with his faster straight ones, Warne with his flippers, Murali and Saqlain with their other-way deliveries and finally Jayasuriya with his wicket-to-wicket deliveries. The figure would have crossed 20%. I have not even brought into discussion the quaity Bangladeshi pair of Rafique and Haque and the crafty Croft. But one factor to be remembered is the penchant for attacking which is the batting mantra today. Probably not so in 1999.

  • geoff on April 6, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    would be interesting to know, if you remove the DRS-based lbw decisions whether the percentage drops back toward the average. Of course this is a bit misleading, but would give some indication of the impact of the DRS

  • vipul on April 6, 2011, 11:11 GMT

    I agree with soumyas. Data could have been represented in a better way. Slightly confusing as of now.

  • Saqib on April 6, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    well guys DRS against Sachin Tendulkar was absolute blunder or it was intentionally. I don't know what is the story behind. but ICC must review the drawbacks of newly adopted system.

  • Niranjan on April 6, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    I feel UDRS is giving justice to the bowlers atleast if the batsman

  • John Hooper on April 6, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    I fully agree with Ahmad Naeem Akhtar. I had full faith in the DRS system (though why BCCI was against is till a mystry). After the Tendulkar decision i feel any system will be ......

  • Andrew on April 6, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    @Abhi - brilliant article, thanks for referring me there.

  • soumyas on April 6, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Tendulkar was given LBW three times in a row Wrongly in Srilanka's tour of India in 2009, One time ball clearly pitched outside Leg, 2 others times ball clearly went missing Leg stumps, Hawk Eye was there at that time showed all three decisions were Wrong, but UDRS wasn't there.

  • soumyas on April 6, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    here some ppl are talking abt tandulakr's lbw reversals,,, some ppl are saying ball wasn't turning much, my points are, 1) In general ball dont have to TURN to HIT stumps or MISS stumps... 2) in this case Ball was clearly shown on DRS replay that it was missing leg stumps, then why u ppl crying ? if it was hitting stumps it wud have given out. 3) Tendulkar played that shot thinking it is coming straight, but it turned so he missed it. 4) Ajmal bowled from over wicket little wide from stumps, which itself created and angle to go towards LEG, and ball turned a little too to add more angle to clearly miss leg stumps, UDRS is consistent all over the world, no body can change it... if some ppl still think DRS was wrong, then they have to think same when they get wickets after DRS review succeeds, all the LBWs got by akrams,waqars becomes questionable then....

  • soumyas on April 6, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    why are you considering runouts also in total %lbw's ? run outs dont count in wickets for spinners or seamer. your % calculations are confusing, either take run outs for all % calculations or dont consider run outs.

  • soumyas on April 6, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    i still have doubt on %Qlbw, %Slbw, These two %Qlbw, %Slbw cannot be greater than total %lbw. Eg: 1) if 5 lbw dismissals out of 100 from Quicks makes %Qlbw=5% 2) if 9 lbw dismissals out of 100 from spinners makes %Slbw=9% then total LBW dismissals out of 100 will be 5+9=14%. but in ur case there is no relation between %Qlbw, %Slbw and total %lbw.

    Ric: I'll spell it out for you! 2011 World Cup, 731 dismissals, 119 lbws = 16.28% lbw. Quick bowlers got 58 lbws out of their 378 wickets = 15.34%. Spin bowlers got 61 lbws in their 290 wickets = 21.03%. If you want to take the 63 run outs out of the total, that's fine, but the purpose of my article was to track the changing percentage of lbws over time. See my comments earlier today.

  • Chandra on April 6, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    A lot more can be attributed to the number of overs sent down by spinners during this world cup (besides of course the presence of DRS). Spinners are also more likely to win wickets through LBWs and catches (including ones by W/K) than other forms like Bowled and Caught at Slips. Perhaps as a result the wickets earned by quicks is more evenly distributed between different forms of dismissals than spinners. So the numbers may be actually skewed. But as I wrote above it has to be looked at in conjunction with the sheer no. of overs bowled by spinners during the current WC.

  • clive on April 6, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    Mr. Naeem, Perhaps if your team could hold its catches then everyone wouldn't need to conspire to keep Sachin in the match and let India win?

    This is a forum for the evolution of the LBW rules and technology and how it has changed the batting styles, we don't need your myopic views of alleged bias and conspiracy theory....its just a game!

