New Zealand v England, 3rd ODI, Auckland

McCullum seeks more clarity on DRS

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 23, 2013

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Ross Taylor is bemused as his caught behind decision is upheld by the third umpire, New Zealand v England, 3rd ODI, Auckland, February 23, 2013
Ross Taylor was given out caught behind, even though Hot Spot did not show a clear edge © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Brendon McCullum
Series/Tournaments: England tour of New Zealand

Brendon McCullum has said New Zealand will seek clarification about the lack of evidence on Hot Spot, when Ross Taylor was given out caught behind in the final ODI in Auckland. McCullum stressed Taylor's dismissal was not the reason New Zealand lost the match, and with it the series, but he said there were issues with DRS that needed to be resolved.

In the 25th over, Stuart Broad appealed for a catch against Taylor, and the on-field umpire gave it out. Taylor seemed to indicate to his partner, McCullum, that he hadn't felt an edge, and subsequently asked for the decision to be reviewed. Though there was a clear sound as the ball passed the bat, replays using Hot Spot did not reveal a definite mark on the bat. The on-field umpire's decision was upheld, and Taylor's exit left New Zealand on 67 for 5. They were eventually dismissed for 185 in the 44th over.

"We are looking at a clarification about the lack of an edge on Hot Spot. I would have thought that was conclusive enough evidence," McCullum said. "I don't know the technology behind it, but to me if you nick the ball it shows up on Hot Spot, and if you don't nick it, it doesn't … I think the [audible] sound was the reason [it] was given.

"I guess it has its good days and bad days," McCullum said of DRS. "Provided it's used properly, and there's some consistency in it, and it makes the right decisions, then I think it's a really good tool. I think there are still some issues that need to be resolved, and today was probably one of those cases."

New Zealand went down 1-2 in the series after losing in Auckland by five wickets, and McCullum said the "overall feeling is that of [a] missed opportunity".

"After going 1-0 up in the series, and on the back of such good performances against South Africa as well, the guys were determined to [win] the series. We had our opportunities in the last game, but we never grabbed them, and in this game we never really got out of second gear with the bat. There's disappointment in the dressing room, but we did some good stuff throughout the series, too. I still think we are [going] in the right direction, albeit without the series win."

New Zealand now take on England in the first of three Tests, in Dunedin from March 6.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 25, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

@Leggie on (February 24, 2013, 19:58 GMT), how is that a howler? It was a thin edge in a position that the HotSpot camera didn't have a good angle on. There may well have been a mark on the bat but if the camera is unsighted then that's hardly a howler.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 25, 2013, 4:12 GMT)

@Crock55 on (February 25, 2013, 0:43 GMT), GOOD GRIEF! Have you not read any other comments? The on-field umpire gives benefit of the doubt to the batsman (by convention, not law) while the third umpire gives benefit of the doubt to the on-field umpire BY LAW. It's no wonder that there's still confusion about DRS when people like you ignore what's been stated over and over by commentators and commentors alike. If Taylor had been given not out by the on-field umpire then the third umpire would have stuck with that decision UNLESS there was conclusive evidence that it was incorrect. That is how DRS works and that is how DRS has always worked. If Taylor was given not out and England had reviewed then he would have remained not out unless the third umpire saw conclusive evidence that he was out. Whether the noise and the potential smudge on HotSpot would have been considered conclusive is academic at this point but, given some previous decisions, it may have been.

Posted by Crock55 on (February 25, 2013, 0:43 GMT)

I always thought it was benifit of doubt to the batsman, would the 3rd umpire have overturn a not out call had The England team gone for DRS. Just saying

Posted by Leggie on (February 24, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

@jmcilhinney, the DRS howler here is that the Hot Spot failed to show the nick. I guess you know this already.., the snick-o-meter technology is somewhat rudimentary in that it involves a manual process where the sound and the audio have to mixed separately to get an outcome. This is one of the reasons why you would notice a delay before getting a snicko feed is shown to the audience. Snicko came into picture long (1999) before Hot Spot was brought in (2009?). The Hot-Spot was "supposed" to supplement Snicko, and not the other way around.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 24, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

@Leggie on (February 24, 2013, 10:08 GMT), you say that every game has at least one DRS howler. Which one was it in this game? Are you actually claiming that Taylor wasn't out?

