|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Michael Clarke being let off in Chennai could cost India in the series. The administrators must reach a consensus on the review system
February 24, 2013
Cricket administrators obviously don't mind embarrassing themselves. How else do you explain two Test matches running concurrently being played under different sets of laws? South Africa and Pakistan are trying to win the same world championship title as India and Australia, but one series is using the DRS and the other isn't. How do you justify that and retain credibility?
There'll be plenty of people eager to wag their finger at the BCCI and say: "Be careful what you wish for." After all, it was their refusal to use the DRS that cost the team dearly in the first innings, when Michael Clarke was erroneously adjudged not out on 39, and he went on to amass a century.
I'm no great fan of the DRS for a number of reasons but isn't the Clarke case what the ICC told us it was there to eradicate - the howler? The Clarke non-decision was a howler if ever I've seen one. A workable DRS would have achieved another stated aim of the ICC in implementing the technology - to get the right decision.
The big problem with the DRS is an unstated desire to get the right decision all the time. Cricket isn't that sort of game; there will always be 50-50 decisions as long as there's an lbw law, and that's part of the charm of the sport.
Stop aiming to produce a 100% record and concentrate on getting rid of the howler and then the DRS will be a useful tool in the game. This can only happen when the players have no part in the DRS and it's left in the hands of the third umpire to overrule on-field decisions that are palpably wrong.
It's easy to blame the BCCI entirely for the current mess but that's letting the other ICC Test nations off the hook. They are equally to blame for not standing up to the BCCI and presenting a case for all sitting down around the table and reaching a common-sense agreement, instead of the current situation, which is an embarrassment to the game.
Clarke is a good enough batsman - as he showed in the first innings - to capitalise on an umpiring error. The concern for India is, he's also an aggressive captain who can take advantage of any opposition weakness, just as he did in completing a whitewash win over MS Dhoni's hapless charges in Australia.
Indian selectors tend to be ultra-sentimental, and on the evidence of Harbhajan Singh's lacklustre performance, it was the lure of his 100th Test match that earned him a place in the side. And the sight of Ishant Sharma's inconsistent bowling rarely troubling batsmen only served to confirm what a wise decision it was to produce a pitch to help the spinners. If the Indian selectors maintain that form throughout the series, they'll more than likely play into Clarke's hands.
While Australia's ploy of playing a strong pace attack was based on a genuine belief they are their best bowlers and therefore present the most likely chance of victory, India look to have over-theorised. Relying heavily on offspin because there is a preponderance of left-handers in the opposition line-up is fine as long as they all bowl like the much-improved R Ashwin. Surely Pragyan Ohja is one of India's three best tweakers? Not playing him seemed to be a mistake. Anyway, isn't the left-armer spinning into the left-hander out of the rough? And doesn't that increase the likelihood of bowled and lbw dismissals, one of which doesn't require the umpire's intervention?
Clarke has established a solid base camp for Australia - they desperately needed a good first innings against the Indian spinners - thanks to two bits of good fortune, winning the toss and getting a favourable decision. Let's hope that if he does conjure up a victory it's because of shrewd captaincy rather than maladministration.
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnistFeeds: Ian Chappell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
Erapalli Prasanna on a thoroughbred professional whose basics were extraordinarily strong
Rob Steen: Historically a strong Yorkshire has acted as a supply line for the Test team, and the current crop hints at longevity
The thrills are rather low-octane, and the tournament overly India-centric. On several counts, it is not yet a global T20 showpiece event
Gavin Larsen talks about wobbly seam-up, the 1992 World Cup, and his role in the next tournament
Beige Brigade: Odd bowling actions, the Onehunga Cricket Association, commentary doyens, and Mystery Morrison's Test wickets
As West Indies play their 500th Test, here's an interactive journey through their Test history
Also, high scores and low averages, most ducks in international cricket, and the 12-year-old Test player
Former New Zealand seamer Gavin Larsen talks about wobbly seam-up bowling, the 1992 World Cup, and his role in the next tournament
Following the bowling ban on Saeed Ajmal, ESPNcricinfo picks five bowlers Pakistan may replace him with for the time being
Teams need to start strategising now for next year's event by picking the right men for various roles. England need to get on it sooner than most
The planned reorganisation of their domestic structure should help the region recapture some of the glory it enjoyed in the past
To formally instruct Yorkshire that the club captain should have no part in the trophy presentation, leaving him fearful even to chat to the media about the season that meant so much to him, felt like an overreaction
Hundred in a session? Easy peasy for Doug Walters