November 14, 2011

No DRS, no drama

The Kotla Test showed that decisions unaided by technology don't always spell disaster, nor are they a mark of old-fashioned, rigid values
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Even the ICC will concede the current situation in international cricket is far from ideal. Some series are played with the Decision Review System (DRS) in place, with all the available technology, some with the DRS but with limited use of technology, while in others there are no reviews at all. However, this enforced compromise in international cricket allows us to watch and compare the effects of these different approaches to the game.

The West Indies tour of India, broadcast under the direction of the BCCI, has no DRS, and minimal use of technology in its television coverage, while Australia's tour of South Africa is being played with the DRS, using all the technology available.

As for my stand on the DRS, to start with, like a typical cricketer, I was opposed to technology. But when technology became an integral part of decision-making, I started to see some benefits and joined the masses who had begun to support the DRS. But now, watching the India-West Indies series, which takes you back to a time when there was limited use of technology, I am beginning to see some positives in the old-fashioned approach to cricket.

The BCCI's stand on the DRS is well known, but during the India-England one-day series the board went a step further and decided that the ball-tracking results for lbws wouldn't be broadcast for the benefit of television viewers either. I was outraged when I first learnt of this decision, but with time I began to understand the logic behind it. Why show the viewers what the board considers a flawed piece of technology and mislead them? Of course, the counter-argument would be: why not continue showing it as a viewing enhancement, as it was originally meant to be? But let's not forget that what started off as a "value-add" on TV had such a powerful effect on fans, players and administrators that it forced its way into the core of the game. This viewing enhancement was too potent to be used as just a television graphic.

The one thing I particularly liked about the DRS-free, ball-tracking-free coverage of the India-West Indies series was illustrated by the decision against Gautam Gambhir. He was given out leg-before by Rod Tucker in the second innings at the Kotla. It looked to many like the ball could have been slipping down leg. A review may have given Gambhir a lifeline, but because there was no DRS to confirm the line of the delivery, everyone - the players and the fans watching on TV - just moved on. Without ball-tracking technology, which could have thrown up further doubts, the dismissal incident did not become an issue. Obviously Gambhir would feel hard done by that there was no DRS, but his was one of the 40 wickets that can fall in a Test. Is one wicket that big a deal in the larger scheme of things?

Of course, there are obvious advantages of using technology. Having an all-inclusive DRS helps keep calm among players in a high-intensity contest, because they feel the best possible effort has been made to arrive at the right decision

Gambhir was out, not so much because the umpire decided it wasn't going down leg, but because he played across the line. And with no one making a fuss about the decision, that is what he would have concluded himself in the dressing room.

Those who tend to be dramatic and suggest that one wicket can indeed change the course of the game are looking at it the wrong way. A team never loses a match because of one moment in the game; it's always more than one event - in fact, a series of events - that determines a team's defeat. But often, taking our anger out on the umpires after a game is lost seems to give us greater relief.

The BCCI's decision has also made the umpire the boss again, as it should be. I still can't come to terms with the fact that the umpire's finger going up is not the end of the matter, as it once was. I also strongly believe that umpiring has become better over the years, and we have to thank TV technology for it. So maybe it's time to give the umpires the final authority again. Considering the number of decisions an umpire gives in one Test, howlers are rare.

Once again, we are reminded of the virtues of the old methods, which cannot be dismissed as signs of old-fashioned, rigid thinking. It's about which is better for the game as a whole in the long run. To rubbish this approach because it's being led by the BCCI is not right.

Of course, there are obvious advantages of using technology, and we saw its best endorsement at Newlands. Having an all-inclusive DRS helps keep calm among players in a high-intensity contest, because they feel the best possible effort has been made to arrive at the right decision. Secondly, the viewers, who drive the cricket market, love a DRS situation. They lean forward on their sofas with great excitement to see what transpires as technology takes its course. What the DRS also does well is help balance the game out by taking much of the human element out of decision-making, which has always been based on the principle that the batsman should get the benefit of the doubt.

But I don't like how the DRS gets far too much attention during a match. When a not-out decision gets reviewed and overturned, and the batman starts walking back to the dressing room, the talk revolves around the DRS rather than how good the ball was or what mistake the batsman made. Cricket should always be about the players, not umpires and video evidence. And like cricketers, technology can have a good or a bad game; it had a good run at Newlands but it failed in England.

We are running out of time on this issue. Very soon the ICC will have to standardise playing conditions in international cricket: it has to be DRS for all or for none. I am glad I don't have to vote on this.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 17, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Hi Cricket lovers and Comments makers. I am very much on BCCI stand. Hey first understand what BCCI is saying? Please don't comment without knowing correctly. BCCI says if your going to use any technology is good but ICC should provide 99.99% fool proof. Apart from run out decision no other technology still now recommended or used in cricket did not passed BCCI bench mark.

  • on November 17, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    do i have rights to comment on this article without reading it? coz i dont read anything that Mr.Manjrekar right or talk

  • on November 17, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Any thing used to eliminate human errors in the game is good, as one bad decision could effect the game as well as player career.

  • on November 17, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    Well i'm afraid i don't agree with Sanjay's thinking and comments about DRS. I'm failed to understand why on earth only India is against DRS when all the other countries have already given green signal to it? If India is so keen to take cricket back to "Cave age" then why to have "Third Umpire" option, which to me was the first step in this regard! If we really want to lean on the ground umpires without technology then lets pull out third umpire, stump cameras and mikes!! Let's be technology free. Why be so choosy? Technology is created to help and bolster the human efficiency. When we are already using technology in every walk of life then why not cricket? I hope Sanjay must have watched SA - AUS first test match, which without DRS couldn't have been possible. I reckon we should be open hearted to welcome the "new" changes happening around us.

  • on November 17, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    DRS has its own advantage but some positives are there such as no debates or arguments to the umpire decision. i always believe that umpire is the best person to judge the behaviour of the pitch than technology.so it should be left to him. since he is also a human, errors will be there such as ball pitching outside leg stump, hitting outside the line of the stump, etc. here comes the need for DRS but in different form. it can be effectively used without tracking technology by just seeing the replays with naked eyes whether the ball pitched outside leg stump, hit the pad on the line, height of the impact on the pad, inside edge, etc. for these things no technology is needed since we can find in the replays itself. i say that technology can be used to find the actual things(above said) happened rather than predicting what would have happenned after its impact on the pad.so tracking should be used till the ball hitting the pad only and beyond that umpire is the best person to judge.

  • Samdanh on November 17, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    This view will hold good for India and all Indians until they lose. Few losses through one or two even marginally wrong decisions will make their colour change. Fickle to say the least. Cheers to nations who have favoured the DRS. Developed thinking!

  • on November 17, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Perfect job of sitting on the fence Sanjay. DRS is good. But it's bad, but I feel it's good. But then it maybe bad. But it has it's advantages.

  • on November 17, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    Sanjay,you have a good chance of being a spokes person of BCCI.....IN 2nd test Ifeel Bad for WI...

  • on November 17, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    To make cricket even more drama-less even the on field umpire can be eliminated, and the batsman walks if he had played across irrespective of whether it pitched in line or bounced over etc., and so on .. Sanjay is a genius, I just hope he doesn't get any where near the ICC decision making crowd!!!!

