Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 2nd day

England baffled by Root's DRS dismissal

Brydon Coverdale in Perth

December 14, 2013

Comments: 132 | Text size: A | A

Joe Root's review went in vain, Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 2nd day, December 14, 2013
Joe Root's review was turned down by the third umpire based on the sound from Real Time Snicko © PA Photos

England were left mystified by a third-umpire call that sent Joe Root on his way on the second day at the WACA, but the decision appeared to have been in line with the pre-series instructions to the umpires. The officials were told before the Ashes that sounds detected on the new Real-Time Snickometer could still be an edge even if they appeared to come after the ball had passed the bat, which may have led Tony Hill to uphold the caught-behind decision against Root.

Root was given out by the on-field umpire Marais Erasmus when the Australians appealed for an edge behind off the bowling of Shane Watson and Root immediately asked for a review, shaking his head as if to tell his partner he had not touched the ball. Although there was no Hot Spot on the bat, there was a small noise that registered on the Real-Time Snicko; there was confusion because the sound seemed to show up immediately after the ball had passed the edge.

Hill, the third umpire, upheld the out decision, which left Root flummoxed as he walked off the field, but the outcome seemed to have been in line with a pre-series briefing by the ICC's general manager of cricket Geoff Allardice. In the lead-up to the Gabba Test, Allardice told reporters that where sound showed up on Snicko in the camera frame after the ball had passed the bat, it could still be an edge.

"One of the important things to remember is it's a qualification tool for the umpire about when there is a sound," Allardice said at the time. "He's got to say 'could it have been anything else, was it at the right time'. So one of the things they'll be looking for, the frame immediately after the ball's passed the bat, and if there's a corresponding sound then it says he could have hit the ball. He'll look at the pictures and he'll see is there a gap between bat and ball, could it have been something else and then make a judgement.

"It's more conclusive if there's no sound, if the batsman's out there waving and there's nothing as the ball passes the bat, and there's something a few frames later, that's the situation where he might say 'he's dragged his foot' or something like that."

Third umpires must see or hear clear evidence in order to overturn the decision of the on-field official, and the possibility that the noise had been an edge appeared to lead Hill to err on the side of Erasmus. Root clearly believed he had not hit the ball, but the same could be said of the Australian batsman Steven Smith, who shook his head as he walked off on the second morning after a noise on the Real-Time Snicko convinced Hill to overturn an on-field not-out decision.

"It was a disappointing dismissal for us, and a key dismissal for us," the England batsman Michael Carberry said of Root's caught-behind. "He obviously felt he didn't hit the ball, so he reviewed it. What the decision made by the third umpire was, I'm not fully aware of because I wasn't there. But obviously we were bitterly disappointed ... We were of the opinion he didn't hit it, hence we reviewed it ... the decision [is] made by the third umpire, we don't control that, so it's one of those things we have to swallow I'm afraid."

Real-Time Snicko is being tested in this Ashes series for the first time as part of the third umpire's DRS technologies after the ICC monitored the tool during the English summer and felt it could be used in conjunction with Hot Spot. The ICC's umpire performance and training manager, Simon Taufel, briefed both the England and Australia teams on the new technology before the series, including on the interpretations that would be used by umpires.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Micky.Panda on (December 17, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

DRS is not rubbish only the humans using it. There must be an assumption that DRS can overturn as decision if there is no evidence to support the decision and if there is a high probability the decision was wrong. In this case hot-spot failed to confirm an edge, only bat brushing the pad. Snicko confirmed something hit something at some time, seemingly after the ball had already passed the bat. Lack of a snicko would be strong evidence he was not out. Otherwise proves nothing much. There was no evidence to suggest that Root had hit it. Lack of a hot spot should have overturned the decision. We have to assume that hot spot works most of the time. Surely this is all common sense? Snicko did not prove he hit it. Root deserves the benefit of very overwhelming doubt. The 3rd umpire needs to have a strong guide of rules to how a dismissal can be proved, or where returns to umpire decision only when DRS views were inconclusive/obstructed.

Posted by Cricthink on (December 15, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

On field Umpire makes a mistake and if one of the team challenges / uses their referral option, the 3rd Umpire needs substantial evidence to over turn Field Umpire's initial decision. This will rule out mistakes committed by the on field Umpire. If the 3rd Umpire is unable to find substantial evidence to over turn the decision made by the on Field Umpire, the initial decision will stay and for me that is the way to go forward minimizing human error. ICC should decide what the process should be instead of asking it's members to decide. India / BCCI is bullying or not is not the point here. Yes they are Cash rich and want everyone to follow what they ( BCCI )put forward, which is just not Sport but commercialization of the Game. I hope BCCI and ICC will get this sorted out for the benefit of everyone.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

I think it's high time DRS is touted to be what it really is. The way it is currently implemented it is clearly not a tool to make the right decision. It is a tool to avoid the howlers. It's as simple as that. And it's not necessarily a bad thing. The more we keep insisting it's a tool to "help the umpires make the right decisions" or the tool "to aid in decision making", such criticisms would continue to surface; and very valid criticisms at that. The quicker ICC admits the tool is JUST to avoid the howlers, the better. One line to describe how DRS is used currently is that it is used to overturn an on-field umpire's decision ONLY when the 3rd umpire is SURE it was the wrong decision.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (December 15, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

Gupta.Ankur In India it would be still out but here with the Drs England were able to change the Smith decision so I don't get your point. So 1 less incorrect decision then what would have been in India which is an immediate benefit. Yes the technology can be inconclusive so you stay with the umpires decision, and lose nothing by having a,DRS system. That is what happened here, I still don't know whether he hit it or not so stay with the umpire. As such the Drs is improving cricket if interpreted in the correct way as it has here.

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 15, 2013, 9:02 GMT)

This is only going to make India question the system more. The sound could have been bat hitting pad, anything. The replays showed a gap between ball and bat? A decision in this instance can influence the game.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

I think the third umpire did the right thing. When the evidence is not clear, just go with the on-field umpire's decision.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (December 15, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

People are now finally realizing what the indians have been saying since the inception of DRS.

Many saw it as bullying by the BCCI, but the fact is DRS is in-consistent and un-reliable and does not give definite answers unless it's a howler by the umpire and its very obvious.

I also don't see ICC asking it's umpires and people behind the DRS technology to improve its accuracy and proper utilization by the umpires.

In it's current form , DRS is only there to avoild howlers and nothing else.

Posted by milepost on (December 15, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

He nicked it, nothing using DRS says he didn't so the law is to go back to the onfield umpires original decision which was that he nicked it. It was a genuine appeal from the Aussies. Anyway dies it really matter, we've outscored England by nearly 800 runs so far this series with plenty more to come.

Posted by itisme on (December 15, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

There is only one solution. DRS is rubbish. Just get rid of it and get back to the way cricket should be played.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

I have a serious question about this 'real-time' snicko. Wonder if anyone can answer it.

