England v Pakistan, 1st npower Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day July 30, 2010

Pakistan still in need of UDRS training

24

Pakistan's struggles with the Umpire Decision Review System continued on the second day at Trent Bridge, as they once again found themselves uncertain of how to use the technology to their advantage. After a wasteful first day, in which they had squandered both of their lifelines in the space of five minutes, their experience reached a new low when Azhar Ali declined to refer a caught-behind decision that, had he done so, would surely have enabled him to carry on with his innings.

The incident occurred in the 21st over, with Pakistan already close to meltdown on 41 for 3. James Anderson zipped a full-length outswinger through to the keeper, and belatedly joined the appeal as Matt Prior went up to claim the catch. Azhar's first instinct was to walk towards the non-striker, Umar Akmal, but seconds later he turned on his heel and walked to the dressing-room.

Subsequent replays, however, showed clearly that the ball had flicked Azhar's pocket on the way through to Prior, and there was no evidence on HotSpot that there had been any bat involved. Had the third umpire Marais Erasmus been presented with that evidence, in full view of the crowd via the replay screen, it is unlikely he would have upheld the onfield decision.

However, Pakistan's captain, Salman Butt, refused to blame his batsman for walking, and instead cast doubts about the reliability of the technology by stating that Azhar actually believed he had got an imperceptible edge on the ball.

"I think it was very honest of Azhar Ali, good sportsmanship," he said. "He edged it and he walked straight away. If we had taken the chance, who knows, it might have been not out because it didn't show anything and it also showed it clipped the trousers on the way. But he knew he was out, so there's no point taking the referral. If you are found out on the big screen, it doesn't look nice."

Butt recalled a similar incident during Pakistan's tour of Australia in January, when Michael Clarke survived a caught-behind appeal during his century at Hobart, when Snickometer picked up a noise as the ball flicked the sticker on the side of the bat, but the Hotspot replay proved inconclusive.

"Hawkeye is not 100 percent and neither is Hotspot," said Butt. "When the ball hits the sticker on the side [of the bat] it doesn't leave a mark. It happened with one or two decisions before. But the point is, if the batsman knows he has hit the ball there's no point taking a chance, because if it's up there on the big screen it's pretty embarrassing."

Either way, when coupled with the bloopers on the first day, most notably Kamran Akmal's crass decision to refer a catch that missed the bat by some distance, it's clear that Pakistan need some training in how to use the system to their advantage. England themselves had similar problems during the early stages of their tour of the Caribbean last March, but in recent months have become far more savvy.

"It's something to get used to," said Anderson. "We've not used it very well in the past and been on the wrong end of some tough decisions from it, but we've used it pretty well so far in this game. As it's used more and more in this game, the more we'll get used to it, and the better we'll use it.

"It's a case of knowing who to consult, because you've only got a short period of time to think before you refer," he added. "We try to keep as many people out of it as possible, and go for the three key people."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • bobagorof on August 1, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    The UDRS is meant to allow teams to appeal against obviously wrong decisions. If you use them up appealing against line-calls or on clear-cut situations (like appealing for a catch when the batsman misses it completely), then you're doing your own team a disservice. It may help Pakistan to use the UDRS in every series.. but that would require the PCB to come to an agreement with broadcasters, under the current arrangements.

  • on July 31, 2010, 11:15 GMT

    I THINK ONLY THAT AZHAR ALI BETTER KNOW BECUASE HE IS PLAYING NOT WE R PLAYING

  • backwardpoint on July 31, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    @agel_guy - i accept ur pts. they seem quite valid. but heads off to azhar??? no wonder u r appropriately named angel.

  • khurramsch on July 31, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    I think salman but got it wrong here! Umpires specialy tony hill has given couple of decisions where he was not too sure. he thought for few seconds & gave it in the end thinking that if they have doubt they will refer. for example that morgan dismisal he gave it late & morgan refer. now with UDRS umpires often give descisions which are 50-50 instead of giving benifit of doubt to batsman. its players responsibility to refer. How azhar thought he edged it when it didnt?? its not about sportsmanship or honesty? if 11 playing players didnt used it then i think pakistan left it for 12th man

  • owaisvirani on July 31, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    I think this all conversation is rubbish, what are the umpires standing there for, to check that how effeciently does the players uses UDRS. Around four decisions have been given wrongly in this match uptil now and all agaisnt Pakistan. Then there is Mr. KA who is working as the 12th man for England team by dropping dollies. So in total team balance is 14 - 10 in favour of England. I dont think Brazil evern can win against any lower ranked team in this combination then we should not have any hope from this Pakistan team until and unless the balance is regularized to 11 - 11 which is not looking possible. How come any one can blame the inexperienced Azhar Ali on the usage of UDRS. First of all the Umpires are to blamed for those wrong decisions but the ICC just to avoid criticism doesnot do any thing and safeguard its umpires. Initially the Umpire should be allowed to use the UDRS in case he is not 100% sure.