  • jmcilhinney on November 17, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    It's sad but true that I agree with Rambo2008 that it is sad but true that, for high-profile, televised games, the umpires really only exist for tradition's sake. Everyone goes on about how good Aleem Dar is (and I agree) but we only know that he's that good because TV replays have confirmed so many of his decisions. Obviously then, at least the vast majority of those decisions could have been made by an off-field umpire viewing those replays only. Maybe an off-field umpire should make all decisions when the technology is available and the on-field umpire's opinion should just be one of the inputs used in making that decision. Of course, in that case the standard of the on-field umpires would be significantly lower. In practical terms, that is the most likely scenario to lead to the maximum number of correct decisions.

  • on November 17, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Hi Cricket lovers and Comments makers. I am very much on BCCI stand. Hey first understand what BCCI is saying? Please don't comment without knowing correctly. BCCI says if your going to use any technology is good but ICC should provide 99.99% fool proof. Apart from run out decision no other technology still now recommended or used in cricket did not passed BCCI bench mark.

  • on November 17, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    do i have rights to comment on this article without reading it? coz i dont read anything that Mr.Manjrekar right or talk

  • on November 17, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Any thing used to eliminate human errors in the game is good, as one bad decision could effect the game as well as player career.

  • on November 17, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    Well i'm afraid i don't agree with Sanjay's thinking and comments about DRS. I'm failed to understand why on earth only India is against DRS when all the other countries have already given green signal to it? If India is so keen to take cricket back to "Cave age" then why to have "Third Umpire" option, which to me was the first step in this regard! If we really want to lean on the ground umpires without technology then lets pull out third umpire, stump cameras and mikes!! Let's be technology free. Why be so choosy? Technology is created to help and bolster the human efficiency. When we are already using technology in every walk of life then why not cricket? I hope Sanjay must have watched SA - AUS first test match, which without DRS couldn't have been possible. I reckon we should be open hearted to welcome the "new" changes happening around us.

  • on November 17, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    DRS has its own advantage but some positives are there such as no debates or arguments to the umpire decision. i always believe that umpire is the best person to judge the behaviour of the pitch than technology.so it should be left to him. since he is also a human, errors will be there such as ball pitching outside leg stump, hitting outside the line of the stump, etc. here comes the need for DRS but in different form. it can be effectively used without tracking technology by just seeing the replays with naked eyes whether the ball pitched outside leg stump, hit the pad on the line, height of the impact on the pad, inside edge, etc. for these things no technology is needed since we can find in the replays itself. i say that technology can be used to find the actual things(above said) happened rather than predicting what would have happenned after its impact on the pad.so tracking should be used till the ball hitting the pad only and beyond that umpire is the best person to judge.

  • Samdanh on November 17, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    This view will hold good for India and all Indians until they lose. Few losses through one or two even marginally wrong decisions will make their colour change. Fickle to say the least. Cheers to nations who have favoured the DRS. Developed thinking!

  • on November 17, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Perfect job of sitting on the fence Sanjay. DRS is good. But it's bad, but I feel it's good. But then it maybe bad. But it has it's advantages.

  • on November 17, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    Sanjay,you have a good chance of being a spokes person of BCCI.....IN 2nd test Ifeel Bad for WI...

  • on November 17, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    To make cricket even more drama-less even the on field umpire can be eliminated, and the batsman walks if he had played across irrespective of whether it pitched in line or bounced over etc., and so on .. Sanjay is a genius, I just hope he doesn't get any where near the ICC decision making crowd!!!!

  • jmcilhinney on November 17, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    It's sad but true that I agree with Rambo2008 that it is sad but true that, for high-profile, televised games, the umpires really only exist for tradition's sake. Everyone goes on about how good Aleem Dar is (and I agree) but we only know that he's that good because TV replays have confirmed so many of his decisions. Obviously then, at least the vast majority of those decisions could have been made by an off-field umpire viewing those replays only. Maybe an off-field umpire should make all decisions when the technology is available and the on-field umpire's opinion should just be one of the inputs used in making that decision. Of course, in that case the standard of the on-field umpires would be significantly lower. In practical terms, that is the most likely scenario to lead to the maximum number of correct decisions.

  • tough_cool on November 17, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    Sanjay, The fact you are missing in this entire piece of article and also in all articles that write against technology,is that technology when used is always consistent for both teams, but can you say the same thing about umpires. Are umpires consistent always and against all teams and in all situations ? Remember Sydney 2008. Now a series that was planned many years in advance and is anticipated by billions for as many years is spoiled by the whims of one person, Do you really want that to happen again ? The example you are referring here does not quite do the justice. an IND-WI tour played in India is not the same as IND vs AUS in AUS, so a wicket here or there may not matter in a IND-WI match but even a single run could make a lot of difference in a tour like IND-AUS or the Ashes. What you are doing now with this article is just joining the bandwagon started by Mr. SRT becoz no body can go against him right now, even though I know you were a crictic of SRT not very long ago !

  • Rambo2008 on November 16, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    Honestly, I dont find a great deal of use of the onfield umpire. It's sad but true. You have snicko for thin edges, actions replays for the thicker ones, run-outs are anyways referred. Wides and no balls are no brainers with TV. Currently, I dont find any point of an onfield umpire outside of a utility cap hangar and someone who can move his hands arnd when the balls crosses over the fence.

  • puccamumbaikar on November 16, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Agree with TexMex: There is another way to enjoy the "human element" without technology. The ICC needs to take a stand that if any of the umpires do not enjoy the confidence of both the captains then ICC will replace them immediately during the match. How about that?

  • on November 16, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    Like Sanjay, absence of DRS is making the game more controversy-free, I wish BCCI would eliminate even any action replay so that there's never a single feather controversy. To add to that, tv channels can show more ads in place of action replays!!

  • Praxis on November 16, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, that test will work, but one important issue with hawk-eye is determining the point of impact, most of the errors we have seen for this tool was due to that(e.g. Tendulkar's lbw decision in WC semifinal). BCCI could've done better with this situation, they could've persuaded ICC to make all the hawk-eye cameras in every ground have same frame rate or help with sponsors for DRS. My problem isn't with BCCI not supporting hawk-eye, being the most powerful & influential board they can help to better this technologies like ECB, CA etc..

  • kobler on November 16, 2011, 3:47 GMT

    Dear Sanjay, if the first test showed you that it is not needed then the second test should show you exactly when it is needed with India getting any close LBW or good shout and WI the opposite, Dravid was out before he got his hundred and Brathwaite and Edwards were not Btw when a team is too dependent one certain players then that one bad decision does have a bearing on the game eg WI teams with Gayle or Lara

  • Vishal_07 on November 16, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    @Mitcher, you are right. People need to move on from the Sydney Test. You win some, you lose some, get over it people. Cricket is neither a religion (and therefore don't call anybody God no matter how great they are; and yes I am a Tendulkar fan) nor a war. It is sports and sports is supposed to be enjoyed.

