Mahela Jayawardene
Sri Lanka's captain and leading Test run scorer

DRS could have made big impact

We need technology to help the umpires, the ICC can step in and help certain cricket boards finance it

Mahela Jayawardene

June 28, 2012

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Nuwan Kulasekara rocked Pakistan's top order again, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle, 3rd day, June 24, 2012
"Nuwan Kulasekara has been a vital addition to our Test squad" © AFP

Winning the first Test in Galle was a result of the improvements from our previous Test series and we need to continue the same effort. We need to be consistent in all departments to beat Pakistan.

Obviously the weather was playing at the back of my mind, but we still had two and a half days left. If a full day's play was washed out, we wouldn't have been able to win this Test match, even if I had enforced the follow-on. Those are things I cannot control. What I could control under the circumstances was that our bowlers had bowled around 60 overs so they were tired and even if we had picked up early wickets in Pakistan's second innings, we would have struggled to bowl them out for 300-350. My only concern was how to get these guys fresh enough for the new ball. When we batted the second time, it was still a decent pitch, so the plan was to bat Pakistan out of the Test, which we did. We picked up three crucial wickets in the second innings with the new ball which was vital because we could attack. Fingers crossed, it didn't rain.

There is some talk regarding the DRS and being able to finance it; I think the ICC can step in and help certain cricket boards in that regard. It's important we have the technology to help the umpires. But we don't know how practical this is going to be, in terms of which cricket boards they will support, depending on how much money they have. It's a tough call. But if a cricket board wants to use the DRS but is financially tied down, then the ICC can step in with sponsors and see if they can help them out.

If there is certain technology which is not 100% accurate, then we can keep away from that. But some can be trusted, which will help the umpires in a big way. In this Test, even if we had a scaled-down version of the DRS (like for the England-India series last year) we would have had half those decisions overturned.

Nuwan Kulasekara has been a vital addition to our Test squad. He keeps it very simple, bowls a consistent line and length and tends to move the ball. He keeps it on the off stump and asks questions and therefore he is always going to be successful. There was a period when he didn't have the pace to trouble the batsmen. His one-day performances have been brilliant. When he was out of the Test squad, we had Chaminda Vaas who's very similar to Kula, only of a left-arm variety. But we needed a much quicker bowler from the other end. That's why Kula wasn't picked as consistently while Vaas was playing, but I think now we can afford to pick him.

Kumar Sangakkara built his innings in a very methodical way. He knew which bowlers to attack and which to be watchful of. The way he handled Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal in certain situations was fantastic. The ability to control the innings and build partnerships are some of the things any youngster can learn by watching him bat. There was the drama as he neared his double-century. We were watching the television coverage and we knew the scoreboard had it wrong for a couple of overs and we were hoping they would correct that. When he acknowledged his double hundred we shouted to let him know he was one run short. At this level, you hope that these mistakes are rare but unfortunately he has to live with that.

Kumar can be quite a temperamental guy and obviously no one spoke to him for about 5-10 minutes (after he ended on 199*). He sat down on his chair and I sat next to him and he said, 'I just need some time to cool off' and I told him to take his time

Kumar can be quite a temperamental guy and obviously no one spoke to him for about 5-10 minutes. He sat down on his chair and I sat next to him and he said, 'I just need some time to cool off' and I told him to take his time. We sent out a substitute fielder, but after a couple overs he joined us, looking more relaxed and his frustrations released.

I wanted to be more positive in my approach as well and hence freely employed the scoop and the reverse-sweep against their best bowler Ajmal. I may not do it all the time, depending on the match situation. But at the time, we had scored over 200 runs. I knew we couldn't give them the upper hand and not let Ajmal control us.

We need to be consistent with our opening stands and be more patient with Tharanga (Paranavitana). He gets good starts, has a good technique but he doesn't always convert them. He and Tillakaratne Dilshan have been doing well together, staging a few fifty stands. He made a good comeback after being dropped, so obviously he would have been nervous. We're going to back him.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is the country's leading Test run-scorer

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Posted by Nadeem1976 on (June 29, 2012, 19:17 GMT)

I like Mahela he is very nice guy. he said every thing which is true. You seldom find people like Mahela in cricket. ICC you should learn from Mehla instead of blaming india for every thing. Look at your elite panel umpiring and no use of DSR. Shame on you ICC.

Posted by khurramsch on (June 29, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

icc should sponsor drs for poor boards. & meanwhile icc should allow reviews with what ever system available. in 1st test out of 16 wrong decisions majority can be rectified from simple replays. so icc should allow replay in whatever way possibl;e

Posted by Alphabaig on (June 29, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

It is really horrible when a team works hard and performs but does not get credit because someone else did not do their job right. Like Mahela said even with a scaled down version (even with just the replays) most of the decisions could have been overturned.