  • aamirb48 on July 31, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    sharprider

    How do you know that they knew the ball had not touched the bat?

    And the only problem with appealing too much (as Pakistan are known to) is that sometimes even genuine appeals are rejected.

  • rhk89 on July 31, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    yes i think pakistan batting woes are really dreadful. if we continue like that then even bangladesh can beat us. this is time where PCB needs to awake up. We desparately need experience players otherwise its impossible to play a test game with this wrecthed batting lineup.

  • VipulPatki on July 31, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    I saw this dismissal and I can say that it would be unfair to blame the batsmen present on the ground. The ridiculously low number of max. appeals is to be blamed. When a team or a player knows that each appeal that is turned down is going to reduce the number of appeals available to the team, the player (or the team) is wont to safeguard the appeals for a future decision that could potentially be even more decisive. I suggest increase the number of max. incorrect appeals to five or six per innings. Time lost in the extra referrals is surely going to be insignificant.

  • angel_guy on July 31, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    I agree that there is a NEED of understanding UDRS by teams.. the more you play TEST matches the more will the POTENTIAL REFERRALS by the teams.. even england admitted that they used to make claims which were unsuccessful.. so it will take time for the Pakistanis to make more potential udrs claims on the field.. as they havent played much of test cricket.. 2nd thing about the dismissal of Azhar .. if he felt that he nicked it, what he did was right (walking away), even if he went towards umar akal to ask him what to do, as umar is more senior and Azhar is playing his first match under UDRS.. so in my eye Azhar felt that he had nicked it, and walked away.. which is ryt..had he claimed udrs and then on the HOT SPOT it showed an edge, every one would be laughing at him.. so heads off to AZHAR..

  • on July 31, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    Well, Salman Butt and his team need common sense class training. This idiot needs to know that with this system, if an umpire is not 100% sure about the decision, he goes with 60/40 decision (before it used to go batsman favor only) one way or the other and hopes that opposing team will challenge it to correct it if he is wrong.

  • bobagorof on August 1, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    The UDRS is meant to allow teams to appeal against obviously wrong decisions. If you use them up appealing against line-calls or on clear-cut situations (like appealing for a catch when the batsman misses it completely), then you're doing your own team a disservice. It may help Pakistan to use the UDRS in every series.. but that would require the PCB to come to an agreement with broadcasters, under the current arrangements.

  • on July 31, 2010, 11:15 GMT

    I THINK ONLY THAT AZHAR ALI BETTER KNOW BECUASE HE IS PLAYING NOT WE R PLAYING

  • backwardpoint on July 31, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    @agel_guy - i accept ur pts. they seem quite valid. but heads off to azhar??? no wonder u r appropriately named angel.

  • khurramsch on July 31, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    I think salman but got it wrong here! Umpires specialy tony hill has given couple of decisions where he was not too sure. he thought for few seconds & gave it in the end thinking that if they have doubt they will refer. for example that morgan dismisal he gave it late & morgan refer. now with UDRS umpires often give descisions which are 50-50 instead of giving benifit of doubt to batsman. its players responsibility to refer. How azhar thought he edged it when it didnt?? its not about sportsmanship or honesty? if 11 playing players didnt used it then i think pakistan left it for 12th man

  • owaisvirani on July 31, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    I think this all conversation is rubbish, what are the umpires standing there for, to check that how effeciently does the players uses UDRS. Around four decisions have been given wrongly in this match uptil now and all agaisnt Pakistan. Then there is Mr. KA who is working as the 12th man for England team by dropping dollies. So in total team balance is 14 - 10 in favour of England. I dont think Brazil evern can win against any lower ranked team in this combination then we should not have any hope from this Pakistan team until and unless the balance is regularized to 11 - 11 which is not looking possible. How come any one can blame the inexperienced Azhar Ali on the usage of UDRS. First of all the Umpires are to blamed for those wrong decisions but the ICC just to avoid criticism doesnot do any thing and safeguard its umpires. Initially the Umpire should be allowed to use the UDRS in case he is not 100% sure.

  • aamirb48 on July 31, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    sharprider

    How do you know that they knew the ball had not touched the bat?

    And the only problem with appealing too much (as Pakistan are known to) is that sometimes even genuine appeals are rejected.