  • jmcilhinney on November 16, 2011, 0:49 GMT

    "The BCCI's stand on the DRS is well known". Is it? We know that the BCCI has an issue with Hawk Eye but on exactly what basis? Do they simply mistrust it because it is predictive or is it because of specific incidents where it appears incorrect? I read some time ago that they also object to pitch-mapping technology, i.e. the blue strip that shows the line from stump to stump, because it could be tampered with. That is completely ludicrous and casts doubt on any other objection they may have. Do the BCCI have a real understanding of how Hawk Eye works? I've never seen mention either way. I would think that the overall accuracy of Hawk Eye would be easy to test: bowl a lot of balls at the stumps with no batsman, get the Hawk Eye result for only a partial trajectory and compare that with the actual trajectory. That will give us a good idea of how often Hawk Eye is wrong and by how much. Even without Hawk Eye though, DRS leads to more correct decisions and that must be a good thing.

  • Mitcher on November 15, 2011, 22:38 GMT

    Could it be that any article on any topic on this website can be hijacked by comments about Sachin or whinging about the Sydney Test. Yet I can't get a word in about how much I loved that match and how truly, utterly, painfully annoying it is to have 1 billion people still moaning about it years later.

  • Iwatchcricket on November 15, 2011, 22:11 GMT

    It's ironic and hilarious how Sanjay and his BCC are so opposed to DRS, without it their king Sachin would have gotten out vs Ajmal in the World Cup Semifinal!

  • brittop on November 15, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    InswingingToeCrusher: Surely a mathematical model is created by a human. It can surely be given the same parameters as a human brain.

  • on November 15, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    This article just seems in defense of the BCCI stand against DRS and not an objective assessment of the technology. I am sure if a study was done on 'bad howler' decisions it will show more bad decisions in favour of spin bowlers- hence India stand against DRS. It is always difficult for umpires determine accurately bat pad catches with spinners- as shown by the 'howler' against Kraigg Braithwaite in the second test. Also SRT can count himself lucky at not being given out to lbw to Bishoo, both decisions would have been reversed by DRS and the correct decisions made. But I guess BCCI has the money and power to influence these decisions and thats where we are now...going backwards rather than forwards with technology...

  • on November 15, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    DRS may not be 100% accurate, nor are the Umpires for that matter. How many times we have seen in that past 1 wrong decision by the umpires and the games changes on it's head. Look at the 2nd West Indies wicket yesterday, surely if there was DRS available Kraigg Brathwaite would not have been out. The bottom line is DRS is here to stay are people like you Sanjay are only delaying the inevitable.

  • on November 15, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    In my openion drs should be complsaryin all format at present south africa/ austrelia game nine review rour were umpie wrong and twice the chellange wrong is benifiting boath side intrest of public very well raman pancholi

  • m_ilind on November 15, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    I think India should accept DRS with everything that's available in it. It can overturn some bad dismissals which inevitably happen in every match. Atleast, it gives the players a second chance to review it. May not change the course of the match as such, but it will add some fairness to the decision making as umpires can have a bad game too. I liked the way DRS was used in the SA-Aus game.

  • on November 15, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    Well i'm afraid i don't agree with Sanjay Manjrekar's article. DRS is the need of the day. Technology is taking place in every walk of life. if we use the latest technology in our daily lives then why not in cricket? Moreover we have already agreed to many new inventions by ICC in the past then why not DRS? i believe the inclusion of "third umpire" was the first step in this regard. if India still wants cricket back to the "age of cave" then why keeping third umpire? if we are destined to lean 100 percent on the ground umpires then let them decide each n everything. Remove third umpire too!!! Remove the stump camera and mike!! Let cricket be then free of technology. We should be clear in this regard, either technology will play its role or not at all. We shouldn't be too subjective. By the way technology is created to help and bolster the human efficiency. Let's take the example of recent SA- AUS test match in this regard, which is self explanatory for DRS!!!

  • goldensilence on November 15, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    I would say - replace umpires with robots with full access to all technology. Players can press the robot buttons to appeal and the robot will provide the answer..may be 1 human like referee to make sure conduct and all on the field somewhere.

  • Ghayas77 on November 15, 2011, 15:41 GMT

    Sanjay Is a non-official spokesperson of the BCCI. C'mon man world is changing so equip yourself with it rather than putting up lame nostalgia for the old days.

  • InswingingToeCrusher on November 15, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    @bobagorof - You ve mentioned you would trust a mathematical model, rather than a human. Interesting point. However, the problem with a mathematical model is that it always behaves in a predictable manner. So, if it has a marginal inaccuracy, it will have that for every decision. So all marginal decisions can go wrong. Umpires on the other hand take every decision as a separate event.

  • JeeshYDillac on November 15, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Great Article sanjay actually DRS is a very good for accurate decisions

  • brittop on November 15, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    How would you use DRS for "howlers" only? Guess you would have to define what a "howler" was to start with. Then you would have to take away the players' ability to call for a review, since they'll call for it whether it's "marginal" or a "howler". The on-field umpire would presumably not want to review it, because he's given what he believes is a correct decision. Therefore the 3rd umpire would have to review every appeal just in case it's a "howler", so you'd have to hold the game up. Then would the 3rd umpire only be allowed to overturn the decision if it's a "howler". Those watching the replays would be able to see it was probably out/ not out, but the 3rd umpire can't overturn it because it's "marginal".

  • Rossco555 on November 15, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    Interesting read, however you say that one decision will not affect the outcome of a match. But consider the hypothetical situation of a close match where a team needs 1 run off the last ball. The batsman gets an inside edge onto his pad and takes a run however its given out LBW. Would you not want the correct decision to prevail on the field so the rightful team wins regardless of which team you are supporting? With no DRS it would be a draw, however with DRS the batting team would (deservedly) win. The DRS was designed to eliminate 'howlers' and critical decisions being incorrectly called because of human error. The limit of incorrect decisions was introduced so teams wouldn't review everything, only decisions they were sure of. So why shun the teconology if we have it and it can improve the game? Why not work to improve it? If it can make the game more fair and more transparent then why not?

  • Damo23 on November 15, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    The DRS is currently used in a way in which it was never intended to be used - with frequent referrals made in faint hope of a decision reversal. If use of the DRS is to continue - and considering the fact that the technology isn't 100% reliable - then a better system would be to allow each team just one incorrect referral per match, but with each referral carrying three possible outcomes: (i) Decision stands - no more referrals will be heard; (ii) Decision overturned - option to refer retained and (iii) Decision stands (inconclusive) - insufficient evidence to overturn the decision, but there's enough doubt that the team will retain the right to refer further decisions. This system would cut down on hopeful referrals whilst ensuring that the howlers can be referred.

  • 1st_april on November 15, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    great point by Sanjay!!....even without technology India lost 4-0...so why use it??

  • on November 15, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    DRS should be used to remove the howlers and not the marginal decisions.. to remove howlers i think we need only slow motion and snickometer... and i dont think hawk eye and eagle eye could be accurate.. we know that its not so accurate for spin bowling... i i dont how it predicts the path in swinging conditions... the ball swings depending on the air pressure around the ball and roughness of the ball... i still dont understand a camera at a distance can measure the exact pressure difference between the two halves of the ball and the roughness of ball...

  • Rivka on November 15, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    Good article, Sanjay! What the ICC certainly cannot ignore is whether technology like ball tracking is actually as reliable as it is made out to be. Most people get impressed by computer graphics showing the path of the ball. If you actually work with computer simulation (which I do), you'd know that accuracy and good graphics are two different things. Several senior players and umpires have raised doubts about the accuracy of DRS - it's not a good enough argument to say that DRS will remove the howlers from the game, because bad technology can ruin the rest of the game for us.