  • Sunil on April 6, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    I agree with the author that earlier umpires were too conservative . There was also a lack of clarity then about balls hitting the pads outside the line of off stump with umpires needing to decide if they would hit the stumps or not in all such cases . More often than not , the umpire would give the batsman not out . But with the later clarification that the batsman had to be playing a shot , umpires gave more outs to prevent deliberate padding . @ Ahmad Naeem Akthar , leave the bias out and look .1. The ball was clearly spinning in as shown by the replays . There was no time to tamper with the replays . 2 .When replays are inconclusive all umpires give the benefit of doubt to the batsman .

  • MUKTHIYAR on April 6, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    They should also have a combined use of hot spot technology for catching the snick and the LBW decisions involved with bat. DRS is fine when no snick is involved, but combining hot spot, it will take the game to the next level.

  • Matt on April 6, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    I can't remember for sure but was the large jump in 1999 due to a change in the LBW laws? From memory there have been two changes in the last 20 years: 1. Change to alloow a batsman to be given out when not playing a shot even if the ball hits the pad outside the line of off stump, as long as the ball is judged to be going on to hit the stumps. Previously the ball had to hit in line, 2. More directive that umpires were going to be more inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the bowler if the batsman is not playing a shot. Of course 1999 was the first world cup of Warne and his umpire indimidation was legendary ;->

    Ric: The addition to the lbw Law that allowed a player to be dismissed lbw if not playing a shot happened in 1972 - there have been no changes to the Law since. I put the high 1999 figure down to the fact that it was held in England; it matches pretty well with the 1975, 1979 and 1983 figures for overall and quick bowlers. You might be right about Warne - no-one took more than his 20 wickets that year, and a quarter of them (5) were lbw. All the other spin bowlers only got another 10 lbws between them! Saqlain, for example, only had 2 lbws in his 17 wickets.

  • Happy on April 6, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    About time I say; as a club level legspinner I can't believe the number of times I've had appeals turned down because the batsman was "too far forward" or, even worse, "I just can't tell". The doubt in the umpires mind seems to exist purely because they have more time to think about the delivery for spinners, quicks don't know how easy they have it.

  • Sifter on April 5, 2011, 22:45 GMT

    What on earth are all these conspiracy theories about the Tendulkar/Ajmal thing about? You can't tamper with a machine that reports a result in a few seconds. You can set it up incorrectly in the first place, but surely that would benefit both sides. Face it, Ajmal's ball was spinning a bit more than the ump realised and Sachin was a little further forward than he looked. Hence you get the ball just missing the stumps.

    I thought the jump in 1999 would be when Hawkeye first started being shown and that might have opened the eyes of the umpires to decisions they could now give out, but it was 2001 when Hawkeye first appeared on cricket coverage.

  • Kumar on April 5, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    Mark... there were 3 marginal lbw decisions reviewed in that Indian innings. Sehwag's and Dhoni's dismissals were marginal in terms of whether Riaz's deliveries pitched outside leg or not. If one relies on the technology to confirm that those balls pitched in line with leg stump, then one has to also rely on the same technology when it says Ajmal's ball did enough to just miss.

    Personally, on live viewing... I thought Sehwag (especially) and Dhoni were not out as the balls (both were short of a length deliveries) appeared to pitch marginally outside leg, whereas Tendulkar was out.

  • Shiva on April 5, 2011, 19:24 GMT

    I think alternatively you can look like this- Spinners this world cup bowled 47% more than the previous world cup (as well as accounting for 47% of the total overs vs 31.33%). This world cup has been the highest in terms of spinners bowling. However even with 47% of spin, the accumulated only 43% of wickets. So a rise in LBWs for spinner may also owe to the fact that spinners bowled a lot more overs!

  • sugu on April 5, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    udrs has come to stay.now bcci will welcome this method because sachin was the benefiiary a number of times during this world cup.he always used to get the benifit of doubt when it came to boderline decisions because of his larger than life reputation and bigger than the game image.now after the semi final it seems even the udrs has succumbed to him.bcci was against this because in sri lanka last year because sachin was given out by udrs after he was given notout by on field umpires.i am sure after the reprive he got in the semi final even the technology will be of much use against sachin.udrs has come to stay.

  • Prachanda on April 5, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    I like the DRS except when it uses projections i.e for LBW decisions , on field call should stand unless there is error on judgement on the umpire's part on clear impact like inside edge, pitching outside leg stump. I still can't believe Tendulkar projection!!!