Posted by   on (February 24, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

McCullum is funny. He claimed there might have been fireworks in Grey Lyn at the precise moment that the ball went past Taylor's bat. That was at around about 3:45 pm on a very sunny Saturday afternoon. Fireworks... that none of the fans heard.

What people forget is that the DRS is there to remove shocking decisions. It means that there has to be a justifiable reason for the decision to be overturned. A definite sound at the point of the ball going past the bat is not a reason to overturn a decision. Even though hot spot didn't show anything. The sound suggested that it had been hit. Something the on-field umpire had originally decided. The DRS only doesn't work when the third umpire makes a mistake. Not overturning a decision where there was more than enough to suggest that it was the correct decision is not a bad thing. And it seems that McCullum was, despite his protestations to the contrary, making excuses.

Posted by Leggie on (February 24, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

Glad to see some support coming up for BCCI's stance on DRS. I am not a fan of BCCI (in fact hate many of their policies), but on DRS, they are quite right. Like McCullum says, DRS has some good days and bad days, and that's not really what is expected out of a costly system that's supposed to eliminate it. Every match has at least one DRS howler and unless there is a drastic change in policies, I would continue to support BCCI.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (February 24, 2013, 8:19 GMT)

At last, I can see that the tide is turning for sure. It is now up to ICC to come off their high horses and come to the table with honest proposals, plan of actions and encourage debate. ICC and all the boards have to be one family. If any of the family members raises a doubt, ICC has to go and ask the outsider (inventor) for proofs, numbers, data and ask the inventor to get their invention verified by a neutral entity. But what we see here is that ICC made up its mind even before it came to the table and tried to impose its partisan decision. If somebody comes to me with such an arrogant attitude, it's not at all my duty to propose an alternative as the guy who is talking to me is not asking me, he is telling me. Yeah right! He is Omniscient and I'm a gullible. Get a life! That's how BCCI dealt with ICC's partisan behaviour. I'm sure there's something, in the lines of what I'm assuming about ICC's behaviour regarding hot-spot and tracker, that must have ticked-off BCCI and rightly so.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (February 24, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

@Bishop, agree with you completely here. It's a shame that ICC doesn't have a person who is as diplomatic as you. Let me take it a little futher. It's ICC who brought up this issue of hot-spot and tracker along with ECB and CA and started making bold claims about how accurate they are, thinking that others are idiots to buy those claims. Well, if somebody comes with such claims, it's not the opposing person's job to propose alternatives. ICC has to first admit that yes they were wrong in their claims and propose to scrap hot-spot and tracker then propose the acceptable/logical/simple form of DRS. BCCI wouldn't oppose it. I'm sure. It isn't BCCI's duty to propose alternatives when the guy (ICC) who comes to the table talks like a know-all. You can't come to the table and 'propose' your decision. In fact, ICC still keeps saying they are very convinced with hot-spot and tracker. I don't see how a board which is correct all along will care any less if that is ICC's 'know-all' behaviour.

Posted by landl47 on (February 24, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

To me Hotspot is the least satisfactory element of technology being used in the DRS. When there is a hard nick or contact with the gloves it's fine, but for faint contact it's not definitive. Jmc pointed out, as I said yesterday, that the contact was with the face of the bat right at the toe, which is a very difficult area for Hotspot to pick up. Snicko, which is not presently used in the DRS because it takes too long, clearly showed the sound exactly when the ball passed the end of the bat. It was out and the on-field umpire was right.

If the automated Snicko, currently under development, can be used in conjunction with the other tools available, it will help. What would REALLY help, however, is just to leave the decision to the 3 umpires, using whatever technology is available, and their decision, rendered by the on-field umpire, is final. I have never heard any argument against doing it this way and I can't understand why it isn't already the standard procedure.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (February 24, 2013, 3:41 GMT)

@jmcilhinney, this technology was initially used in military to detect 'hot' objects like tankers, jets etc that produce massive heat. I think it was by some French people. The 'inventors' of cricket hot-spot brought that military tool to cricket, dreaming to detect the minimal heat that gets generated when ball brushes the bat. With common sense, we can understand that this design is bound to fail in cricket, as the heat you are dealing with here is so minimal, especially when a pacer is operating. Hot-spot in cricket is a joke of a tool except to show the nice, round, bright white area in the middle of the bat when batsmen scores a boundary or hits a six or well, dead bats the delivery. Shame that we have to waste these many hours discussing about this ambitious misadventure called hot-spot. Cost is secondary. The system will simply not work for cricket.

