DRS to be used, but not for lbw decisions
A watered-down version of the Decision Review System (DRS) will be used in the England-India series with both sides agreeing to not use the system for lbw decisions. A day before the first Test starts at Lord's, the ICC announced that infra-red technology and stump microphones will be part of the DRS - though not for lbw decisions - but not ball-tracking.
This meets the minimum standards for DRS usage stipulated by the ICC at its annual conference last month but the decision to do away with reviews of lbw decisions could lead to anomalies. For example, if a batsman is given out to a bat-pad catch, he can get the verdict reviewed and if it is overturned because there is no bat involved, the fielding side has no recourse to an lbw appeal.
The two captains didn't play up the issue at their pre-match press conferences. Andrew Strauss praised the overall efficacy of the full DRS but said the "half-way house" would have to do. "I don't think it's ideal but that's the situation we are faced with. For us as players to be overly concerned about it would be unhelpful."
His counterpart MS Dhoni has been one of the more vocal critics of ball-tracking technology and appeared more satisfied with the decision. "We're not really convinced 100 per cent as of now when it comes to the tracking system, especially with the spinners and the kind of bounce the ball generates so until we're 100 per cent satisfied we won't go on with it. But of course we are quite happy with Hotspot. I feel that's a very good technology to be used."
An ICC statement said the ECB wanted to include ball-tracking technology (such as Hawk-Eye or Virtual Eye) but the Indian board didn't.
"While we are disappointed that the full DRS will not be used to support the umpires, we are pleased that the ECB and BCCI have worked hard to ensure the minimum DRS is used in this much anticipated series," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.
"It is common knowledge that the ICC and ECB would have liked ball tracking to have been included so that LBW decisions could have also been reviewed, but the last Chief Executives Committee and Board meeting in Hong Kong agreed to independently confirm the accuracy of ball-tracking technology. This will now take place as a matter of urgency."
The Indian board has long been averse to the DRS and had announced last month that it didn't want the system to be used in the England series. A compromise on the DRS was thrashed out at the ICC's annual conference later in the month. The series against England will be the first time India will be using the review system in Tests since 2008.