Is it being used live for every ball?

If you watch this delivery with live audio, you can def hear a noise after the ball has past the bat. This 'clicking' noise occurs not only after the ball has past bat, but also after it has past the stumps as well.

Is this 'real time' snicko? It sounds like an edge. But the strange this is: the 3rd umpire wasn't listening to this sound in his review, as the shots we were given had the ball just about to go past Root's rear leg.

Posted by OutCast on (December 15, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

DRS system and court of appeal should be viewed the same as both are intended to restore the integrity of games and laws. A court of appeal reviews a case to see if the case has sufficient evidence to come to a concrete decision; it reviews if the original decision was made with enough evidence rather than seeing if it has enough evidence to overturn an original verdict. In that manner, DRS should also be used if each referred appeal has sufficient evidence to make a concrete decision. Once a verdict has reached DRS review, an umpire's decision should become irrelevant; an umpire's verdict should not be allowed to influence DRS review.

The reason DRS fails is because it starts from an umpires controversial decision whereas it is supposed to start on a clean slate--- review should be done as if no decision has been made.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

The same thing happened to Khawaja in England. What comes around goes around.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (December 15, 2013, 3:25 GMT)

I think it was out. Make no mistake about it. Root was nicely set up by Watson, and his dismissal was inevitable. It was rightly given out, and he clearly hit it. But - DRS didn't have a clear indication of an edge, and that is the important thing. If in doubt, it should be NOT OUT, *regardless* of the original decision. The problem with DRS is that it is inconsistent and gives benefit of the doubt to the umpire, not to the batsman. It has to give benefit of the doubt to the batsman. Run outs, when they started being referred to the third umpire, were still giving benefit of the doubt to the batsman in the rare 50/50 decisions. So why not DRS?

Incidentally, had Root been given not out, I am pretty confident he would have been out shortly afterwards anyway, as he was looking horrible against Watson. It would have just delayed the inevitable. I don't think that this decision was crucial to the match at all - unlike Smith's.

Posted by Bishop on (December 15, 2013, 3:22 GMT)

Have to say firstly, I've never liked snicko - noises can be anything...spikes dragging on the ground, clicking bat handles, sudden inhalation from the batsman, the short leg breaking wind.

I think the problem with these marginal calls is that it seems to be much, much harder to prove that someone *didn't* hit the ball than to prove that they did. To get daylight between bat and ball on the replay, you are really relying on the camera to be at the perfect angle relative to the position of bat and ball, and also have the frames line up fortuitously.

I think the thing to remember though is that without DRS, Root would still be out, and Steve Smith would have continued to bat on, so even though I think Root was lucky in this instance, England can still be grateful for the use of technology.

Posted by DragonCricketer1964 on (December 15, 2013, 2:55 GMT)

About time a few decisions went Australia's way. I recolonized Aussie got 60-70% of the bad decisions in England. Swings and roundabouts. But we had that before DRS.

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (December 15, 2013, 2:52 GMT)

Here we go again! Another Test Match hijacked by interpretation of flawed technology because a player doesn't WANT to be out. The 3rd umpire got it right, he maintained the integrity of the on field umpire by concluding that there was no howler. Once again the commentators and spectators want their interpretation of what the rule & technology SHOULD conclude, rather than what is in place. It's very simple; technology is there to avoid a major mistake by on field officials, the sooner the umpires have full control of DRS the better. They use technology as an aid for run outs, stumpings & no balls to ensure they don't commit a howler, the same should apply with all other modes of dismissal. Let's get back to the umpires' decision being final.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2013, 2:30 GMT)

The third umpire needs to be convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt - both sight and sound - to overturn the on field umpires decision which was wrong in the first place? The camera angles clearly showed there was no touch. The 3rd umpire seems to indicate that the sound if any was perhaps after the ball passed the bat. He may have touched it but then again may not. Why bother with such rubbish. More importantly, Erasmus wrongfully gave Smith not out and this was overturned after DRS. I simply cannot see him agreeing to overturn another wrong decision :) Can you?

Posted by ShutTheGate on (December 15, 2013, 2:27 GMT)

I think it's simple if Smith was out so was Root.

Posted by woody3 on (December 15, 2013, 2:24 GMT)

Got to agree with some of the comments - benefit of the doubt should go to the batsmen not the umpire. The balls just clipping are out/not out according to umpires onfield call, even though everything identical one is out the other is not. This does not make sense to me. Eventually umpires will only be there to convey decisions decided by technology, Personally do not find umpiring mistakes/inconsistencies a charming part of cricket.

Posted by SportyKid97 on (December 15, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

Honestly, I feel for Root. I was adjudged out like this in a U-15 Match when I was sure I didn't nick it but on-field umpire ruled it out. Sadly no DRS. But honestly, Root was not-out. Usman Khawaja misjudged in June 2013 by Dharmasena and this time Joe Root by Tony Hill... Truly dissappointing to have decisions like this made in an imp. series.

Posted by Timbo2530 on (December 15, 2013, 2:02 GMT)

One of the closest DRS decisions I've seen. As an Aussie it's nice to be on the right side of the technology for a change.

There was a noise that the on field umpire heard and therefore gave it 'out' & a small deviation on snicko that the 3rd umpire viewed. The small snicko and in real time, the ball was all it could have been, so that was all that was required.

Had there been no snicko it would have over turned.

The most correct decision was made IMO and it's now in the scorebook.

Posted by mulleegrubber on (December 15, 2013, 1:58 GMT)

Why are we all talking about Joe Root's feather through to the keeper (an OUT decision confirmed by the third umpire) whilst we practically ignore a very similar feather by Steve Smith (a NOT OUT decision overturned by the same third umpire)?

Could it be because England cast doubt on their decision whilst Australia just got on with it?

Posted by   on (December 15, 2013, 1:48 GMT)

A defective, divisive, inaccurate, and indecisive system only makes cricket more controversial.

Posted by .Raina on (December 15, 2013, 1:43 GMT)

I am not a great fan of DRS technology in its current form but the guidelines being followed in this series seem to be a fair interpretation of the on-field umpire's decision. We seem to forget that the game needs to respect the on-field umpire's decision (or else we should replace them by cameras/robots), and there is too much weightage given to the 'technology' (by arm-chair critics & commentators) that in itself is not fool-proof. And then there is 'interpretation' of the data thrown by these different 'technological' inputs and put together by a 'technician/sw/hw' (Human error-prone) that may not necessarily have any history of playing/understanding of the game. For pure 'technocrats' there are 'computer games' of cricket to play. We would just like to enjoy the game...and respect the umpire.....whether it is in WACA or in our backyard...and even without any 'inputs' from the technology.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2013, 1:16 GMT)

I am happy with the decision. There was evidence that suggested that Root may have hit the ball. There was a noise on replay when the ball passed the bat and that this stage the bat was away from the front & back pads and the ground - so the noise could definitely be bat on ball. Also, as per the advice given above, the noise snicko picked up on the frame after the ball passed the bat could definitely have been bat on ball. So there is enough evidence there not to overturn the on field umpires decision. If the on field decision had have been not out, then there is enough evidence, with hot spot not showing up a mark, that the not out decision could have remained not out. With DRS being to assist the umpire and not the bowling or batting side, i think it is a good idea to give the umpire the benefit of the doubt if there is not concrete evidence to overturn their decision as without DRS their decision is final and in this case Root would have been out anyway.