  • rhk89 on July 31, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    yes i think pakistan batting woes are really dreadful. if we continue like that then even bangladesh can beat us. this is time where PCB needs to awake up. We desparately need experience players otherwise its impossible to play a test game with this wrecthed batting lineup.

  • VipulPatki on July 31, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    I saw this dismissal and I can say that it would be unfair to blame the batsmen present on the ground. The ridiculously low number of max. appeals is to be blamed. When a team or a player knows that each appeal that is turned down is going to reduce the number of appeals available to the team, the player (or the team) is wont to safeguard the appeals for a future decision that could potentially be even more decisive. I suggest increase the number of max. incorrect appeals to five or six per innings. Time lost in the extra referrals is surely going to be insignificant.

  • angel_guy on July 31, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    I agree that there is a NEED of understanding UDRS by teams.. the more you play TEST matches the more will the POTENTIAL REFERRALS by the teams.. even england admitted that they used to make claims which were unsuccessful.. so it will take time for the Pakistanis to make more potential udrs claims on the field.. as they havent played much of test cricket.. 2nd thing about the dismissal of Azhar .. if he felt that he nicked it, what he did was right (walking away), even if he went towards umar akal to ask him what to do, as umar is more senior and Azhar is playing his first match under UDRS.. so in my eye Azhar felt that he had nicked it, and walked away.. which is ryt..had he claimed udrs and then on the HOT SPOT it showed an edge, every one would be laughing at him.. so heads off to AZHAR..

  • on July 31, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    Well, Salman Butt and his team need common sense class training. This idiot needs to know that with this system, if an umpire is not 100% sure about the decision, he goes with 60/40 decision (before it used to go batsman favor only) one way or the other and hopes that opposing team will challenge it to correct it if he is wrong.

  • on July 31, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    i wonder if he knew that he can go for a referral for a caught behind decision.I thought he was confirming the same from U akmal.Had he been sure of an edge,as told by Butt,why wud he go to akmal for consultations.

  • Vivek.Bhandari on July 31, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    firstly, I think that it was purely Ali's inexperience that he didnt go for the referral. Secondly, it was very sheepish of Salman Butt to defend Ali's folly. And most importantly, it's not only the Pakis but also the Indians who are too much afraid (and inexperienced) to use the referral system...

  • Javeri99 on July 31, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    In last series against Australia, it was evident that Pakistani players were confused with what to do and when to use UDRS. The situation is no different in England and I dont think there has been slight improvement. I suggest PCB should introduce this in big domestic matches so that players can have some practice.

    Also one more thing is important its more of a team decision especially when in fielding. The Azhar Ali dismissal was stupidity and I dont know but this Umar Akmal, no matter how good player he is, shouldf have refferred it as there is no use using UDRS for bowlers / tail end batsman you must take chance with your recognized batsman.

    Its high time and both Akmal brothers should be shown exit door for test matches.

  • cricpolitics on July 31, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    The fact of the matter is that there is no trick to it. One day a team might get their decisions in their favor and the other day they could be on the other side of it. It's not something you can tactically plan ahead. I think the decisions are better left to the umpires, when in doubt just refer to the third umpire like they do in case of a run out or a stump out.

  • plmx on July 31, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    Andrew, you have chosen your article headline despite the comments, protestations made by Salman Butt and I am inclined to agree with you. Salman Butt claims that it was for reasons of "honesty" and "sportsmanship" that Azhar Ali failed to refer the decision. However rather tellingly, Butt then goes on to give an additional reason "If you are found out on the big screen, it doesn't look nice", suggesting that without the embarrassment factor Azhar Ali might have referred! Where is the "honesty" and "sportsmanship" in that? Thus your article heading stands.

  • A_S_M on July 31, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    I suggest use the UDRS, Snickometer and Hotspot to full advantage at all times. Do not rely on the batsman - whether he is honest or not - just use the Snickometer and Hotspot to ascertain whether there was a sound (Snickometer) and hot spot (Hotspot) using slow motion review technology on the screen. If at least one of these 2 show it then the batsman is OUT. If none show, give the batsman NOT OUT. After all, one may touch a person so lightly that it is quite possible that the latter does NOT feel anything. So, use the batsman's honesty as a "Don't-Care-State" of digital logic. So, this may at most be like being "minutely dishonest" and NOT "overly dishonest" if the 2 technological reviews did not pick it up while the batsman knew he had snicked it. However, this approach minimizes the batsman's dishonesty in a natural way. So, go ahead.