  • DaisonGarvasis on November 15, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    As for me I am not against Technology. My concern is use it correctly. When a decision is reviewed by a Team, they are making use of the Technology. So if their question was wrong they lose one chance to use the technology and after two wrong questions, the team cant review again. How does that make the full use of technology. What about any haulers made after one team lost the reviews??? Does that make the game hauler free??? I would give the fuill power to the umpires even with the DRS. The on field umpire can give decision but the Third umpire can ask for a small pause to the game while he reviews the decision with the system when he deem necessary and give recommendations to the on field umpire. Umpires should be able to review before making a decision too. That way the technology is used for making the right decision and umpires have the full command of the situation. And some rules like the Ian Bell decision in the world cup can be looked at further to make more sense out of it

  • satish619chandar on November 15, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    @naveedboomboom : Getting third umpire for runout isvolves the replays alone.. There is not prediction or any technology involved.. Just camera shows what happened and umpire can have an extra look.. Samewise, we can have replays with pitchmap for DRS too without unnecessary usage of unreliable technology..

  • on November 15, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    So Mr Manjrekar, your solution is to bury our collective heads in the sand? Pretending that the technology doesn't exist does nothing to improve the quality of on-field decision making. Cricket fans don't just watch India matches and it's easy to see that the use of the technology in other series is positive thing. The BCCI decision is ridiculous and your support of it equally so.

  • kingcobra85 on November 15, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    Nicely Return Sanjay! Who needs technology when the game as it is beautiful! When i was kids we used to plough the fields with cows.it was serene and peaceful then all of a sudden we have big machines in the name technology now the whole neighborhood knows we are ploughing our fields..its more efficient but horrible way to get things done...unless you the ipod generation who are more comfortable

  • sri1ram on November 15, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    Hmm, Manjrekar is attempting to play a devil's advocate here, but I would have preferred a Sambit or a Prem Panicker or even an Ugra doing this. The arguments do not seem to be well thought out or explained, as many of the protests here would attest. @bobagorof had it on the mark - a scientific, mathematical model at 95+ consistent accuracy is anytime preferable to an umpire at 25 yards after six hours of sun. So, Manjrekar's traditionalist position in the start, looks like a transparent yet weak attempt to explain away the BCCI's inexplicable opposition of the DRS.

  • nilaksh on November 15, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    I think Sanjay has a point here. All my friends here are speaking as if they are experts on the technology being used with DRS. As we saw in England, hot spot failed to pick clear cut nicks whereas snicko did, so which of the 2 is right? Also, as was seen in SL that hawk eye failed to predict the correct trajectory of the turning ball. These are instances when technology has been caught been short of where it should have been, nobody can say for sure whether there haven't been other instances which went unreported. If technology can not guarantee correctness then why not leave it to the humans? If the ball is just kissing the top of the bail maybe the batsman shouldn't be adjudged LBW, in such cases I feel we are getting too technical on him by using DRS. I think technology should only be used if there's a clear cut video evidence, for LBW's it should be limited to inside edges. Also, what's with the rule of 3 reviews per innings? Why not overturn all the wring one's instead.

  • Vijay_P_S on November 15, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    Have you seen the match between SA and Aus the other day? So many decision have been overturned by DRS and rightfully so. We see those matches with full DRS and clearly know why using technology is so much better. You can't pretend that all is well without it. Batsmen getting beaten and getting out are two different things. It is not right to justify giving them out because they are beaten.

  • Paddle_Sweep on November 15, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    I think that an average Indian fan does want the DRS. In this new age, where the stakes are really high, you need 100% correct decisions and if technology is going to help us to take closer to that 100% then let's go for it. Frankly the examples quoted by Sanjay are poor and his argument lacks substance. Sanjay - Think why the DRS was introduced!!(Howlers - remember that!).

  • on November 15, 2011, 3:21 GMT

    Sanjay, How convenient it is for you to stay in the studio and conclude that absence of DRS is OK and fine. Think about the bowlers who operate on these dead, heartless pitches. It is one think to worry about the standard of the present Windies team and bemoan its lack of quality. But why are u not talking about how far the balance of play is loaded in favour of the batsmen because of these pitches? Do you really think Dravid, Gambhir, Laxman and Co. have really earned their scores on these pitches? Can't these Indian batting superstars handle the Windies pacemen on a pitches with bit more bounce and life in them? I think DRS should be unanimously enforced in all international matches, because it is not only the fairer system but also greatly redresses the balance between bat and ball and makes the game far more engrossing.

  • Vishal_07 on November 15, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    Actually, this kinda makes sense. Don't show any replays and nobody would be the wiser. Same thing as for the run outs, before TV replays were available nobody complained about run outs and the TV broadcast eventually forced ICC to have the third umpire. I am okay either ways, watching sports anything more than fun means you need to go out and have some life.

  • on November 15, 2011, 2:12 GMT

    My only deeply held feeling towards DRS is that it either needs to be instituted to its fullest extent- using all the available and reliable technologies- or completely abandoned (excepting, of course, run-outs and whatever else falls under the purview of the third umpire). With the DRS there is the drama of the referral and the increased likelihood of a correct decision; without it, there is the drama of the incorrect decision and the turning of a game based on those incorrect decisions- the Atherton vs Donald situations. Of these two eventualities, I don't know which is the more preferable or even, which is best for the game. I'm pretty sure that the arguments on either side are evenly weighted, should one take the time to enumerate them. A decision, however, should be taken- one that gets rid of the tedious and unhelpful flip-flopping we are currently mired in. It's frustrating and simply detracts from the cricket as played.

  • Mr_Force on November 15, 2011, 1:42 GMT

    Even last world cup semi final, ind vs pak, tendulkar given out lbw, b ajmal and he was on 40 some odds score and went to some 88 runs (something like that), won that match by 28 runs or so.

  • on November 15, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    Commenters before me have refuted most of your ridiculous points but let me address one last one...DRS gets attention today more than the ball or the catch because it is new. Once it becomes part of the game, nobody will pay attention to it. Take the example of powerplays and when to take them.

  • bobagorof on November 14, 2011, 23:51 GMT

    For those who don't want to use the DRS because it isn't 100% perfect: if you had a choice between a system that is 94% accurate and one that is 98% accurate, which would you choose? The 98% one - it's not perfect, but it's better than the alternative. As far as the complaints about LBW predictions go - the umpire is predicting the path of the ball too, and he has parallax error (he is looking from an elevated position above the stumps) and must make assumptions about the turn of the ball, height of bounce, etc. I'd have more faith in a tested mathematical model (with a known scientific margin of error of, say, half a stump width) to make a prediction than some guy standing 25 yards away who has been out in the sun for 6 hours.

  • on November 14, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    How about chanderpaul in the first innings who was given out clearly wrong or gambhir given not out against fidel when he was out in the first innings...these two could have given the west indies more theoretical runs and decrease india's run total as well. they would have helped tremendously so i dont understand you sir

  • outback_storm on November 14, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    Manjrekar asks: "Is one wicket that big a deal in the larger scheme of things?".... That is sufficient to show the ridiculous nature of his argument.