  • Abhi on April 5, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    Again to drive home the point raised by Vikram: the total % can't be lower than the %quick and %spin. From your reply to Vikram, it seems that you have taken all modes of dismissals (including run outs) in your %lbw column, but in %lbw(quick) and %lbw(spin) you have excluded the run outs. It would give a more consistent comparison, and the results won't be skewed if you were to include the run outs in %lbw(quick) and %lbw(spin) also - that way you would be comparing apples to apples.

    Ric: You haven't understood what these percentages are. I have written, "The last two columns (%Qlbw and %Slbw) give the number of lbw dismissals as a percentage of all dismissals engineered by “quick” and “spin” bowlers respectively". For example, in 2011, 61 out of the 290 wickets obtained by spin bowlers were lbw, giving a percentage of 21.03. Clearly, run outs don't come into it. The comparisons I am making are not so much between "total", "quick" and "spin", as between the different years WITHIN each of those categories. That is, look vertically rather than horizontally.

  • cool_engr on April 5, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    Simple!.... play with bat in front of pads...............Guys like Sachin continued to perform well......Sehwag couldn't get away with his poor technique..............If umpires were strict with lbw earlier then Viv Richards and even Bradman would have lesser average.................earlier players would just pad off the spinners now batsmen will have to play them...........As far as Ajmal wos concerned ...the ball wasn't a straighter one it was clearly spinning inward. Ball must pitch in line and then must straighten to get lbw

  • Ahmad Naeem Akhtar on April 5, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    Then what is the point using a technology for reviewing lbw decisions ? Two balls , two appeals ; one given out and reversed wrongly , one decision based on inconclusive evidences(replays) and unjustified advantsge given to the batsman- in a big match surely have effected the result to a team which was heading to win the WC.Definitely was needed such LUCK to negotiate the only potent bowling force. ICC to take an account of this and explain if the case is otherwise.

  • Max on April 5, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    A word on Ajmal- Tendulkar lbw issue.If you see the normal slow motion replay of the delivery (not the DRS slow motion review), it was bowled close to the wicket, there was minimal turn and you would clearly see the ball pitching on a greyish bald patch on the wicket. However, when you see the "DRS review delivery" the ball is seen pitching at least a foot or more prior to that bald patch, on a rather grassy area, making it to travel a longer distance to the stumps. Also the ball went on to the off side after hitting the inner half of the pad. It seems something was not right with that review. Almost everyone who plays or watches cricket in the world was convinced that Tendulkar was out. Even the umpire was shaking his head in despair and disbelief after the review. It could well be an error of technology but its a disgarace if there was tampering.

  • Samir Gupta on April 5, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    Mark/Ahmad,

    The DRS relies on on-field high resolution cameras that feed specialised computer software. The software receives information like the actual path taken by the ball, the speed of the ball when it hit the pads and the trajectory of it. Based on that information it does multi-variate extrapolation. The projected path is calculated by the software and displayed in a different colour by the software (not an operator). If more than 50% of the ball is projected to hit any part of a stump, it is deemed to hit the wickets and the umpire gives the batsman out (unless of course the point of impact is more than 2.5 meters - in which case the ball has to hit any part of the middle stump). If it is projected that less than 50% (but more than 0%) of the ball would have hit the stumps, then the on-field umpire takes a call (who usually retains his original decision). In Sachin's case, the ball was projected to miss the stumps by less than 1 cm (hence the decision).

  • agm on April 5, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    @ Mark: the line drawn? What line: the trajectory of the ball as forecast by Hawk Eye? I'm pretty sure that line is not hand-drawn; it is generated by technology. I don't think the ICC would put in place a system where the trajectory of the ball is based on a line drawn by a human!

  • Mark on April 5, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    Sorry to say but the last Mark's comment was absurd. Completely illogical nitwit. The Tendulkar reprieve actually shows that umpires have NEVER been very good at judging what is going to hit. Frankly if the speed of a decision can be increased by a computer. Every decision should be judged electronically.

  • Ajith on April 5, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    @Akhtar , Sachins LBW reversal is fair . The ball was pitching outside the line and ball was missing the leg stump . reg the next ball stumping ,it wasnt clear that bat is in the air and benefit of doubt always should go to batsman right?Any way adding DRS added lot of justice in this world cup.Cricket is a game where systems like this can be easily added with out interupting the game unlike in say soccer where for review the game has to be stopped which will affect the flow ...not sure why BCCI is hell bend against this!!!