Posted by bundybear55 on (February 24, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

Taylor has every right to feel aggrieved. You can't set parameters for Hot Spot covering a margin of error the way they have with the Hawkeye technology, ie. more than half the ball must be hitting the stump. Hot Spot either works or it doesn't and if they are going to use it, it has to be trusted 100% and any errors emanating from it have to be accepted in the same manner incorrect umpiring decisions have been accepted over the years. I recall Graeme Smith being given out caught behind in their most recent series against England. On challenging the decision the replays indicated that he hadn't hit the ball and Hot Spot didn't show up anything either. Yet he was still sent on his way, with the explanation coming from the third umpire that he hadn't "missed it by a big enough margin to warrant overturning the decision!?" All cricketers ever ask for is consistency in the application of the laws. Technology is meant to assist in achieving that goal, not take us in the opposite direction.

Posted by Pontiac on (February 24, 2013, 2:24 GMT)

There is a relevant anecdote from baseball concerning calling balls and strikes.

The rookie umpire says 'I call them as they are'. The journeyman umpire says 'I call them as I see them'. The veteran umpire says 'They ain't nothing 'till I call 'em'

A similar philosophy needs to be applied to DRS. Technology will continue to refine beyond real time human perception whether an event has occurred at which point one wonders whether it's a sporting event or a lab experiment. Should there be a review system and decision making /aids/? Yes, but ambiguity must always be accepted, the resolution of such tools should not go much beyond human perception and at the end whether or not it /was/ a nick is /defined/ by the decision of the umpires! Basically, would a good stump mike and multi-angle video replay and nothing more be good enough? Probably. So DRS yes, but DRS with less.

Posted by Bishop on (February 23, 2013, 23:14 GMT)

The big problem with the DRS is there is already too much technology. The stated aim is to eliminate the howlers, not to reach a perfect decision every time. Well, you can pick a howler from one look at a slow motion replay. Anything that can't be definitely decided from a replay is clearly not a howler, and we should take the onfield umpire's decision and just get on with the game. At the moment there is confusion because despite the technology, some decisions still can't be made, and that leaves a question as to whether benefit of doubt goes to the onfield umpire (as in this case) or to the batsman (which has happened before). And perhaps if hawkeye and hotspot were removed from the equation, the BCCI might agree to have decisions reviewed, and we could have some consistency in the gaem.

Posted by Snick_To_Backward_Point on (February 23, 2013, 23:02 GMT)

I wondered how long it would take before we saw an Indian fan justifying the BCCI's ridiculous stance over DRS because of this 'controversial' decision. I simply don't understand the argument against, sorry. Suppose DRS wasn;t in this game (as an isolated BCCI would want). The umpire gives it OUT and the bastman has to walk. In this case the batsman didn't feel he had edged it despite the audible nick and so DRS gave him a CHANCE to overrule. It's better than NO CHANCE at all without DRS surely? Don't you get it?! DRS is not perfect but I've now seen dozens of poor decisions overturned because of it. If we all followed the illogical stance of the BCCI then those dozens of poor decisions would have stood. Case closed.

Posted by subbass on (February 23, 2013, 21:51 GMT)

@ sifter123. Fully agree. It is all about is there enough evidence to overturn the original decision, in this case there was not. Craig McMillan even said so on commentary. Also, there was actually a slight mark on hotspot on the edge of the bat, plus of course 'snicko' backing up the decision and in real time it just looked out. Also Taylor did the classic look behind you to the W.K. after playing the shot. Always the sign of 'guilt' is it not ?

I think NZ just desperately wanted to win this series and thought they would try and get out of the decision just in case. Fact is if Taylor knew he had not hit it, he would not have consulted with McCullum first before asking for the review.

How many times have we seen an instant review when a batter knows he has not hit it ? Happens all the time. Any pause before asking for the review is always indicative of 'guilt'. Basically a case of Taylor thinking " OK we are in desperate trouble, I may as well have a few bob each way" so to speak.