  • the_blue_android on November 14, 2011, 22:19 GMT

    Is one wicket that big a deal in the larger scheme of things? Yes. You want proof? Look at the infamous Sydney test match.

  • Kempo on November 14, 2011, 22:14 GMT

    I always felt that, the DRS should be like in NFL. "They should over rule the on-field umpire's decision only When they find conclusive evidence". For example, a batsman edges the ball and the umpire gives 'Out' and the batsman reviews it, if the technology is in-conclusive then that means they cannot disprove the umpire. So it should stand as called on the field - which is 'Out'.The reason is, lot of times, on field umpire can see things that technology cannot and that would also mean, Umpire gets more powers than what DRS provide.

  • cricfan2007 on November 14, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Common sense theory "something is better than nothing". While DRS may not be accurate but it is better than human eyes against 90mph ball. Now DRS means a suite of technologies. I am in favor of limited no of appeals like3 per team max for decisions refer to DRS. Everything else human.

  • frazell on November 14, 2011, 21:26 GMT

    DRS added to the drama of the Australia v SA test, which made the test match more exciting. Amla,Kallis and DeVilliers wouldn't have been dismissed when they were in the SA 1t innings. DRS removes doubt, (if a player is unhappy he can have a decision overturned) I am for full DRS, althogh Haweye and hotpot probably needs to improve slightly to make DRS 1005 controversy free

  • da_man_ on November 14, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    Also I wonder what you'd say if SRT was given out lbw with a huge inside edge when on 99 looking for his 100th 100. Still think "No DRS no drama?" I think there'd be riots lol

  • AsadCricFan on November 14, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    @Rahulbose That's why there is the "umpires call" rule. And plus Hawkeye is way more accurate than any human umpire. And finally, math is never faulty ;)

  • da_man_ on November 14, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    Sanjay I'm disappointed even you miss the whole point of the DRS. It is to eliminate HOWLERS, not change marginal decisions. It really is a simple concept. It's to stop the big nick going unnoticed by the umpire, or the inside edge given as lbw. If it's not an obvious decision, the benefit goes to the umpire. It's sort of like run outs with the third umpire. You could argue that many run outs are not given due to the frame speed, but even that is essentially to improve the situation. Not make it perfect. So should run outs also go back to the umpire? After all it is technology which is not 100%... Disappointed in the author if brutally honest.

  • tvradke on November 14, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    DRS is inaccurate and limited in the use of even ball tracing let alone projected path. But as an insider in the technology used in this industry, I can tell you that it will indeed be very expensive to make it more accurate than it is. In reality, the major developments in the ball tracking and projection technologies is now in ease of use and to find greater applications for them rather than making them more accurate. However I think that DRS must be used with even stricter controls on how to over-turn the umpire's decision and especially for any inside-edge lbw decisions. The whole issue with using DRS is the philosophy behind use. What started off as an exercise to eliminate howlers has been required to make what appear like very marginal calls in the interest of getting maximum accuracy. I think that DRS can be used exceptionally well if the only intention was to eliminate howlers.

  • AsadCricFan on November 14, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    Completely, absolutely, utterly, massively flawed article. "Is one wicket that big a deal in the larger scheme of things?" Are you kidding me Sanjay? Mate I'm sorry but this whole DRS should we have it should we not thing is just getting tedious now. All logic, experience, intellect, stats, past players, current players every way look at it DRS is the OBVIOUS way forward. I still ponder to this day WHY someone might have such a problem with it. If you have an option to improve the number of correct decisions made by umpires by approx. 6%, reduce all the whining about racist/biased umpires (I should point out are ironically made the most by the Indian team), reduce the number of (Colin Croft vs Frank Goodall type incidents). Then Why is there such a fuss? Whilst all other sports take steps to ensure that the sport exceeds and moves ahead, why is the sport of cricket taking a step back by neglecting this technology.

  • luks on November 14, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    Its funny how India is supposed to be good in technology (IT) but actually, most of the Indians (except the young ones) don't get technology at all!! Technology is not perfect but it is the way forward, whether today or tomorrow that is the only question. T20 is also an innovation, nobody seems to be complaining. Helmets are also an innovation, no one seems to be complaining. Suddenly why is Manjrekar fond of old, traditional methods? - an Indian.

  • ashesm on November 14, 2011, 20:14 GMT

    I think the more important issue is that of getting spectators back to the grounds. What people do not realise is that viewership on TV will fall when people see empty stands. It is the packed stadiums and atmosphere that influences peoples viewing habits. BCCI should think about the people that actually made them rich and give something back to YOU and ME [the spectators- at grounds]

  • Rahulbose on November 14, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    As I watch more and more DRS reviews, its limitation are becoming clearly evident. Quite often the projected path is obviously not correct, its projections of path and bounce are very poor when the ball hits bat/pad right after pitching. Only thing it can clearly show is if the ball was pitching outside leg stump, rest all is conjecture and I would trust an experienced umpire rather than some faulty math for the decision.

  • zico123 on November 14, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    DRS in England failed bacause Hawk eye was not in use in conjunction with Hot spot, in Aus-SA series both hot spot and hawk eye are at use, DRS is coming good there.

  • zico123 on November 14, 2011, 19:16 GMT

    DRS with only hotspot or only Hawk eye is misleading, no good, but DRS is good if both Hot Spot and Hawk eye is available, so either no DRS or DRS with both technology should be used.

  • on November 14, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    The problem is the ICC is setting the technology up to fail, they arent using it to the manufacturers specifications. The manufacturers have come out openly and said this themselves. Their believe is if the cameras are properly positioned and the right amount of cameras are used then the technology will be accurate. This wasnt the case in England in the series against India and of course there were mistakes. The reasons given by the ICC for this was the expense, which i found to be a bit on the nose coming from the ICC!!!

  • bumsonseats on November 14, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    i can see no positives, the drs gets over 95% of decisions right. and its only when u use it, to get a decision reviewed after an umpire yes/no decision. that u then realise that they are human a get it wrong more than the review. its here i hope to stay and the sooner the bcci realise that the bette.dpkr

  • segga-express on November 14, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    It is lovely to read an article fresh from the Politburo of the BCCI. Truly enlightening article delivered via the Ministry of Truth. No human can expect to be correct 100% of the time, and this includes the 3rd umpire as well as the on-field umpires. This is why the DRS should be viewed solely as part of the decision making process. So long as it is producing accurate decisions as the end result the process is worthwhile. Most DRS mistakes have been a result of the 3rd umpire making an error, not the technology failing. A majority decision at the ICC is needed to settle the matter. No single board should be allowed to dictate their terms. If a match goes by without any referrals then it would be fantastic, but the DRS is supposed to be a safety net to guard against howlers. Imagine the outcome of the Ashes had England been unable to review the Clarke decision at the close of day 4 of the Adelaide test? Those are the decisions the system is designed to guard against.