I remember in 2002 ICC Champions Trophy Umpires had the option of asking for replays. Something similar would have been economical as well as effective. Just replays can be used until the technology improves to the satisfaction of all concerned. I don't see a reason why anyone with common sense would not agree to that.

At the moment the Review System debate is in a stalemate. ICC wants providers of expensive technology to earn money and BCCI does not want to spend money. With money as the top priority cricket continues to suffer

Posted by short_cover on (June 29, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

DRS MUST be enforced across the board as players cannot be trusted anymore these days. I do not discount any country, even Pak who would take advantage of umpire's mistakes. It is very disturbing when the course of game changes due to excessive appealing or umpring debacles.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (June 29, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

Yes Jaya you are right. The impact would have been huge. Sri Lanka would not have won this test if DRS would have been in place. 90% of the umpiring errors went against Pakistan and that gave the edge to Sri Lanka. Just imagine what would have happened if the errors were made the other way round.

Posted by InsideHedge on (June 29, 2012, 14:30 GMT)

So with DRS, Pak would have lost by "only" 100-odd runs. Yes, things could have been different lol

Posted by screamingeagle on (June 29, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

Mfalme, so why you need India and BCCI to be 100% perfect? Just wondering...

Posted by Fezz on (June 29, 2012, 9:26 GMT)

Mahela ! U knew that decisions were going embaassingly in favour of your team, but your close in fielders (speciallly wkt keeper) still kept appealing for anything that passed the bat and anyhing that hit the pads. U were simply enjoying the horrendous umpiring mistakes in favour of your team., and were expecting more and more of them. How would u explain that ? and how about it for the sprit of the game ??

Posted by howardroark_fh on (June 29, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

@kingowl,cannuck who stopped u from using drs in pak-sl series if u are so sure of it and can afford it?l

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

@Cannuck, u must be joking right ?? its SLC's incompetence that they r broke and can not afford DRS. India did not go to either Pak or SL and told them not to use it..people tend to forget that India did use DRS againts system is 100% and i think BCCI's demand for having a full proof sys is ludicrous. i like the way its always been, umpires makes umpires redundant and lazy..i would always rate Mahela ahead of Sanga, much more class and fighting spirit than Sanga from what i have seen..

Posted by Mfalme on (June 29, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

@Baundele- love your comment. Spot on. But you missed to mention that some are calling for DRS to be 100% FOOLPROOF. How can this be possible when this world is full of FOOLS. Even the wise act foolishly at times. As you rightly said nothing is 100% perfect in this world. In fact that's why world exists. Imagine if cricket is 100% perfect no team will either win or lose and cricket will not exist. I simply cannot understand why some people, after seeing umpiring (they are also not 100% perfect) howlers after howlers find it difficult to accept that DRS will help umpires improve on the howlers. Its not that all decisions are referred to DRS. Just 2 per team per innings. Had there been 100 % perfect DRS in the recent Sl v PAK test after both team exhausting their 2 reviews there would have still remained several howlers (there were so many) to have a big impact on the test. May not be the result but the records which we enjoy comparing despite the difference in "level playing field".

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

Mahela is right on backing Paranavithana and Randiv. Everyone was calling for axing Randiv. He just had one bad match against England. That can happen to any spinner in the early part of his career. Even great Murali was dropped after heavy defeat in first test against Pakistan in 1994. Randiv took 9 wickets in third test in last Indian tour. That is no easy task considering all fabulous experienced batsmen in Indian lineup particularly against spin bowling. Para has been the most consistent of openers we have had although he is yet to make big scores on a consistent basis. He had a torrid tour of South Africa. But considering the fact even world class experienced batsman like Mahela also failed in same series that can be excused. In the end inserting Thirimanne to open failed badly. Chandimal should be given opportunity to play whenever possible. It was like the situation of Sanath in his early days. However because Sanath could bowl they could slot him as third spinner on occasion.

Posted by Daran9 on (June 28, 2012, 19:21 GMT)

Mahela, You are a genius! World Cricket have only few players who are playing at the moment get a respect by the opposition and neutral media and spectators. I think Mahela and Sangakkara are the top two in the list. I could watch you playing all day weather it is a Test Cricket or Limited Overs Cricket. You have praised about Sangakkara that youngsters should follow. I am telling you and every one in this forum is that a child who is a left hander follow Sangakkara but if you are a right hander do not look for any one else to emulate but look for one and only batting beauty and captain genius Mahela Jeyawardena! Not many can find time to write about how he and the team genuinly felt after every match and series. But Mahela has time for every one. He is good psycologist who can almost read fan's mindset. He is going to the first cricket pundit Sri Lanka has ever produced once he retire. But we do not want to see you retire before 2015 World Cup! All the best!

