India in England 2011 July 27, 2011

Flower unhappy with limited DRS

ESPNcricinfo staff

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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Deleepa on July 29, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    So let's do what BCCI says going forward...why do we need ICC?? What's Next?? The BCCI will scrap run outs for the next test?

  • Jeff on July 29, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    KP's not out desicion was NOT a referral - it was the onfield umpire going to the television umpire. This has been going on for years, and just about everyone agrees that television is useless for judging low catches - but the umpires still use it. Hawkeye may not be 'perfect' but it is FAR more 'perfect' than the umpires eye, especially since the umpire does not get a dynamic view of the action because of his bad position directly in line with the stumps meaning he has very little perception of length. The World should go to India and tell them straight - No DRS = No Cricket.

  • venkat on July 29, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    URS was successful? look at the success rate of this in WC 2001 none of the teams were able to get it rite......

  • Anver on July 29, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    I agree with Flower, DRS system must be fully utilized.......ultimately its fair & square for any team !!!

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    @Quazar, I apologize if I was accusing the whole community of Indian fans, but I do not and did not mean that. My point is that if BCCI had allowed the UDRS in India's tour of WI, there would not have any wrong decisions in that series. I do not want to offend any fans or any team or BCCI here, but BCCI should not keep the UDRS with hawk-eye just because of the bitter experiences with it in the past. India seem to be wanting to stay away from UDRS with hawk-eye since their test series against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in 2008 where they failed to use UDRS for their advantage, whereas Sri Lanka used it so well for their own advantage.

  • Chetan on July 29, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    With 1 test win all "whose who" in English cricket are blowing the trumpets, Just imagine a situation if Pommies were with Jamie Anderson pulling out after 12 overs, KP not available for selection, Strauss having bruised elbow midway in match and Trott or Bell getting viral fever again midway in match and tell me how they would have fared? Guys it's one thing to say that No1 team has to come up trumps in all situations but when 3 men fail mid-way in match out of 11 and the team still push the match to last 20 overs on day 5 for me that team is winner. And on top of this, English coach is whining abt. DRS, which is defective technology! Remember what it decided in crucial match in World Cup b/w India & Eng. If the technology is not complete and human being is also not accurate then I would rather go with Human Being as Human Being created technology and not vice-versa. No DRS Period!

  • Shireesh on July 29, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    Looks like my previous post didnt get posted. Many are raising Q on whats BCCI's problem with DRS. Its prediction. A hotspot doesnt decide anything. It merely shows point of impact due to temperature change via infrared detection. Snicko - likewise only shows sound near the stumps which combined with video can help ummpires make a tech-informed decision. The DRS (Hawkeye) on the other hand tries to do umpires job by predicting if the ball would have hit the stumps. Its one thing for hawkeye to predict and another to just faithfully reproduce actual path till time of impact. Cricket ball's movement is not a matter of simple trajectory - variations due to angle of seam, landing on seam/not, spot on the pitch, air/humidity etc all cause changes. Thats why great batsmen also get beaten in the air, off the pitch etc. Using technology to reproduce what happened is different from predicting.

  • S on July 28, 2011, 23:53 GMT

    KP was out caught before he even scored 100 and refereed, guess what the technology gave him Not out. Even all the English greats Boycott, Aggers, Vaughn - they all confirmed that KP was out.. Guess what, it costed India a test and no whining from India. I stand behind India o DRS!!!

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    Mr. Flower, 1) when it is not 100% correct, it means that if it shows hitting top of stump , it may also mean going over the top and vice versa so dont be too sure that those would have been OUT 100%. 2) the flaw in tech was revealed when Ian Bell was given NOT OUT when the ball was seen hitting middle of middle stump. Ironically it was same umpire as in this match. so dont give such excuses as these would have affected outcome of match. What goes around comes around.

  • Wesley on July 28, 2011, 22:03 GMT

    In rugby, they have a similar system where if the referee cannot make a decision he will ask a video ref to check it. This is how the technology should be used, at the umpires discretion. As an umpire you do know when you are making a dubious decision and they will all appreciate being able to make the right decision at the end of the day. There is absolutely no bias involved in the DRS system. All it is is a camera watching a ball. The only difference is when the captains make the right choice to refer a decision

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