England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day

England question Hot Spot accuracy

Andrew McGlashan at Trent Bridge

July 30, 2011

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Andrew Strauss gestures to the umpire after a failed review, England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day, July 30, 2011
England were unimpressed when a review against VVS Laxman was turned down © Getty Images
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In a series where a half-baked DRS is being used after Hawk-Eye was made optional, England are unconvinced by the Hot Spot technology after they were sure VVS Laxman had edged a delivery but the third umpire couldn't overturn the decision.

England were trying to force any early wicket on the second morning when James Anderson and the slips were convinced Laxman had got a thin edge which led to Andrew Strauss calling for a review. However, the Hot Spot camera didn't show any white mark on the bat and despite the third umpire, Billy Bowden, saying he could hear a sound there wasn't enough evidence for him to suggest to Asad Rauf that he should change his call.

It led to a small confrontation between Laxman and Kevin Pietersen, but while that was soon nipped in the bud Broad admitted the players are beginning to have reservations about the part of DRS that is now the mandatory requirement.

"All of our players thought that was quite a clear edge and Hot Spot hasn't really shown up the faint edges which is a bit of a flaw I think," he said. "There was a question of what it hit and the answer wasn't what KP thought it was."

There is a suggestion that using Vaseline on the edge of a bat makes it difficult for the Hot Spot cameras to detect an edge, but Broad confirmed for himself that Laxman had used nothing on his equipment. "I actually had a cheeky feel of his edge when the ball went past, but there's no Vaseline or anything on there," he admitted. "I think it's just Hot Spot, we've found the really faint edges don't show up. It's just one of those things."

The DRS can only be used for catches in this series after an agreement between the teams that it wouldn't be implemented for any element of lbws following the ruling at the ICC meetings in Hong Kong last month to make ball-tracking optional. India are very sceptical of the accuracy of the Hawk-Eye technology, but England have always said they would prefer the full system to be used.

They have experienced both sides of the current set-up during this Test. In the first innings Alastair Cook was lbw to a delivery passing over the stumps but on the second day they benefited from the lack of reviews when Harbhajan Singh, the middle victim of Broad's hat-trick, was given leg before despite a big inside edge. In the previous Test at Lord's, Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina survived lbw shouts that would have been overturned with the full DRS. Overall, though, the standard of on-field umpiring in the two Tests has been outstanding.

Although the potential flashpoint at Laxman's survival didn't escalate there was an England player who found himself in trouble. Graeme Swann was reprimanded by the ICC after kicking off the bails in frustrating at the end of his 12th and final over during a tough day with the ball where he conceded 76 runs.

Swann is the second player to be pulled up by the ICC on the opening two days of this match after Praveen Kumar was fined 20% of his match fee on Friday, following an outburst at Marais Erasmus, when an lbw appeal against Pietersen which was turned down.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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