Posted by rohanbala on (December 15, 2013, 1:14 GMT)

Looking at the dismissal of Joe Root and that of Steve Smith earlier in the day, it looks quite obvious that even the Third umpire is making "wrong" decisions despite having the aid of the replay technology. In such cases, the benefit of the doubt should be given to the batsman.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2013, 1:01 GMT)

All the whinging is getting embarrassing. Every close decision is treated like a politicians rally. Just get on with it and use the rules as they stand, or let the umpires decide and if they like refer hard decisions. The question is, what's a hard decision, I thought the umpires were impartial and gave the decisions as they saw them. Are we now advocating taking that away from them too.

Might as well put robots up there at this rate. Maybe robots could get the games moving though, they can be programmed and any time wasting logged and some sort of fine applied, preferably a runs fine. So many runs per 10 seconds wasted. The hardest thing to watch is cricketers not wanting to play. It's like the unions, the fixers, or TV are controlling things.

What is even more galling is that TV is running the show, oh that's right they pay all the money so they have that right. I doubt their contracts say they, or us, have the right to make the decisions too.

That's what all the umpires do.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 15, 2013, 0:46 GMT)

The point of DRS was always to protect the players from a clearly wrong decision. That has not changed. What changes is the perception of what is clearly wrong from person to person. Obviously, the evidence available did not fully convince the umpires based on what they had been told about real-time Snicko. I'm guessing that the vast majority of people asked to make a decision on Root's dismissal based purely on the DRS evidence would say not out but I doubt that many would be 100% sure, just mostly sure. As the umpire had already said out, the third umpire was obviously not sure enough that that was wrong to overrule. I guess the most important question is, how sure does the third umpire have to be to overrule the on-field umpire? Obviously 100% is not required. Does it have to be 99%? 95%? 80%? There's always going to be a grey area so the real question is how grey is too grey?

Posted by   on (December 15, 2013, 0:40 GMT)

The two points for me are 1) Where as before it was only one umpires opinion when any decision was made, we now have another umpires opinion on another umpires call. Previously the only bias possible was if the umpire was a local and could be seen as favouring the home side (which is now rectified obviously) but now there is a new possible bias in that these umpires have to live with each other during and after matches on tour, so any overturning of a decision could cause ill feeling between them. If a reviewed decision is 50/50, wouldn't you think the umpire might consider other factors in his decision not relevant to the game?

2) It seems now that the benefit of the doubt lies with the umpires and not the batsmen. It shouldn't be whether there is sufficient evidence to overturn the umpires decision but, as pointed out by others here, that there is enough evidence to give the batsmen out beyond reasonable doubt.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 15, 2013, 0:38 GMT)

Let me start by saying that I didn't see either Smith or Root dismissed, so I'm only going by what I've read. In Smith's case, I believe that there was a mark on HotSpot and a noise on Snicko. That seems like rather convincing evidence so I'd say that Smith was out. The contact must have been slight but contact is contact so, whether Smith likes it or not, he's out. In that case, DRS corrected an error, as it's supposed to do. In Root's case, it sounds like he may well not have been out but noone can really be sure. In that case, as disappointing as it is for England and us fans under the circumstances, not overturning the original decision is fair enough. If there was no DRS then Root would still have been out so the argument that we'd be better off without DRS doesn't hold water in that case.

Posted by TomTitTot on (December 15, 2013, 0:29 GMT)

I believe the DRS works perfectly this time round as it was intended. Just understand this. Both human umpires and technology are not perfect. Hence hotspot don't show at times and hawkeye is merely a prediction of ball path. The DRS tools are just meant to compliment and help reduce (not eliminate 100%) howlers by the on ground umpire. With that understanding, allowing room for error for both umpire and technology, the umpire says out because ball passes bat so close that he thought he hit it. And it confirms for him with a sound. The technology shows gap between bat and pad as ball passes by bat with hardly any visible gap. So based on that he probably hit ball and not pad. But hotspot says nothing so probably not hit it. But then a snicko right after ball pass so possibly hit again. Therefore, technology could not overturn as it cannot 100% say one way or another therefore it is umpire's call. Just like hawkeye which says umpire's call when less than 50% of ball hit stumps.

Posted by aiksa on (December 15, 2013, 0:28 GMT)

I have a very simple question to ask, does the batsman get the benifit of doubt or not? This is a basic rule of cricket. Then how cum we are getting such decisions from the 3rd umpires which are contradicting the basic rule. They are giving batsmen out when there is still doubt. I thought the purpose of DSR and all the technology was to get the correct decisions, but unfortunately, it is proving to be just the opposite.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2013, 0:00 GMT)

Can chips embedded in the ball and the bat sort out this kind of uncertainties... A sort of completion of electrical circuit emitting a signal which would indicate ball-bat contact..

Posted by disco_bob on (December 14, 2013, 23:30 GMT)

@simon_w, this is why we have umpires, and it's the same reason we have judges in court and appeal courts, because they are the only ones capable of being objective and unbiased. You seem to imply that there was no evidence to show the ball was hit, but there was wasn't there. There was a sharp sound. And there was no other explanation for the sound. I'm not saying that the sound and timing of it was definite proof he hit it, but neither can you can say there was no evidence he hit it. DRS has overall been a very positive influence on this series so far.

Posted by deeplongon on (December 14, 2013, 23:14 GMT)

Bat nowhere near the pad. Impossible to see how close the ball went to the bat and a noise. There was a delay for 'real time' snicko on smiths DRS review as well. He was out. And in 42 C how does hot spot work - especially for faint edges. He was given out in the noise. There was a noise. Nothing else could have made it.

Posted by deeplongon on (December 14, 2013, 23:14 GMT)

Bat nowhere near the pad. Impossible to see how close the ball went to the bat and a noise. There was a delay for 'real time' snicko on smiths DRS review as well. He was out. And in 42 C how does hot spot work - especially for faint edges. He was given out in the noise. There was a noise. Nothing else could have made it.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 23:13 GMT)

What is really infuriating me at the moment is after a wicket falls they're checking the front foot every time. It takes the 'moment' & theatre from the game. If the batsman at the bowlers end can refer the call if he thinks it's a no-ball it would stop them leaving the crease early wouldn't it?. I don't like that the number of referrals reset after 80 overs instead of 2 each innings. How about 1 referral & reset after 80 overs? This would make teams save it for howlers.