Posted by sysubrceq0 on (June 28, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

@Cannuck, No one stopped to use the DRS in current SL-PAK series. SL cannot afford it to use it. Also the technology is not available for everyone even boards are willing to spend money. Dont blame BCCI for the indenpendent boards incompetence to use the DRS.

Posted by csowmi7 on (June 28, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

seems kind of strange that he's saying that the bowlers became tired after bowling 54 overs. That too after herath bowled 23 overs. At this level of play a bowling squad needs to have the capability to bowl at least a 100-120 overs (at least a day and a half days play) not get tired after 2 sessions.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (June 28, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

Keep backing bowlers and umpires.. series is certainly yours mate.

Posted by waqar_usa on (June 28, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

DRS is definitely helpful and if there are any minor issues then they are equally applicable to all. Needless to say that umpiring in 1st test was terrible and Pakistan was on the receiving on most of times and if DRS would have been there things could have been different!

Posted by salman_0902 on (June 28, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

If the technology is not used how can it be improved. let the BCCI know. And what is MJ doing here, he should be in the nets; practicing.

Posted by Cannuck on (June 28, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

Well said Maiya. Glad you didn't shy away from talking about needing DRS, even though we won the match. It's better to have a well umpired match as much as winning. It's sad that India is holding out for a 100% perfect system. I can understand their point if the current system of on field human judgement of umpiring was 100% perfect! IT'S OBVIOUSLY NOT!!! So what is their point? Why not give technology a chance which could help the umpiring. To me looking for a 100% perfect system is moot point & a white elephant. It will never happen, & it's only an excuse used by a board that is throwing it's weight around, because it's rich & can do so! Hope the rest of the boards & ICC realize this soon!

Posted by Stieprox on (June 28, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

all the wrong decisions went against pakistan,Mahela should have pointed out that fact.if DRS had been in place we could have a different result.

Posted by Sinhaya on (June 28, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

Paranavitana is useless. Please play Chandimal instead. Mahela you are one of the greatest ever batsmen in cricket and also captains of course. Hope you play on till the 2015 world cup and pass 13000 test runs. Also, try to get DRS for the last test even as I just dont want to see any more umpiring howlers again.

Posted by   on (June 28, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

I stopped flying ages ago as I could not rely 100% on safety.Lately I have given up driving or using the computer as no one was able to guarantee me 100% safety or accuracy.

Posted by   on (June 28, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

Commenter Baundele is right and Mahela is slightly wrong here. The DRS technology needs to be demonstrably more accurate than a human umpire to be useful. It does not need to be 100% accurate.

Posted by Malaka1979 on (June 28, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

Mahela, I feel we need to move past Paranavitana. He is too negative in his approach and has a very limited range of strokes. Para doesn't know how to dispatch a bad ball for runs and often gives the upper hand to the bowling side at the start of SL innings. This give lots of confidence to the bowling side as it was clearly evident during our tours to UAE and South African last year. This put lot of pressure on Kumar, you and rest of the batting order. Why can't we let Chandimal to open or persist with Thirimanne a bit longer as he had to face Anderson up front during the Eng tour? Maybe to bring in Dimuth K?

Posted by KingOwl on (June 28, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

DRS should be used universally. But it will not happen as long as India is against it. Indians don't like it because they know that if the decisions were right more often, they will lose matches more often.

Posted by Baundele on (June 28, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

DRS is good enough to drastically improve on taking the correct decisions. Telling that a technology should not be used because it is not 100% perfect is quite lame. Nothing on earth is 100% perfect; but as long as it is contributing in a good positive extent it deserves to be used. The regulations of using the DRS must be made meaningful, getting rid of the 'umpire's call' thing. Once referred, forget what the on-field umpire called, let the technology take the decision.

Posted by CricFin on (June 28, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

DRS is not a mature system.It needs to be tested in domestic matches before implementing it in international matches.All the R&D should be funded by private companies who sell DRS technology not ICC or another boards.If R& D is happening in international matches then ICC /boards should own DRS techonolgy not private companies.There are lots of TV companies who have vested interests in DRS ...

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Mahela JayawardeneClose
Mahela Jayawardene Elegant and prolific, Mahela Jayawardene is easily one of the best batsmen around. By a fair margin he is the highest run-getter for Sri Lanka, and on his way to becoming an all-time great. His excellent slip catching, and sharp captaincy - until early in 2009 - made him a big contributor to Sri Lanka's cause. He and Kumar Sangakkara hold the world record for the highest partnership in Tests, 624 for the third wicket, against South Africa in Colombo. Jayawardene is one of cricket's gentlemen: well-mannered, humble, intelligent and articulate.

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