Pakistan v England 2011-12 January 20, 2012

Flower wants DRS rethink

England coach Andy Flower defended the effectiveness of the decision review system but said the protocol when using the technology needed to be reviewed.

The England coach visited the match referee Javagal Srinath in the latter stages of the Test to seek an explanation after England captain Andrew Strauss was adjudged to have been caught behind, even though there was no evidence from hot spot that he had hit the ball.

Earlier Saeed Ajmal had also been given out to a catch at short leg that where hot spot was unavailable and replays suggested the ball had missed both Ajmal's bat and gloves. Flower believes the protocol where a third umpire requires categorical proof of an error before overturning a decision might need to be reviewed.

"With DRS, we get more decisions right, so I think it's a good addition to the game," Flower said. "I think Ajmal's dismissal was worse than Strauss'. It was very obviously not out. Strauss was unfortunate, one of those examples where technology didn't come up with the right decision.

"I certainly don't think a side should lose a review in those circumstances. It wasn't proven one way or the other whether they hit it or missed it, so I think the protocol does need looking at.

"I wanted to have a chat with Srinath about both those decisions. We're always looking for consistency from umpires and there was certainly inconsistency about the way Ian Bell's decision was handled in the Sydney Test and how Strauss' was handled here. But in the main they've a very tough job so I wouldn't want to criticise them too much."

Flower also suggested the England players' long break from their last Test - in August against India - might have been a contributory factor in this defeat. "I hope that doesn't sound like excuse-making but it is part of the reason," he said. "Some have had two months off cricket, some as much as four months off, so that could be part of the reason we underperformed so badly in this Test.

"We badly under-performed with the bat and, even though the ball wasn't turning much, we didn't deal with it skilfully. We made poor decisions. We made it look harder than it was to be quite frank.

"It was a bit of a shock," Flower said. "Look, we played poorly and we particularly batted poorly. Test cricket is a tough game and if you keep on batting like that you will be punished. Pakistan were good enough to do so.

"We haven't had that much time working together since India, although I thought our preparation at the academy here was excellent. The two first-class games were good and the opposition provided good competition. There were no problems on that front. With three tours of the sub-continent this year, all of them important, our play against spin very obviously has to be a lot better than that."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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