Posted by Westmorlandia on (December 14, 2013, 23:05 GMT)

As others have said, the problem with the protocol is that it gives umpires the benefit of the out. That belongs to the batsmen, and you can't give it to both. We had this problem in the summer as well, and they need to fix it.

Once it has gone upstairs, the 3rd umpire should just make a decision. If he's out, he's out. If there's no good evidence to show it, he isn't.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (December 14, 2013, 22:56 GMT)

Root didn't hit the ball yesterday, Broad did hit the ball a few tests back, Haddin didn't hit the ball a few tests back, Smith did hit the ball a couple of days ago, Should we have DRS should we not, does heat register faster than speed, does physics deserved to be talked about on a cricket forum. 500 bowls in a day and the only worth talking about is the one that reads. Root caught Haddin bowled Watson in the scorebook. and a lot of you think that England are time wasters.

Posted by inthebag on (December 14, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

In the main the DRS has resulted in more correct decisions being made. It was designed to eliminate the so called howler and it's done that. Cricket is a game of millimetres, the more accurately you can measure those millimetres the better the decisions will be. The margin of error used to be defined by human perception, now it's defined by the technology. It is much smaller but it's still there and in the end someone has to make call.

Posted by cricmatters on (December 14, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

no hot spot + no snicko = not out. How can the same technology be used to overturn one not out decision and suddenly disregarded when there is no evidence of an edge? Either you trust the technology or you don't. Indian Board is absolutely right in deciding not to use it as the people, product and processes involved in DRS are even more confusing and controversial than the old fashioned way trusting the on-field umpires to make the right call.

Posted by cricmatters on (December 14, 2013, 22:19 GMT)

no hot spot + no snicko = not out. How can the same technology be used to overturn one not out decision and suddenly disregarded when there is no evidence of an edge? Either you trust the technology or you don't. Indian Board is absolutely right in deciding not to use it as the people, product and processes involved in DRS are even more confusing and controversial than the old fashioned way trusting the on-field umpires to make the right call.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 22:12 GMT)

DRS should be taken out of the players control.The 3rd umpire should be telling the field umpires if it is out or not.Further more the 3rd umpire should be a former player who understand today H- Tech game.Ian Healy,Mark Taylor come to mind .Time ICC get DRS right or just get rid of DRS all together.

Posted by pat_one_back on (December 14, 2013, 22:03 GMT)

Ball passes Root's edge, there's a noise, the Aussies go up and Root's given. End of story really. Since you lot want to drag it out, Root goes for the referral, hot spot is clean as expected for a feather touch, replays confirm the ball definitely within snicking distance of the bat, no evidence of bat hitting the ground or pad, no alternative explanation for the sound heard live and seen on replay. Decision stands, how mystifying is that???? Technology is not definitive but generally can pick up obviously poor decisions, this was no such decision. Throughout the last series Aust bore the brunt of marginal umpires calls staying with the initial call, LBW's clipping stumps, this fuss over Root is petty

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 21:54 GMT)

Think back a few months ago to Usman Khawaja's howler. If that can be given out, then anything can... English supporters would think that was reasonable, but Root's decision yesterday was rubbish, and Australian supporters think the opposite. The decision has been made - whether it was right or wrong is largely irrelevant now.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 21:53 GMT)

The mere fact people are arguing about whether the ball was hit or not, means the correct decision was made. The umpire on the field called it out. The evidence wasn't conclusive to say the umpire made a wrong decision. @ajeshalvoor, your idea means undermining the umpires judgement and thats not a good thing. This was not a howler of a decision, it was either the finest of knicks or the finest of misses. You could change the protocol to the benefit of the doubt, but in other sports, this usually leads to more dubious decisions and all going with the beneift of the doubt.

Posted by Nerk on (December 14, 2013, 21:53 GMT)

The problem with DRS, and with umpires in general, is that people only talk about them after they have made a mistake. The DRS has served both teams very well this series, and done its job. Then comes a mistake, on a 50-50 call, and everyone is calling for heads. The fact is that DRS doesn't change one of the fundamental rules of cricket and life - sometimes things don't go your way. Get over it and get on with it.

Posted by zackriasait on (December 14, 2013, 21:51 GMT)

It looked like a correct decision on review. The snicko and the sound which followed did confirm the on field umpires decision to be correct. But surely the third umpire needs to be more exposed and trained for making decisions which not only are correct but seem to be correct. This new real time snickometer is a valuable addition in the armoury of the third umpire to eliminate errors. Does not complicate issues. Root may have his complaints but evidence suggests to the contrary.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (December 14, 2013, 21:51 GMT)

Henrik Lovén, I'm not sure you get this cricket game. 1. Root nicked off, that was pretty clear. 2. The on field umpire kind of has an important role in cricket (see 'history of cricket' as a reference). 3. All of the commentators knew he was out and acknowledged the correct decision had been made. 4. See points 1, 2 & 3. Normal Ashes service has resumed.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

The batsmen reviewed. The system didn't provide conclusive evidence he'd nicked it. Therefore, his review had to be upheld. This is another case of misuse and misinterpretation of a system designed to eradicate howlers. If you can't rely on the accuracy, or lack thereof, of technology, why bother? More time is actually spent analysing the ineffectiveness of this system than actually improving it to levels deemed fit for purpose. If you're going to stick with the umpire's verdict, why need another means to tell you their decision should take precedence. It's become a Dodgy Review System.

Posted by TengaZool on (December 14, 2013, 21:37 GMT)

Sigh. Another day, another DRS drama. The point is not which part of the technology works, how the umpires arrive at a decision, how to use snicko, hotspot, how many reviews a team gets etc. The point is - why is the SYSTEM being trialled in a live environment? Why wasn't it tested and trialled like other sports would do before adopting a SYSTEM? What was the hurry? Why were all the technological, human and process aspects not finalised before deploying it to international games? It seems they come across these live match situations and then try and change bits of the system before the next series. "We won't use hotspot", "we will use hotspot", "we will increase the number of reviews", "umpires didn't interpret the technology correctly, we will fix it before the next series". When is this farce going to end?