Posted by sifter132 on (February 23, 2013, 20:30 GMT)

Decision making on thses should be really simple...here's how. There are 3 variables in a DRS caught behind review: Hot Spot, sound as it passes the bat, and the umpire's original call. If you get 2 out of those 3, then you are probably out eg. Ross Taylor yesterday: sound+umpire = out. If you only get 1 out of those 3, then you probably aren't out and the decision should be reversed eg. if no sound had been heard yesterday, together with no hotspot. The only exception would be when a hot spot edge shows up to a not out call - that should override the other 2 variables automatically.

That's until we get the instant snicko which they are working on. Instant snicko and hotspot together should work a bit better.

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 17:44 GMT)

With or without DRS Taylor would have been out. Standing umpire gave it out.Then DRS saw no evidence to overturn. Taylor was either OUT...or OUT. There was no scenario where Taylor would have been in and DRS was used 100% correctly. The umpire gave it out - and in all cases with OR WITHOUT DRS this is still the primary concern when referred. DRS needs to prove the umpire WRONG to overturn the decision of the umpire. Given the farce of the India Australia game at the moment, spin bowlers, men around the bat, massive appeals at least once an over - the number of howling mistakes made by the umpires today and yesterday in that match shows just how fallible umpires are. Imagine how the state of the game would be if Clark had been given out for that MASSIVE inside edge before he got to 50? There DRS wold have given the correct answer - today there was NO EVIDENCE to overturn the umpires original decision. No evidence = original decision stands.

Posted by shillingsworth on (February 23, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

@Roxsport - In this case, the player only has an issue with Hotspot because he clearly doesn't understand how DRS works. You could have a point about the cost of DRS but only if you could a) quantify it and b) illustrate how the funds might usefully be employed as you suggest.

Posted by ROXSPORT on (February 23, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

All over the world, players have an issue with DRS/HotSpot & the world blames BCCI for opposing it.........!!!!!!!!!! Do you think all this tech wizardry & so many gadgets are easy to manage???? After all, if you can only get 1-2% improvement with so much expenditure, these funds are better utilized in developing the game in other regions. And if the ICC is so adamant on DRS, why doesn't it foot the bill???

Posted by SamRoy on (February 23, 2013, 14:53 GMT)

I think HotSpot is not required. It doesn't work if it is cold and sometimes shows marks which then disappear. Snicko, super slowmo and an improved Hawk-Eye should be good enough.

Posted by sephotrig on (February 23, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

The brief to third umpires is that they overturn it if there is DEFINATIVE proof that the decision is wrong, as there isn't in this case the onfield decision stands.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 23, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

From all the comments I read from players regarding DRS, it seems that they have never actually had the system explained to them properly. HotSpot is an infrared camera, which means that it detects heat. When the ball makes contact with the bat there is friction. If there's enough friction then the heat generated will be detectable by HotSpot. Presence of a mark on the bat on HotSpot is proof of heat and therefore indicative of an edge. Lack of a mark is suggestive of, but not proof of, the lack of an edge. I think the main issue in this case was the fact that contact was apparently made with the toe end of the bat and HotSpot never really got a great view of that area. I was watching a web feed so the picture wasn't completely clear but it looked to me like there might be a mark on the end of the bat and therefore not enough evidence to overrule. While we know it's not part of DRS, it's worth noting that Snicko did corroborate the decision that was made.

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 13:05 GMT)

Conclusive evidence is needed to overturn the decision. Keyword is "overturn". There was a noise and a smudge on hotspot, so you can't overturn the decision. McCullum is obviously allowed an opinion but had this been an England batsman being given out, I'm sure he'd be pointing out the noise.

@Ryan - Dravid in 2011 didn't use DRS! If he had, that decision may have been overturned. The Kallis incident was a procedure fault of the umpires, though the situation itself was a rare occurrence. DRS does need real time Snicko though - shouldn't be too far away now.

Posted by torsha on (February 23, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

Now if u ban this DRS, a problem may solve.

Posted by class9ryan on (February 23, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

DRS causing some unwanted drama - the Kallis and Younis dismissal, now Ross Taylor, Dravid in England 2011, etc..... Why so much of drama ? I think the real time snickos and slow motion can do a much better job ... may be we should use Hot Spot only when necessary and use the earlier mentioned as the usual review .

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