  • on July 31, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    well hitting the trousers isn't out, so Salman's statement there doesn't really apply in that situation. it's a complete guess, as the batsman sometimes honestly doesn't know where the ball hit and obviously the bowling side are going to appeal for whatever they can get. when it's worth an appeal like that was and especially when it's for one of your top order batsman who's getting well set it should be used.

  • Zahidsaltin on July 31, 2010, 1:12 GMT

    I WILL BLAME UMAR AKMAL FOR THIS. A batsman will normally consult his partner on the non strikers end as he will normally have a eye on the balls path etc. Azhar did consult Umar and Umar told him that he was out in his meaning. I think Umar wanted to save the 2 available chances for him and the batsmen to come. That was selfish and stupidity because when the wickets were falling in every over they needed to check it out.

  • on July 31, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    I don't think Salman really realized there were only 2 which were not recovered if you got one right. Wasted two on Pietersen, one was clearly not out and the other should have been out, consequently we missed Morgan who should have been LBW at 30-odd but I guess he should have actually been out on 5 so can't really blame that.

  • A_Fan on July 31, 2010, 0:26 GMT

    I felt at the moment, he thought he edged, so he walked when umpire gave him out. I guess not a professional thing to do, since by laws of UDRS, he deserved to be not out. This is another example of why UDRS shouldnt be used. Are we saying in this case that an umpire may have seen/heard a nick onto his thigh and then to the keeper's gloves, he deserve to be called out in front of 20000 people and told he made a mistake, because technology is not accurate enough? Kudos to the umpire.

    I dont know what honesty is worth in this day and age, where just for sake of it teams like England prefer asking repeatedly for referal in hope of a missed noball while edging the ball to second slip. I would rather see a batsman refer a call when he is in doubt than appeal based on technically after being given out.

    Mind you this is quite different from standing your ground till given out by umpire.

  • sharprider on July 30, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    Truthfully speaking, this technology is a bye-product of lack of trust between teams and should be retracted forthwith as it works against the spirit of CRICKET! Having said that, I would like to highlight the naiveness of the Pakistani players in that there are some senior members present in the team as well as in the management who could really guide and coach the newcomers about its effective usage. It really amounts to "cheating" when the opposing players resort to hyped appeals, etc., and , in this case with the Pakistani batsman (namely, Azhar), they knew in their hearts that his bat had not made a contact with the ball, yet, they appealed (joined belatedly be the bowler!) and got the decision in their favour. Well, if that's the way to go then Pakistani fielders should also not be blamed for their actions (Kamran Akmal appealing for a catch) when it's their turn. All said and done, the review system must be limited to the third umpire only......period.

  • Asadpk on July 30, 2010, 21:04 GMT

    Andrew Miller did a good job on pointing it out. I'm sure I'm not the only one who believes that Pakistan need training in using not only UDRS but also in leaving the ball outside off stump in seaming conditions, keeping the periscope down when ducking a bouncer, taking catches wearing wicket-keeping gloves, taking catches without wicket-keeping gloves, gathering the ball cleanly and stumping batsmen, standing a yard or two closer to the stumps when keeping or standing in slips, being more patient and disciplined against accurate bowling, running between the wickets, rotating strike by taking singles in gaps, playing the away moving or awkward bouncing ball with soft hands, making diving stops in the field, setting attacking fields to tail-enders, bowling decent reverse swing with the old ball, bringing in the fielders when a batsman is facing the last or penultimate ball and the non-striker is a Bollinger. These are just a few that came to mind.

  • Ramprasad on July 30, 2010, 21:00 GMT

    I don't agree with Salman about Azhar Ali's sportsmanship. If Azhar Ali knew that he had edged the ball, he should have walked straight away, not after consulting Umar Akmal. It's just a plain case of him afraid to use the referral.

  • aztecs on July 30, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    LOL Jimmy is on a real high!!!! Boy i hope he gets brought back down to earth....!!! Maybe the Aussies will teach him a thing or two on how technology should be used down under.

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  • aztecs on July 30, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    LOL Jimmy is on a real high!!!! Boy i hope he gets brought back down to earth....!!! Maybe the Aussies will teach him a thing or two on how technology should be used down under.

  • Ramprasad on July 30, 2010, 21:00 GMT

    I don't agree with Salman about Azhar Ali's sportsmanship. If Azhar Ali knew that he had edged the ball, he should have walked straight away, not after consulting Umar Akmal. It's just a plain case of him afraid to use the referral.