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (December 14, 2013, 21:35 GMT)

It was the correct decision under the rules of the game. Root had to go. The bat was nowhere near the ground or the pad when the noise came up and the ball did not flick the pad on the way through. Also, the sound frequency of a nick is different to the frequency of something hitting the pad. If it was pad, the sound would have been to the far-right of the snicko spectrum. This was right in the middle, suggesting it was bat. The ICC has noted that the sound can appear in the frame following where the ball hit the bat, which is exactly what seems to have happened. Good decision Tony Hill.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 14, 2013, 21:30 GMT)

The umpires who officiate in Ashes Tests-there are not too many who can-just get worse and worse. Tony Hill like his colleagues cannot even make a decent fist of the 3rd umpire's chair to a decision which Erasmus should have overturned himself, by not giving it. Snicko lines like the ones in Root's case indicate little more than a waft of air as ball passes bat. An insects beating wings might also create that. Almost without fail the ball on the edge of a bat creates long vertical sharp lines close together. The lines become less sharp and further apart when the ball hit clothing or pads. There was no hot spot either and therefore no evidence to support the original verdict. These clowns should slide gently into retirement and stop plaguing our entertainment. They should really be sacked for not bothering to signal no-balls either-which should always be recorded-or failure to count the balls right twice in an innings. Sloppy,lazy and incompetent is my verdict here.Sack them now!

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (December 14, 2013, 21:15 GMT)

Ajesh Alvoor - The umpire's decision IS a "cricketing decision". There are no two things about it. What is he doing there if he is not watching and umpiring cricket?

Even if there was no sniko, there was a definite sound and there was no clear evidence that it came from anything other than the bat. So, the third umpire was totally right not to overturn the on-field umpire's decision.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

Same thing as in England, was not out then but on field gave it out was not over turned same as in Perth. The sad part is both were NOT OUT if the call was wrong then change it dont back up the on field umpires mistakes!! Still as a very frustrated Aussie fan with the Ussie K call in England its nice to see a break like this go our way this time but both Calls were wrong.

Posted by pauldk on (December 14, 2013, 20:35 GMT)

I''m no expert, but the sound seems to die pretty quickly after the bat hits the ball - say one or two frames - and the ball moves about a foot per frame. Logic tells that that when the ball is a couple of millimeters from reaching the bat in one frame (looks to the naked eye exactly like the time it hits the bat, but actually hasn't yet), then the sound, or what is left of it, will only show up in the next frame and look smaller on snicko. I can easily live with the decision that in this case there was not enough evidence to overturn the on field empire's original decision. Was the original decision right or wrong? I don't know, but to me it looked/sounded out in real time when I watched it on TV,

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 20:28 GMT)

Very Very Disappointed with Joe Root's decision of having been given out when we could all see very clearly that he DID NOT touch the ball. Something has to be done to not keep on making the same old mistakes again and again. I would never want to be in Joe Root's shoes specially when I am trying to launch my international career as a one drop batsman. Joe, please accept this - that its all in the game and move on. Life is too short to be worrying about these things. I empathize with you, man.

Posted by landl47 on (December 14, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

Just another instance which points clearly to the fact that all decisions should be made by the 3 umpires using whatever technology is available to assist them. Erasmus, having to make a very close decision based on his own perception, made what has to be viewed as a guess. If he'd guessed 'not out', there's no way in the world an Australian review would have reversed the decision.

It's no consolation to Root, but for over 120 years cricketers have been given out or not out by way of similar guesses by an umpire who cannot possibly be certain. Now we have technology, but instead of using it to get the best possible decision every time, the on-field umpires are still guessing.

Posted by bobmartin on (December 14, 2013, 19:40 GMT)

Atherton summed it up...According to the protocol, it was the correct decision.. Therefore the argument should be based on the protocol employed rather than this actual decision. DRS used to be employed to protect a player from getting a wrong decision.. I don't like the word howler... in my opinion an incorrect decision is simply an incorrect decision.. But at the moment it is being used to protect the umpires... not the players..In other words the original intention has changed.. Why this is I don't know but it is definitely not a change for the better... So from being an avid supporter of DRS.. and am slowly but surely changing my mind and more decisions like this will only hasten it. The"umpires call" rule is simply a nonsense... a batsman is either in or out... and if there is no conclusive evidence to give him out, then the decision should be not out.. Ajesh Alvoor.. has it spot on... An appeal should be a neutral look at the incident and a decision made on that alone..

Posted by simon_w on (December 14, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

I've yet to hear a neutral say they think it's out, and even most of the Australians I've spoken to don't really think he hit it, and fall back to the "not enough evidence to overturn the on-field decision" position (even Watto didn't seem to think he'd it it!). it seems to me you either trust the technology or you don't, and on the basis of the technology here there was no reason to think Root hit the ball.

Posted by simon_w on (December 14, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

The protocol also says that snicko must show "a clear spike" -- no matter what frame it did or did not correspond to, that was in no way "a clear spike" now, was it?

Posted by debugger on (December 14, 2013, 19:16 GMT)

England got what they deserved. In the first test in England, Brad Haddin got a similar dubious decision which cost Australia the first test and probaby the Ashes. There were various DRS decisions that went against Australia then and I assume England are to get their fair share this time around.

Posted by VickGower on (December 14, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

Though I have been a long term critic of DRS I want to say that finally DRS seems to be heading towards some consistency. All it has needed is one simple principle: Unless there is clear evidence to the contrary, the decision on the ground must stay. IF this principle is followed then we can live with all the maturing pains/inconsistencies of DRS technology. If we defy this principle then it is chaos as has been the case in so many of the past series. Because now we have the on-field umpire's interpretation, player's interpretation, third umpire's interpretation, etc.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

Couple of points: @Ajesh Alvoor I completely agree, and to illustrate you point in American Football, the pro-game, the National Football League has had reviews for a decade or more under the same "conclusive evidence" rule and the replay official supports his buddies on the field in over 92% of cases. The way around this is to follow the National Hockey League (ice hockey) and Major League Baseball where the replay is judged hundreds or thousands of miles away (Toronto and New York respectively) and by a panel of three retired referees/umpires.

The second point is why is a system being EXPERIMENTED with during a major series? Even soccer (football) has trialled goal-line technology in lower league football before rolling it out at the top level. An Ashes series (or any Test series) is not the place for experiments that can alter the result of a match.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

If Third Umpire is not able to take a fair decision then ICC should make a panel to review their controversial decisions at least!!! No one can believe what a poor decision is this!!!

Posted by Dirk_L on (December 14, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

Tony Hill did the sensible thing. Overturning the umpire's decision on the basis of DRS is supposed to mean the decision was a howler. If the ball was very close to the bat, and at almost the same instant there was a sound, the decision is not a howler. Root thought he didn't nick it, but a batsman only knows for sure that he nicked it when the nick is fairly broad (pun intended). Marais Erasmus did not make an obviously erroneous call, in fact he obviously heard the nick, and Real-Tiime Snicko is not quite as real-time as the manufacturer claims.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 18:18 GMT)

It was not a correct decision from third umpire. It is acceptable from ground umpire but not from third umpire who can see that ball was not hitting the bat and sound was clearly came from the bat hitting the pad. This is not cricket!!! very sad to see that decision!!!