  • bestbuddy on November 14, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    Cricket like all sports is about momentum; the team with momentum is usually rewarded with the result. It is rare that a team wins despite not being on top for the majority of the game. One wicket (or lack therefore) can and will change the momentum of a game; how many time have we seen a team doing well then lose a wicket and suddenly they've lost 7 for 50. It happens to every team. Would SA have only made 96 if the DRS had not been there to give out amla, kallis and de villiers? I sincerely doubt it. Likewise if Watson had reviewed his lbw aus might not have collapsed to 47 (the momentum went against them and they were annihilated). When it comes to the DRS it is not about making the game perfect or taking away the power of the umpire, it is merely to make it more accurate than it could be without it. Sanjay I am very disappointed that you cannot seem to see any of this

  • inswing on November 14, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    The article goes to show that the ability to play a game very well does not translate to do anything else well, like thinking. So you had a test without DRS in which there were no major problems? And this means DRS does not need to be used? Incorrect decisions don't matter? If DRS is used then people talk about it so it should not be used? Please. Cricket is not about who the "boss" is on the field. If there is a method available that can correct glaring human errors, it must be used, finances permitting. Perfection is irrelevant and not expected; improvement is what matters. DRS has repeatedly demonstrated improvement over human judgment. Laying facts out in front does not take away any one's authority. One decision can absolutely turn a match. Even if you assume that it doesn't, how about 2 or 3 mistakes? These happen all the time. People talk about DRS more because it is new and controversial. They will get used to it just like they are used to replays for runouts and stumpings.

  • PlaySafeus on November 14, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    Come on Sanjay, you are one of my favorite commentator and player from India. But in your point on Ghambir given out, let me ask you who told you that it was going down leg stump when there was not visual add on help for you? Obviously you can judge it without virtual map so how did the umpire missed it ? because he is human.

    I come to conclusion from your point is even though many many people could judge it is wrong to give it out without additional help, still a wrong decision must be upheld because this time one billion viewers from India did not made fuss about it.

  • on November 14, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    In Pakistan's 2005 tour of Australia, 27 out of 33 wrong decisions went against Pak, if DRS had been involved then, they could've won the series! even eng-india earlier this year could have been a lot different than the 4-0 result DRS for LBWs was in place!

  • Texmex on November 14, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    I am sorry sanjay is missing the point. DRS can be used effectively to avoid howlers. Remember Sydney 2008. If India face a similar situation next month then what?

  • praful_cric on November 14, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    So Sanjay ull be having idea if you ever take pain in reading our comments... you guys are former respected test players.. please dont spoil it by nodding everything BCCI saying... first IPL now DRS...

  • on November 14, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    i agree with Sumit Kumar,Rishva Weliwita ,James Badge Wing , IndiaNeedsBowlers , RandyOZ , afred_234 , Zeeshan_07 ,getsetgopk , naveedboomboom, @ Abi Mathew since you seem to agree with sanjay why don't indian fans MOVE ON from the DRS decisions that went against them. , @bouncer3459 great point mate. DRS takes the human error out of the game (well almost,in the dravid incident mistake was made by the THIRD EMPIRE and not the DRS) one wicket doesn't change the outcome of a match!!Sanjay are you serious? there are countless decisions that did changed the outcome like when in 2000 wi v pak last test match or the symonds incident or when sangakara was given out for 192 (i think) against australia on which the empire rudi kurtezon later appolagized.

  • 200ondebut on November 14, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    DRS makes the game about the players. All decisions become solely about the ball bowled and the way the batsman played it. Without it, the games becomes about the umpire as well - and their opinion on how the ball was bowled or played. So Sanjay - if you want the game to be about the players then embrace DRS - it's not perfect but it is better than nothing.

  • sandeeprevi on November 14, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    First of all what i have to say is that 1 wrong decision definitely can change the course of the game.The series of events that sanjay mentions is due to the faults of the players such as playing a loose shot to get out.What the DRS helps to determine is the umpires mistake and not the players mistake and therefore getting more correct decision.The players part in the series of events aren't incorrect decisions. I do agree with sanjay totally though when he says that the lack of technology in this india westindies series helps everyone to concentrate more on cricket that grumble about 50-50 decisions throughout the game hence making it a lot more pleasant while listening to commentary and viewing the game.

  • Paddle_Sweep on November 14, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    Sanjay, One wicket does make hell a lot of difference. Think about Symonds decision in the 2008 Sydney test. He want to hit a big century. Very disappointed that Sanjay had taken the wrong examples to make a case here. Technology is needed.

  • Paddle_Sweep on November 14, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    Sanjay, You have completed missed the point. DRS was never introduced to eliminate the marginal decisions(e.g. Gambhir's decision). It was introduced to eliminate the howlers(e.g. Kallis was given not out after a big deflection from the bat and DRS helped to get him out.). Would the opposition players, public, officials still be happy if that wrong decision?

  • Kestogo on November 14, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    This article of although it points to some "truths" on the Indian side, it also and more loudly shout, "Head in the sand". Just because you do not show people where things can be improve, does not mean that the problem does not exist or there can be any improvements. You have to look at ways of making this dying game better. India has single-handedly started the demise of TEST cricket with it's over emphases of T20. In other countries TEST matches were fairly supported over weekends. Then they also, like in South Africa, started on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! This removes the option of those working people to attend the TEST matches over weekends. Now if you add all this together then how can you condone this nonsense of not having DRS?

  • knpradeep77 on November 14, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    dont forget more than 5 umpiring mistake somewhere south of the equatorial just turned around a series. two person from a particular team were given out which were not actually out even distantly, and one of the opposite team batsmen was not given out four times, when it was clearly out which was so clear that even without a reply we could judge

    first one, a catch when the minimum distance between bat and the ball was more than 2 inches, not even passing the edge by a whisker

    second one, a catch after the ball was picked from the ground and the fielding team captain appointed himself as the umpire

    third one, the opposite team batsman was clearly edged with a bang noise, but umpire could not see / here it

    fourth one, same batsman, a clear stumping, the bails coming out when the foot was in the air, somehow the third umpire could not see that, where as we could see with out many replays

    fifth one, same batsman, a clear stumping, but the umpire did not even refer to the third umpire

  • ARad on November 14, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    "But I don't like how the DRS gets far too much attention during a match. When a not-out decision gets reviewed and overturned, and the batman starts walking back to the dressing room, the talk revolves around the DRS rather than how good the ball was or what mistake the batsman made." Huh?? If the umpire makes a big blunder without DRS, the conversation would be about the umpire's mistake when the replay is shown. Besides, in telecasts that are NOT CONTROLLED BY BCCI NOR POPULATED BY BCCI PAID COMMENTATORS, comms do talk about the ball or the batsman's mistake instad of dwelling on the DRS. I used to really enjoy Sanjay Manjrekar's columns. I hope this was just an aberration.

  • ARad on November 14, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    "Why show the viewers what the board considers a flawed piece of technology and mislead them?" Huh?? Why not GET RID OF THE UMPIRES SINCE THEY ARE FLAWED too. Showing a replay can cause doubts in the minds of viewers and can equally mislead them so the BOARD SHOULD BAN REPLAYS too. Since the BCCI conveniently controls the telecast, this should be easy enough to implement. ALL HEIL BCCI!