  • Vaikuntam on April 5, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    One improvement of the DRS will be not to punish the appealer( by debiting the no.of appeals allowed) if the appeal is successful. This will ensure that there are no frivolous appeals.

  • Abhi on April 5, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    @Andrew Good observations. Also applies to "home" teams . As regards cricket it apparently doesn't matter whether the umpires are "neutral" or not.I would hazard a guess that it happens more in Aus than elsewhere (or at least it used to)...witness the Sydney fiasco where India were subject to "daylight robbery" .

    Here's an article in the Economist I recently read on the subjetc: http://www.economist.com/node/18330455?story_id=18330455

  • Yogesh on April 5, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    Interesting analysis. But would it be possible to actually consider LBW dismissals as such through the eras ? Say perhaps, in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and now after the UDRS. I also think that the umpires are more brave in giving marginal LBW decisions in favour of the bowler.

    Ric: Isn't that what I have done?

  • Mark on April 5, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    It is operated by a human and therefore is still open to human error. For example, Tendulkar was clearly out LBW to Ajmal but, due to operator error, the line drawn didn't actually match the trajectory of the ball.

  • Sandeep on April 5, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    Excellent analysis. But could the lack of lbw decisions for spinners in the first few world cups be due to very few spinners being around, because spinners then were not considered good enough for ODI's. Also do you think, more lbw decisions now, has resulted in lower scores? I mean, there were very few matches in the current edition of the world cup which saw 300+ scores.

    Ric: Sure, spin bowling was not used as much in one-day cricket in the 1970s as it is now - limited overs cricket was thought to be the death knell of spin bowling! How wrong they were! But even the few spin bowlers there were found it very hard to get lbw decisions, much more difficult than now.

    There might be an element of truth in your question about lower scores - it is worth investigating!

  • Ahmad Naeem Akhtar on April 5, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    A well researched analysis ! This further strengthens the doubt on the reversal of out given of Tendulkar's lbw by the 3rd umpire of Saeed Ajmal in the 11th over. In that particular reviewed decision based on probably tempered graphics , the on field umpire was spot on in judging him lbw.Was that done intentionally to make India win ? To proceed further on this point , on the very next ball leg umpire asked for the review of stump. Here Tendulkar's foot grounded on the crease was raised in the air for a very very short time.Were the bails removed by Kamran Akmal during that very very short period ? This was the key point which should have been accurately judged.On the contrary , the decision was made on an inconclusive replays; giving an unjustified advantage to the Master batsman , who in turn played the match winning innings.Was that intentional to make India win by undoing the best bowling attack of the tournament ? Further comments , please !

    Ric: I am sure there were no such sinister reasons for the decisions you highlight here!

  • Minkesh on April 5, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    Good analysis but it obviously has not taken into account the changes brought about in laws concerning the LBW. The recent changes in rules have allowed and enabled umpires to uphold more LBW appeals than in the past. Being a leg spinner myself, I feel cheated by the laws governing LBWs when batsmen padding up or hit by a ball pitched outside the line of leg stump are not given out even if the ball is hitting the middle of of the middle stump.

    Ric: What changes are these, Minkesh?

  • Maverick on April 5, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    Good piece. But when will the BCCI realise the value of using the DRS in its current form(it works fine) instead of searching for a more perfect system ?

  • Santhana Krishnan on April 5, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    Interesting thought. Even if DRS is not used, umpires having seen the ball tracking technology favoring bowlers would give more LBWs with the confidence that they will be vindicated by hawk-eye or virtual-eye. Anything that helps the bowler in this day and age is welcome. Poor souls!

  • Vikram on April 5, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Something seems wrong with your table. The last row (Total) seems incorrectly calculated. The total percentage cannot be lower than both the Quick and spin lbw numbers! Ric: Yes it can! The total is expressed as a percentage of all dismissals, including run outs, whereas, of course, individual bowlers don't have run outs credited to them.

  • andrew on April 5, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    You make a good point here! In Zimbabwe's game against Australia, Zim had two not out LBW decisions overturned by their spinners. Replays showed how plumb these LBWs were and it is a wonder that top umpires would have given them not out! This brings me to another point. Umpires seem to sometimes not give decisions in favour of smaller teams, or 'lesser' bowlers', who clearly can ill afford the extra hurdle this amounts to. But the DRS allows teams like Zimbabwe to have more of an advantage where in the past they were not helped by the kind of unconscious bias that umpires tend to show in such matches. Hopefully this will also balance the field a bit more in that regard too.