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 18:15 GMT)

@Ajesh Alvoor - completely 100% agreed. As long as there is this ridiculous desire to "only overturn howlers", all these controversies will keep popping up because its never clear what is a howler and what is a marginal decision. Once the decision is reviewed, the original umpire decision should not matter and if there is any doubt - it should go to the batsmen.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 17:58 GMT)

lol england aussies dont care cause the same thing happened to kawaja last summer so stop complaining

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

Come on people, it is a ridiculous as decision. 3rd umpires seem to side with their on field colleagues. It did not look out at all, and all proper evidence. Upon review the 3rd umpire should be making a decision independent of the on field decision. What is the point of using technology and ignoring what you seet. We have had plenty of reviews in NZ, I have never noticed a gap in time between real time snicko and the picture, and this is confirmed with hot spot that is pretty sensitive. Root obvious new he did not hit it, no debate or hesitation, and evidence is he did not, where is the benefit of the doubt rule ? I am slightly ambivelant on hawkeye, I don't quite trust it for LBWs. PS: I agree totally with Henrik Loven.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 14, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

England are baffled? Well I understand that and it has shown in their muddled thinking especially in choosing two spinners for Adelaide, however there is nothing to be baffled about here. Further, there's no point in telling the world that they are 'bitterly disappointed', I mean why the 'bitterness'? It was a straightforward decision, there was a clear noise, so it was no howler. And upon review there certainly seems to be no other possible cause.

Get over it. This article has covered every base, including Smith walking off shaking his head. I have no doubt that Root believed he did not hit it, as did Smith.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

@JAH8 You're right about the blurry red blob being the exposure length, but the tail end of the blurry blob is about an inch past the bat, the blurry blob actually starts right on the edge of the bat. My assumptions are all based on worst possible scenarios, and the maximum distance traveled by sound is nowhere near 1 metre. You might get it out to about 50cm if we argued about it all night with the replay on the tele but that would be absolute tops.

Posted by fitzy99 on (December 14, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

It's not really that hard to process is it? The umpire heard a nick as did the entire slip cordon.Not enough evidence to overturn the on field decision.Shake your head all you want and tell your story walking.Anything else you want clarified just ask me.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

@JAH8 in real time, assuming the ball is going 130 kph, ~36m/s, it takes approximately 0.0007 seconds to travel 1 inch. This is a very close approximation, and in that amount of time sound will travel ~24 cm. I don't know how you're calculating things but I think you might want to check your numbers. On a frame by frame, the ball is well in front of the bat, then it is 1 inch past the bat, then it is well past the bat. On which frame do you expect the sound to reasonably appear, the one where it's one inch past the bat(the contact occurred 0.0007 seconds ago, the sound having travelled approximately 24cms), or the frame right after that? I think the answer is obvious, and if you're arguing against what I'm saying here then I'm done because I can't explain it any more clearly than that.

The frame RATE literally has nothing to do with my argument. It's about the fact that in the frame directly after the contact has occurred the ball has only JUST BARELY passed the bat, by an inch.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

@ParryB: Completely agree with you

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

@valvolux You obviously didn't bother reading the article. The snicko on real time is expected 1 frame after the ball passes the bat, due to physics. It says so, right there on the article, explained by multiple umpires in good standing, and explained by Simon Taufel, the best umpire there is, to the players. If you look at the real time snicko on Steve Smith's dismissal, where he clearly did hit the ball, it comes 1 frame after the ball passes the bat. People have simply ignored that fact because it was obvious that he hit it, but it still came 1 frame afterwards.

Every time you've seen snicko report sound exactly as the ball passes an edge, it is because it WAS NOT real time snicko. It was done in post-processing, where people manually matched the sound waves to the video. In real time snicko the sound is SUPPOSED to come 1 frame after the ball passes the bat. Please read the articles first before saying things that contradict the factual information, it makes you look silly.

Posted by Clavers on (December 14, 2013, 15:51 GMT)

@Paul: I agree with everything you said.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

The Root-dismissal highlights what is wrong with the DRS-system in its current guise - it defers too much to the dignity of the on-field umpire. Tony Hill (again...) thought there was not enough evidence to overturn Marais Erasmus' obviously erroneous call when in fact there was no evidence whatsoever to support it! In order tofix the DRS, the instruction to the third umpire should be to rule on whether or not the player was out IRRESPECTIVE of the on-field umpire's decision! Into this could be built safeguards that ensure that both batsman and bowler receive fair treatment. In short - DRS should IGNORE the original decision of the on-field umpire and focus on whether or not there is enough evidence to suggest a batsman is out.

Posted by JAH8 on (December 14, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

@ ModernUmpiresPlz

Fair play. Some of my assumptions were very wrong (25 frames per second for one). Having looked at it again (both the maths and the coverage) probably not in the places you thought though.

Firstly, we know that any frame of visual data cannot contain the full light received in the time allocated to that frame, otherwise we'd see the ball as a continuous blur, the track of it starting where the previous frame finished. We don't, we see something that generally looks like a blob perhaps one and a half ball diameters across.

I won't go into the full details because 1000 characters isn't enough. But depending on how the camera and audio are synced, and where in a timeslot the camera captures the image, I reckon the distance a sound wave could travel - in the Root dismissal - before it became part of 'the next frame' is between 98cm and 3.4m (so average 2.2m). There are still assumptions used, but I think those bounds are enough to put some doubt on "impossible".

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

Didnt study the dismissal in great detail but it might have been the bat hitting the back pad...was very close to the edge.Overall this is an excellent Aussie attack,world class and disciplined.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 14:59 GMT)

For all of you saying that this is indicative of the referral system being faulty, you have to remember that it was given out by the umpire. The umpire clearly heard something and thought that he had hit it. Without the referral system it still would have been out. The system was designed not to overrule the umpire but to correct obvious mistakes. Where it is close the original decision is upheld. Because of this it can never be worse than just having an umpire. It is not perfect, but it is more perfect than humans watching in real time with no replays, which happens to be the alternative.

Posted by ParryB on (December 14, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

Why England players are baffled? It was Broad who said that umpires decision should be respected and they like to play the game hard etc. and thats the reason he didnt walk. Right? When Broad did not choose to walk, it was as horrible decision by umpire as it is now! So be a sport now!

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

'Benefit of the doubt' should be given to the batsman has always been the Rule of thumb in cricket. This whole DRS system is disrespectful to the on field umpires, making the players look fools, marks the price of a wicket as a jackpot, gives time for the opposition to have a go at the batsman and mentally hurting him and is totally flawed just like once the speedometer ticked 100 miles for a Zaheer Khan's delivery. Please reinforce the DRS system or get back to the old manual system.

Posted by Gareth_Bain on (December 14, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

So two wrong decisions are fixed at the end of the first innings, then a very tough, marginal decision is not overturned (i.e. without DRS the result would've been the same) & suddenly everyone wants to chuck DRS, which would've meant that decision was still "wrong" (the reason it's inconclusive is because there wasn't clear daylight between bat & ball... Snicko/Hot Spot can prove an edge but not the absence of one beyond reasonable doubt) and the previous two would not have been corrected. smh. @Leggie: Rahane is a classic case of where DRS would've been able to fix things in about 20 seconds. I hope India get more howlers against them until they see the light.