  • Fyfie on November 14, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    "To rubbish this approach because it's being led by the BCCI is not right." This is NOT the reason that people are rubbishing the approach, they would do it were it any country because it is the wrong approach. The difference though is that if it was any other board who was against the DRS, they wouldn't have been listened to. The DRS needs to be implemented across the board at some stage (once it can be funded properly). The Indian criticism of ball-tracking is ridiculous when you consider it leaves a decent margin for error. Something needs to be thought of for instances like the Phil Hughes one, but really, looking at the replay, he was out even though ball-tracking didn't show it turning (which it did). I also hope the likes of Tony Grieg get off the snicko bandwagon, it requires the most guesswork and is the least accurate of all the DRS methods, a correctly working hot spot makes it redundant anyway. Technology won't provide 100% accuracy, but it gets us even closer to that.

  • Johnxyz on November 14, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    @Taimur Javed - if there was DRS for the incident you refer to, it might have also put a stop to Ramiz Raja instantly claiming an out when it was a SL batsman despite the flimsiest evidence! How some of these commentators see things is quite unbelievable despite the evidence being out there for all to see.

    The Sangakkara leg slip catch might well have been out, but it might well have been off his pad too - the replays were inconclusive and certainly not as conclusive as you and Ramiz make it out to be. And given that Sanga is a walker - he walked in the 1st ODI against Pak too - I would be inclined to think that he did not glove the ball to leg slip.

  • naveedboomboom on November 14, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    Hi Sanjay, I totally disagree with you. DRS doesnt create drama, it solves the drama. DRS system is there to support umpires and not to take their authority away. Umpires are after all human beings and they can make mistakes or have a lack of concentration for a second (just have a look at the stats for World Cup 2011 for umpires against DRS), whats harm if they want to get the decision reviewed.If you and BCCI really want to stuck with "virtues of old method" then why ask third umpire for run-out decisions as technology is involved there as well. All technology will do is assist in fair play, if it is not up to the mark for LBW decision then it will be there in few years time but you and BCCI have to stop bullying cricketing world and get on with it

  • on November 14, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    A very surprising article from sanjay who normally talk sense. Really ,One that can be forgotten. Its good to support your country's board but mate you really misunderstood the words "through thick and thin"

  • Ropsh on November 14, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    As I keep saying, the accuracy of Hawkeye's predictive path has not been proven and therefore should not be used in any form.

  • Muyeen on November 14, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    I dont agree with SM completely but i agree that discussions after the DRS whether given or not given out revolves only about DRS.even experts forget about good ball or bad shot. I dont agree that Aus - SA was a good match for DRS. though some decisions were helped it was used too often by players as if it was to say "my team is in trouble, lets take a chance with DRS". with all the flaws with DRS lot of players are living it to chance.until that changes there should be no DRS. what ICC shud ask instead is all the boards to use it in their domestic cricket as a compulsion.then take the results from there to move forward.

  • getsetgopk on November 14, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    well by that logic why not just sensor out all the potential LBW decisons from the live broadcast, give them a blank screen and they wont question anything just the microphone feed leting the viewers know that there was an appeal for LBW and the umpire has given or not given it out. a pathetic argument once again.

  • thegoodgame on November 14, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    Umpires can also have a bad day. Technology helps to prevent such mistakes. However, ball tracking is a predictive technology. Unlike the camera which presents the facts - the ball tracking technology is a software engineers view of how the would have travelled. How well do we understand how the software is built? pitch conditions, atmospheric pressure, wind, speed, age of the ball, etc etc - a multitude of factors could affect the path the ball traverses. Has all this been discussed transparently? I dont think so. Predictive technology should be used only after extensive review of the design and testing.

  • on November 14, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    The viewers, I believe have the right to watch the review, but not just see what BCCI wants us to see.

  • on November 14, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    @Rishva Weliwita, well said mate but the scenario you painted was slightly skewed from reality. If there was DRS, Sangakara would've been dismissed evening before as he was caught at leg-slip and Lanka's defeat would've been even more agonizing :-)

  • Zeeshan_07 on November 14, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    Surprised to see such views from Manjrekar whose articles, except this make quite a sense. Manjrekar before this was quite a fan of UDRS and all of a sudden has such ambiguous views on it. His view that a single wicket or event doesn't change the course of the game and hence it is OK to have a wrong decision in the space of 40 wickets are baffling. We have events after events happening in modern day cricket where one key wicket has so much impact on the outcome of the game. The only issue that is preventing from cricket boards(except BCCI) to have DRS is the cost of it and if ICC and boards can find a solution to this, DRS is a sure shot winner.

  • on November 14, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    But I do not agree with Sanjay coz if technology gives you 90% accuracy then what is the logic behind using 75% accuracy result without technology. Moreover the question of controversy , I think if someone who really respect the game and want to put in a large frame then he will always respect each and every rules implemented for the development of the game.

  • arvsubm on November 14, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    Still not clear about how we are better of w/o technology.Why not just implement it with all its known flaws and improve upon it. Is it not important to move towards making the correct decision. We have to start now if we want to live in a cricketing world of the 21st century

  • Fakh_36 on November 14, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Sanjay, im agree with Sumit kumar's comments, wake up. one wrong decision can change the game, look at the recent pak-SL series, 1st test in Abu Dhabi, umpire ddi not given Jaywardene, n he with sanga saved the lost match, only due to that plumb not given to junaid. secondly, sanga was given lbw wrongly in the second test and the results are there. also, please stop supporting BCCI opinion,

  • on November 14, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    @ Harry Fernando, there was a many decisions went against India with the Sydney Test 2008 which was a completely biased thing. But worse was the decisions against Rahul Dravid in the concluded India-England series where DRS never proved his dismissals but the third umpire did :( this was worse since it was indoctriinating the technology.

  • bouncer3459 on November 14, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    DRS is needed as there is ONLY ONE Aleem Dar.

  • on November 14, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    this is disappointing from sanjay.look at the test series of pak v sl,there were three or four decisions which would hv been different or we can say accurate if drs was available.u can not devalue the importance of drs just by watching a single test or series

  • deepak_sholapurkar on November 14, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    Hi Sanjay,

    We got it..

    What ever BCCI does is 150% Correct and all the commentators will support that

    Thanks & Regards,

  • afred_234 on November 14, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    well! I love sanjay manjeraker but I really oppose his arguments. In a certain way he means to hide the wrong by not showing the truth. my opnion is that we should produce umpires of aleem dars standard. The DRS has only increased the spice in cricket. Infact, it has cancelled the doubts of many and made the game a bit more error free, which in sanja's opinion be hidden by not showing it. The Pakistan Srilanka test series is a great example of what i m saying.

  • CRKS on November 14, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    nice article. completely agree with sanjay!

  • on November 14, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    I agree with james wing and sumit kumar.

  • RandyOZ on November 14, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    No sanjay, the reason we need DRS is because it produces the FAIREST and most ACCURATE result. I can understand India not using the ball tracking, but as soon as this is rectified for spin bowling (eg: Hughes LBW) then it is good to go. Ultimately, we all want the CORRECT decision to be made. Snicko also needs to be introduced to the system.

  • on November 14, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    @Sanjay, Try imposing your theory on the recent SA-AUS match, and you will find where you are wrong. If there are howlers, DRS is there to correct. If the umpires make correct decision, even then there is no harm in keeping the DRS. The problem in the ENG-IND series was that the third-umpire handling the DRS made mistakes. It was still a human fault and not the DRS'.