  • Asadpk on July 30, 2010, 21:04 GMT

    Andrew Miller did a good job on pointing it out. I'm sure I'm not the only one who believes that Pakistan need training in using not only UDRS but also in leaving the ball outside off stump in seaming conditions, keeping the periscope down when ducking a bouncer, taking catches wearing wicket-keeping gloves, taking catches without wicket-keeping gloves, gathering the ball cleanly and stumping batsmen, standing a yard or two closer to the stumps when keeping or standing in slips, being more patient and disciplined against accurate bowling, running between the wickets, rotating strike by taking singles in gaps, playing the away moving or awkward bouncing ball with soft hands, making diving stops in the field, setting attacking fields to tail-enders, bowling decent reverse swing with the old ball, bringing in the fielders when a batsman is facing the last or penultimate ball and the non-striker is a Bollinger. These are just a few that came to mind.

  • sharprider on July 30, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    Truthfully speaking, this technology is a bye-product of lack of trust between teams and should be retracted forthwith as it works against the spirit of CRICKET! Having said that, I would like to highlight the naiveness of the Pakistani players in that there are some senior members present in the team as well as in the management who could really guide and coach the newcomers about its effective usage. It really amounts to "cheating" when the opposing players resort to hyped appeals, etc., and , in this case with the Pakistani batsman (namely, Azhar), they knew in their hearts that his bat had not made a contact with the ball, yet, they appealed (joined belatedly be the bowler!) and got the decision in their favour. Well, if that's the way to go then Pakistani fielders should also not be blamed for their actions (Kamran Akmal appealing for a catch) when it's their turn. All said and done, the review system must be limited to the third umpire only......period.

  • A_Fan on July 31, 2010, 0:26 GMT

    I felt at the moment, he thought he edged, so he walked when umpire gave him out. I guess not a professional thing to do, since by laws of UDRS, he deserved to be not out. This is another example of why UDRS shouldnt be used. Are we saying in this case that an umpire may have seen/heard a nick onto his thigh and then to the keeper's gloves, he deserve to be called out in front of 20000 people and told he made a mistake, because technology is not accurate enough? Kudos to the umpire.

    I dont know what honesty is worth in this day and age, where just for sake of it teams like England prefer asking repeatedly for referal in hope of a missed noball while edging the ball to second slip. I would rather see a batsman refer a call when he is in doubt than appeal based on technically after being given out.

    Mind you this is quite different from standing your ground till given out by umpire.

  • on July 31, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    I don't think Salman really realized there were only 2 which were not recovered if you got one right. Wasted two on Pietersen, one was clearly not out and the other should have been out, consequently we missed Morgan who should have been LBW at 30-odd but I guess he should have actually been out on 5 so can't really blame that.

  • Zahidsaltin on July 31, 2010, 1:12 GMT

    I WILL BLAME UMAR AKMAL FOR THIS. A batsman will normally consult his partner on the non strikers end as he will normally have a eye on the balls path etc. Azhar did consult Umar and Umar told him that he was out in his meaning. I think Umar wanted to save the 2 available chances for him and the batsmen to come. That was selfish and stupidity because when the wickets were falling in every over they needed to check it out.

  • on July 31, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    well hitting the trousers isn't out, so Salman's statement there doesn't really apply in that situation. it's a complete guess, as the batsman sometimes honestly doesn't know where the ball hit and obviously the bowling side are going to appeal for whatever they can get. when it's worth an appeal like that was and especially when it's for one of your top order batsman who's getting well set it should be used.

  • A_S_M on July 31, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    I suggest use the UDRS, Snickometer and Hotspot to full advantage at all times. Do not rely on the batsman - whether he is honest or not - just use the Snickometer and Hotspot to ascertain whether there was a sound (Snickometer) and hot spot (Hotspot) using slow motion review technology on the screen. If at least one of these 2 show it then the batsman is OUT. If none show, give the batsman NOT OUT. After all, one may touch a person so lightly that it is quite possible that the latter does NOT feel anything. So, use the batsman's honesty as a "Don't-Care-State" of digital logic. So, this may at most be like being "minutely dishonest" and NOT "overly dishonest" if the 2 technological reviews did not pick it up while the batsman knew he had snicked it. However, this approach minimizes the batsman's dishonesty in a natural way. So, go ahead.

  • plmx on July 31, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    Andrew, you have chosen your article headline despite the comments, protestations made by Salman Butt and I am inclined to agree with you. Salman Butt claims that it was for reasons of "honesty" and "sportsmanship" that Azhar Ali failed to refer the decision. However rather tellingly, Butt then goes on to give an additional reason "If you are found out on the big screen, it doesn't look nice", suggesting that without the embarrassment factor Azhar Ali might have referred! Where is the "honesty" and "sportsmanship" in that? Thus your article heading stands.