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  • andrew on April 5, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    You make a good point here! In Zimbabwe's game against Australia, Zim had two not out LBW decisions overturned by their spinners. Replays showed how plumb these LBWs were and it is a wonder that top umpires would have given them not out! This brings me to another point. Umpires seem to sometimes not give decisions in favour of smaller teams, or 'lesser' bowlers', who clearly can ill afford the extra hurdle this amounts to. But the DRS allows teams like Zimbabwe to have more of an advantage where in the past they were not helped by the kind of unconscious bias that umpires tend to show in such matches. Hopefully this will also balance the field a bit more in that regard too.

  • Vikram on April 5, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Something seems wrong with your table. The last row (Total) seems incorrectly calculated. The total percentage cannot be lower than both the Quick and spin lbw numbers! Ric: Yes it can! The total is expressed as a percentage of all dismissals, including run outs, whereas, of course, individual bowlers don't have run outs credited to them.

  • Santhana Krishnan on April 5, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    Interesting thought. Even if DRS is not used, umpires having seen the ball tracking technology favoring bowlers would give more LBWs with the confidence that they will be vindicated by hawk-eye or virtual-eye. Anything that helps the bowler in this day and age is welcome. Poor souls!

  • Maverick on April 5, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    Good piece. But when will the BCCI realise the value of using the DRS in its current form(it works fine) instead of searching for a more perfect system ?

  • Minkesh on April 5, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    Good analysis but it obviously has not taken into account the changes brought about in laws concerning the LBW. The recent changes in rules have allowed and enabled umpires to uphold more LBW appeals than in the past. Being a leg spinner myself, I feel cheated by the laws governing LBWs when batsmen padding up or hit by a ball pitched outside the line of leg stump are not given out even if the ball is hitting the middle of of the middle stump.

    Ric: What changes are these, Minkesh?

  • Ahmad Naeem Akhtar on April 5, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    A well researched analysis ! This further strengthens the doubt on the reversal of out given of Tendulkar's lbw by the 3rd umpire of Saeed Ajmal in the 11th over. In that particular reviewed decision based on probably tempered graphics , the on field umpire was spot on in judging him lbw.Was that done intentionally to make India win ? To proceed further on this point , on the very next ball leg umpire asked for the review of stump. Here Tendulkar's foot grounded on the crease was raised in the air for a very very short time.Were the bails removed by Kamran Akmal during that very very short period ? This was the key point which should have been accurately judged.On the contrary , the decision was made on an inconclusive replays; giving an unjustified advantage to the Master batsman , who in turn played the match winning innings.Was that intentional to make India win by undoing the best bowling attack of the tournament ? Further comments , please !

    Ric: I am sure there were no such sinister reasons for the decisions you highlight here!

  • Sandeep on April 5, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    Excellent analysis. But could the lack of lbw decisions for spinners in the first few world cups be due to very few spinners being around, because spinners then were not considered good enough for ODI's. Also do you think, more lbw decisions now, has resulted in lower scores? I mean, there were very few matches in the current edition of the world cup which saw 300+ scores.

    Ric: Sure, spin bowling was not used as much in one-day cricket in the 1970s as it is now - limited overs cricket was thought to be the death knell of spin bowling! How wrong they were! But even the few spin bowlers there were found it very hard to get lbw decisions, much more difficult than now.

    There might be an element of truth in your question about lower scores - it is worth investigating!

  • Mark on April 5, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    It is operated by a human and therefore is still open to human error. For example, Tendulkar was clearly out LBW to Ajmal but, due to operator error, the line drawn didn't actually match the trajectory of the ball.

  • Yogesh on April 5, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    Interesting analysis. But would it be possible to actually consider LBW dismissals as such through the eras ? Say perhaps, in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and now after the UDRS. I also think that the umpires are more brave in giving marginal LBW decisions in favour of the bowler.

    Ric: Isn't that what I have done?

  • Abhi on April 5, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    @Andrew Good observations. Also applies to "home" teams . As regards cricket it apparently doesn't matter whether the umpires are "neutral" or not.I would hazard a guess that it happens more in Aus than elsewhere (or at least it used to)...witness the Sydney fiasco where India were subject to "daylight robbery" .

    Here's an article in the Economist I recently read on the subjetc: http://www.economist.com/node/18330455?story_id=18330455