Posted by The_Freakster on (December 14, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

@Ankur Kumar: Not sure that's true. Umpires are measured against the number of bad decisions, including the number of overturned decisions, so having DRS in place does not improve their rating in any way. The only thing it might help with is less controversy in the media, which I hope they don't not care about any way.

Posted by phantom99 on (December 14, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

The DRS decisions that cause the most controversy are those depending on so called "umpires call". I think te system would be far more effective, if once a decision is to be reviewed, the third umpire consider only the video and audio evidence......and not regard the onfield umpires decision which is being reviewed. Doing so seems like a method to enable the umpire to save face. The credibility of the system will always be in question once the the original decision is a factor.

Posted by valvolux on (December 14, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

Firstly...he hit neither pad. The sound came well after bat, and his bat passed the back pad well earlier and there was daylight between bat and front pad. Was a poor decision, as all us aus supporters will agree. The technology isn't bad, the interpretation is. How hard is it to say if 3/3 things say out/not's conclusive? In this case, no deviation, no real time snicko (real time means not delayed mark taylor), no hotspot. Not out. People will accept the tech more if we rely on it, and whatever limitations it has. Then if it looks like its crap, remove it. But thats not the case, too many conclusive calls being left with the on field ump because of a lack of common sense allowed for the third ump. People won't support it if the umpires keep interpreting it wrong to keep the original umpires call.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 14:35 GMT)

@Paul Rone-Clarke Real time snicko has only come into occurence for this series. Previously people actually manually lined up the sounds with the visual nicks, in post-processing. You can't have seen it line up hundreds of times with real-time snicko, it's just not possible as it hasn't been in existence for hundreds of nicks.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

@Leggie How was it clear? There was literally NO daylight between the bat and ball when it passed the bat. Dumbfounded by your comment.

@Ankur Kumar If there was no DRS Joe Root would still be out. Steve Smith, however, would have been not out. I feel like English supporters should still support DRS. All things being equal it has only been a benefit to them.

The only row over DRS is when an on field decision is NOT overturned. EVERY single time it happens it would have been the same decision, with or without DRS, having no effect on the game. The thing is though many incorrect decisions are in fact overturned. The argument against it is merely because there is contention over some specific circumstances where fans feel hard done by, but as an overall it ONLY helps. Because the ONLY time something is OVERTURNED is when we're all 100% sure.

Nobody is ever upset when something is overturned because there is always a complete clarity to something being overturned. Just how it should be.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 14, 2013, 14:21 GMT)

@spiritwithin on (December 14, 2013, 13:07 GMT), Firstly, you're overstating the case greatly to say that "many" Australian batsmen were given out controversially in the last Ashes. The controversy was invented in most cases. For instance, there was alleged controversy when Brad Haddin was given out on review in the first Test but that was only because it was the last wicket and Australia lost. Haddin himself said that he hit it. On another occasion, Phil Hughes obviously didn't think he had hit the ball but there was a clear mark on HotSpot. Regradless of any of that, when exactly did and England player or other employee say that any controversial decisions against Australian batsmen were OK, e.g. when Usman Khawaja was given out when there was no evidence that he hit it, I didn't hear any English player say that that was OK.

Posted by wah_wah on (December 14, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

There was à mark in bis pad from hotspot .Is that not part of review system,or the umpires are not allowed to draw conclusion combining multiple evidences

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 14:18 GMT)

@Jimmy The batsman getting the benefit of the doubt is a method of making decisions that on field umpires use, it's not actually a law in the game in any way, shape or form.

Posted by CricketChat on (December 14, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

I feel the benefit of doubt should have gone to batsmen. Having said that, this sort of border line decisions happen less frequently, so we have to accept that as part and parcel of the game. The most important thing is that the question of bias has been taken out of the context.

Posted by couchpundit on (December 14, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

Hello World from BCCI!!! Welcome to world of DRS!!

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

Well now how did Broad get away with middleing the ball into a fielders hand? The umpires were right then to call the evidence "inconclusive". Now there is nothing left that to shut up and bear up. Poor Joe Root deserved better. England's openers did not bat well: the Aussies bowlers sent down rubbish! When they tightened up line and length the wickets started tubling and tumble they will if Johnson, Siddle and Harris continue to bowl as they were doing. Hussain and Lloyd should not complain about the lack of swing or seam. They Aussies had the same conditions.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

I don't know how many of you'll agree but I feel Umpire tend to give casual decision when they are in dilemma, Tony must have thought that, OK- I am not sure here but well, I am in not so much pressure because DRS is there. That culture of giving 'benefit of doubt' to batsman is gone. And I feel it's a significant loss to cricket because, Bowlers will get numerous chance to try an get a nick, but for batsman, It's end of story. So yeah, I am disappointed and support my country for it's stance on DRS.

Posted by deepaksolanki33 on (December 14, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

my point is simple..i am given out but i dont think i nicked it..i ask for a what do i expect...i expect hot-spot to remain cold...snicco to remain numb( when the ball passes the bat)...and in such a case..i should be given NOT simple as how on earth can i predict that the third umpire would presume such evidence to be conclusive or non-conclusive...and in that case...should i really go to the third umpire..because if such evidence is non-conclusive..there would be nothing conclusive in this earth..

Posted by Leggie on (December 14, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

I don't understand why there is so much discussion about the sound, while it was clear from the visual that Root had not nicked it!! What if the sound was anything other than the bat hitting the ball? In the 2nd ODI of India vs South Africa, Ajinkya Rahane was given out based on the sound that the umpire heard. It turned out then that the sound was from the batsman's chain hitting the helmet. DRS or no DRS, wrong decisions continue to spoil the fun. My sympathies with Joe Root.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

@ Clavers. It's always been set up to compensate for that in the past (after all the guys who do it are actual "rocket scientists" - and know this) Always seen the snick line up perfectly before in the hundreds I've seen.

However, having said that maybe this time the calibration was wrong. The set up process did not correctly take the lag into account because in real time it looks and sounds like he's out.

Once a decision is given the benefit goes to the on-field umpire in LAW. The idea of the batsman ever having the benefit of the doubt is tradition and NOT LAW. It's never been law.

Sad that Root was out, but understand why it happened. Think he may well of got a bad one, but the margins are very tight. If this is the worst decision in 2 and a half tests I happy that the standard of both on-field and 3rd umpire is very good. As an England fan I think we just suck it up and move on.