  • IndiaNeedsBowlers on November 14, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Its nice to read this point of view. Specially because it completely contradicts mine, i.e. the DRS should be used. 1. I agree with Sanjay on the fact that ICC should standardize it, either this way or that way. 2. Technology will evolve, so rejecting it will not help it get better. There could be a cse of using it at First class levels, till you get it acceptable to all, and then use it at international level, but then the question is who will invest so much on a First class game? I think all games evolve, and mordern technology helps it. As Sanjay said it does make viewing intresting with DRS. So if cricket has to keep up with mordern times, technology has to be a part of it, both at viewing as well as decision making, otherwise we'll miss out on a big part of mordern technology which sports around the world are adopting (and adopting very quickly).

  • on November 14, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    The fact that DRS was not needed for this test is made irrelevant by the fact that it played a key role in the SA-AUS test. After all the importance of DRS is proportional to the performance of the umpires. If they get almost everything right like they did in the Ind-WI match then no decisions will be overturned, but when they have off days such as at Newlands then DRS is crucial. Better to have it and not need it than the other way around. Also the idea that fans will just "move on" from decisions they think are incorrect without DRS is optimistic at best. Cricket fans have been arguing about LBW decisions long before the advent of DRS.

  • Krishna_M on November 14, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    Quite a disappointing piece from someone who's usually very sensible and pragmatic in his views. Manjrekar hasn't provided a proper justification at all on why we are better off without the DRS. The simple question is are we better off w DRS or not if the aim is to eliminate howlers. If so, the answer is a resounding yes in favour of it. The problem w the Ind-Eng test series was that a subset of the entire package was used & a lot of marginal DRS decisions were over analysed till the cows came home to create an optical illusion that we are better off without DRS. DRS should be funded to improve it but be used in the meantime. The mandate of the 3rd ump should also be made clear re to interpreting the technology. But not using the DRS is a big, big mistake. It's not a tough call at all as Manjrekar says. He's usually a very forthright & sensible commentator but this piece is disappointing.

  • on November 14, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    hit the on the head sanjay!!

  • on November 14, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    Manjrekar is wrong in saying the following; Those who tend to be dramatic and suggest that one wicket can indeed change the course of the game are looking at it the wrong way. A team never loses a match because of one moment in the game;

    Although cricket is a team game, one top batsman who is in good form given out incorrectly, by an on-field umpire, can cause a downfall in that team's batting, thus a probable defeat otherswise would have been avoided by that particular batsman scoring a century or more. There are many examples to prove this point in cricket.

    The best is, when Sanga scored a double hundred he saved the 1st test match against Pakistan in UAE. In the 2nd test, he was given out LBW when his foot was way out side off by the umpire Tony Hill. So, going by Sangakkara's 1st test performance, and his current form, if not for that incorrect decision he may have stayed on and saved the 2nd test match for Sri Lanka as well. Some teams, unlike India, have only very few stars!!

  • on November 14, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    Then teams should not be irked if decisions go against them, i.e India with the Sydney Test 2008

  • skkh on November 14, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Frog in a pond attitude. Without DRS the games are a sham.

  • on November 14, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    Sanjay, I would like to comment on one line in your article "..Is one wicket that big a deal in the larger scheme of things? .." (Refresh your memory!!) Andrew Symonds , 2008 Australia, Steve Bucknor, Ishant Sharma..does it ring a bell? Having a flawed technology is better than having no technology!

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  • on November 14, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    Sanjay, I would like to comment on one line in your article "..Is one wicket that big a deal in the larger scheme of things? .." (Refresh your memory!!) Andrew Symonds , 2008 Australia, Steve Bucknor, Ishant Sharma..does it ring a bell? Having a flawed technology is better than having no technology!

  • skkh on November 14, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Frog in a pond attitude. Without DRS the games are a sham.

  • on November 14, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    Then teams should not be irked if decisions go against them, i.e India with the Sydney Test 2008

  • on November 14, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    Manjrekar is wrong in saying the following; Those who tend to be dramatic and suggest that one wicket can indeed change the course of the game are looking at it the wrong way. A team never loses a match because of one moment in the game;

    Although cricket is a team game, one top batsman who is in good form given out incorrectly, by an on-field umpire, can cause a downfall in that team's batting, thus a probable defeat otherswise would have been avoided by that particular batsman scoring a century or more. There are many examples to prove this point in cricket.

    The best is, when Sanga scored a double hundred he saved the 1st test match against Pakistan in UAE. In the 2nd test, he was given out LBW when his foot was way out side off by the umpire Tony Hill. So, going by Sangakkara's 1st test performance, and his current form, if not for that incorrect decision he may have stayed on and saved the 2nd test match for Sri Lanka as well. Some teams, unlike India, have only very few stars!!

  • on November 14, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    hit the on the head sanjay!!

  • Krishna_M on November 14, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    Quite a disappointing piece from someone who's usually very sensible and pragmatic in his views. Manjrekar hasn't provided a proper justification at all on why we are better off without the DRS. The simple question is are we better off w DRS or not if the aim is to eliminate howlers. If so, the answer is a resounding yes in favour of it. The problem w the Ind-Eng test series was that a subset of the entire package was used & a lot of marginal DRS decisions were over analysed till the cows came home to create an optical illusion that we are better off without DRS. DRS should be funded to improve it but be used in the meantime. The mandate of the 3rd ump should also be made clear re to interpreting the technology. But not using the DRS is a big, big mistake. It's not a tough call at all as Manjrekar says. He's usually a very forthright & sensible commentator but this piece is disappointing.

  • on November 14, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    The fact that DRS was not needed for this test is made irrelevant by the fact that it played a key role in the SA-AUS test. After all the importance of DRS is proportional to the performance of the umpires. If they get almost everything right like they did in the Ind-WI match then no decisions will be overturned, but when they have off days such as at Newlands then DRS is crucial. Better to have it and not need it than the other way around. Also the idea that fans will just "move on" from decisions they think are incorrect without DRS is optimistic at best. Cricket fans have been arguing about LBW decisions long before the advent of DRS.

  • IndiaNeedsBowlers on November 14, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Its nice to read this point of view. Specially because it completely contradicts mine, i.e. the DRS should be used. 1. I agree with Sanjay on the fact that ICC should standardize it, either this way or that way. 2. Technology will evolve, so rejecting it will not help it get better. There could be a cse of using it at First class levels, till you get it acceptable to all, and then use it at international level, but then the question is who will invest so much on a First class game? I think all games evolve, and mordern technology helps it. As Sanjay said it does make viewing intresting with DRS. So if cricket has to keep up with mordern times, technology has to be a part of it, both at viewing as well as decision making, otherwise we'll miss out on a big part of mordern technology which sports around the world are adopting (and adopting very quickly).

  • on November 14, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    @Sanjay, Try imposing your theory on the recent SA-AUS match, and you will find where you are wrong. If there are howlers, DRS is there to correct. If the umpires make correct decision, even then there is no harm in keeping the DRS. The problem in the ENG-IND series was that the third-umpire handling the DRS made mistakes. It was still a human fault and not the DRS'.

  • RandyOZ on November 14, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    No sanjay, the reason we need DRS is because it produces the FAIREST and most ACCURATE result. I can understand India not using the ball tracking, but as soon as this is rectified for spin bowling (eg: Hughes LBW) then it is good to go. Ultimately, we all want the CORRECT decision to be made. Snicko also needs to be introduced to the system.