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July 27, 2011
Andy Flower, the England coach, has said the ICC should have over-ruled India's insistence on using a watered-down Decision Review System (DRS) for the ongoing Test series. He felt the system for the series - which doesn't use ball-tracking technology, and doesn't allow lbw decisions to be reviewed - was "unsatisfactory", a view shared by England bowlers Graeme Swann and James Anderson.
England had several close lbw appeals turned down as they hunted for wickets on the final day of the Lord's Test, including against Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina off Stuart Broad. Though England ultimately completed a straightforward 196-run victory to take a 1-0 series lead, Flower was unhappy.
"It would have been wrong if the outcome of the game was seriously affected by a couple of those decisions. It's unsatisfactory the way it is, no doubt about that," Flower said. "I think the ICC should be stronger in taking a lead on these issues. They are the world governing body and they should lead."
The DRS for this series uses infra-red technology and stump microphones, which meets the minimum standards stipulated by the ICC. Both the ICC and the England board had made it clear before the start of the series that they would have liked to incorporate ball-tracking in the DRS, but for India's refusal.
"We all know that DRS is not going to be 100%, but we also know you get more right decisions using it, so let's not quibble about millimetres here when we know you get more right than wrong and that's why most Test-playing nations want to use it."
Swann advocated the use of ball-tracking to ensure more accurate decisions. "I think we should use the Hawk-Eye tracking device because it has worked well over the last couple of years and can take flashpoints out of the game," he wrote in the Sun. "We all knew Broady's appeal for lbw against Raina was out but umpire Billy Bowden thought there might have been an inside edge. Similarly, Broady's shout against Tendulkar would have been given out on review.
"They could have been massive moments and, if India had clung on for a draw, there's no doubt we would have been very frustrated."
Anderson said that the available technology should be used. "We have used it in the last few series we have played and were starting to get used to the method of using it - when you refer and don't refer. We have enjoyed the fact that at the end of the day more correct decisions were made than the wrong ones. The most pleasing thing was that as frustrating as it was to not have it we managed to not let it affect us and just got on with the job in hand."
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 is the first time India are using the review system in Tests since 2008.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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