Posted by The_Freakster on (December 14, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

@Osmund Perera: Contrary to your statement, DRS is currently designed such that the third umpire needs conclusive evidence to overturn the onfield umpire's decision. In Root's case, the only such conclusive evidence could have been either visible daylight between bat and ball, or some other source of sound such as bat hitting pad or ground, neither of which was the case. So the third umpire rightly upheld the onfield decision.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

The Review system has created more howlers than prevented because the umpires cannot read the situation properly under pressure. What happend to the batsmen gets the benefit of doubt.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

@Osmund "The third umpire saw no 'conclusive evidence' to support the field umpire's decision."

There is a fundamental flaw in your statement. The on field umpires decision needs to be conclusively proven wrong to overturn. It isn't a question of "if we had a clean slate and were making this decision". A decision has been made, and we're trying to prove, without a doubt, that it was wrong. And we can't, due to the snicko sound. It's not much, but it's not conclusive that Erasmus was incorrect. It doesn't matter if most of the evidence is against the umpire's decision, if it's not CONCLUSIVE that his first decision is wrong the decision stands.

On the same note, when an LBW is reviewed, it is very often hitting the stumps, but over half the ball has to be within the stumps. Technically, a lot of "umpire's reviews" are technically out LBW. But we roll with the umpire's decision. Just the same as if it's given out LBW and it barely flicks the bails, it's still out.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 13:42 GMT)

Yes, I agree with most on here and although disappointing as an England fan I think it looked out. It is quite apparent that it is possible for a batsman to edge the ball without actually feeling it. It has happened to me when batting and it would explain why a lot of batsmen look so stunned when these very fine edges are given out. Root did not look back to the keeper when the ball passed him so there is no way he thought he hit it, although there is no clear contact or deviation at the time the ball passes the bat, there is no daylight visible either. The on field umpire gave it out and there was no evidence on DRS that justified it being given not out. Had the decision been overturned under these circumstances the Aussies would have had more right to feel hard done by.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

there is another point to be remeber here, if there is no conclusive evedence then the on field decision stays .

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

This was a very poor decision. The third umpire saw no 'conclusive evidence' to support the field umpire's decision.So, how could he have given Joe Root out? The field umpire's decision was based on his belief that Root got an edge. Surely, when it is shown on appeal that there was no edge, the field umpire's decision should have been reversed. What we have here is a wrong decision being confirmed - that's surely not just or fair. What's the point of a review if a wrong decision cannot be over-turned?

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

I think people are overstating the "it's there to correct howlers" thing.

If a batsman is given out LBW and hawk-eye shows the ball to be missing by a tiny margin, should the on-field call stay, since the ball could well have just clipped the bails? Obviously not, the decision is reversed and the batsman survives, even though you would't call that a howler.

I agree that the main purpose of the DRS is to eliminate the howlers, but I don't think that it can "only" reverse howlers. If a decision is shown to be incorrect, it should be reversed, whether it can objectively be called a howler or not.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 13:20 GMT)

@JAH8 I specifically stated that it was physically impossible due to the nick occuring at the VERY end of a frame, approximately 1 inch past the bat in the frame in which the nick occurred. I was discussing how far sound could travel over 1 inch of ball movement, you are presuming that the nick occured in the best possible circumstances, which is the when the ball would be just in front of the bat in one frame, and then a couple of feet behind the bat in the next frame, ie: the nick occuring at the start of the frame. You're actually wrong, sorry. You're right if you assume your circumstances are correct, but unfortunately you've ignored the circumstances that I did in fact specify.

Posted by ravi_hari on (December 14, 2013, 13:07 GMT)

It is simple light travels faster than sound. What we saw the ball passing and sound coming later proves this. Also both the teams agreed to the usage of real time snicko and were well aware of the interpretations. So they should not complain. As most comments suggest, the decision was out so with or without DRS Root was out. If on field umpire ruled not out and DRS usage declared his out on review then you may question it. Root has to forget this and carry on with the game. In the absence of DRS just see how India and WI took the decisions in their stride. It was good review though. Without snicko, Root would have survived. I think England are fighting well in this test and they need to concentrate more and aim at gettign a sizeable lead. Let the game go on.

Posted by spiritwithin on (December 14, 2013, 13:07 GMT)

it always baffling for England if their players are at the receiving end but everything's ok if that happens to opposition team..remember last ashes where many aussie batsman were given out by DRS controversially?

Posted by JAH8 on (December 14, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

@ ModernUmpiresPlz

To say that getting sound and visual images to occur in the same frame is "physically impossible" is a big, and incorrect, statement.

Assuming light travels instantaneously (not a bad approximation), to get the sound on a different frame to the visual you would require the sound wave to spend the duration of a frame traveling. Using rough numbers a frame might be 1/25th of a second, and the speed of sound is about 350 metres per second. So the distance between the 'snick' and the microphone (presumably at the stumps) would need to be on the order of 14 metres. Some of my numbers might be slightly off (number of frames per second, arguments about where in frame the contact occurs, tolerances of technology), but I'd guess that most edge decisions occur with the batsman within two metres of the stumps - easily possible for the sound to arrive at effectively the same time as the light.

So to say "physically impossible" leaves you looking rather silly.

Posted by Simoc on (December 14, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

England are easily baffled.I see Cook has plenty of tape around his rather new looking bat. Lets hope he snicks the tape and is given out. The middle of his bat has done very little work this series.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

@Dangertroy The problem is that you can't preemptively know how far a batsman will be from the microphone used for the snickometer as they move around in the crease. That would be the only way to compensate, as well as taking into account the speed of the specific ball bowled, and relying on the speed gun's accuracy, which I would contend is far less accurate than snicko. You would have to compensate on a ball by ball basis, which would end up perceived as subjective, in order for it to be exact, and therefore likely to be perceived as rigging of some fashion. When they "synchronise" snicko, it more or less means the live timing of the video matches the live timing of the audio. Due to the differences in the speed of sound and light there is a discrepancy, but the discrepancy is very consistent, and should be expected.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (December 14, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

Message to Joe Root: if you decide to play at a ball, make sure you hit it properly

Posted by Clavers on (December 14, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

The speed of sound is 1100 feet per second or about 1200 km per hour. If Watson was bowling at about 120 km per hour, and if the Snicko microphone is located in the stumps, and if the bat is about 1.5 metres in front of the stumps at the moment of impact, then the sound should show up on Snicko when the ball has traveled about 120/1200 x 1.5 metres, or 15cm (6 inches), after impacting on the bat. From my observation, that is about where the sound did show up on Snicko.

Also, the frames showing the ball approaching the bat from the bowler's end showed a slight overlap between the edges of ball and bat. Root was playing the shot slightly towards mid-on, and therefore the bat was moving away fro the ball slightly, raising the possibility that there was no nick.

If there was a nick, it was extremely slight (as indicated by Snicko also) so it does not surprise me the Root did not feel it even if he did hit it.

So I think there was enough doubt to uphold Erasmus' original decision.

Posted by Dangertroy on (December 14, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

@modernumpiresplz -I agree with your interpretation of physics, although I wouldn't say it would be rigging it to get them to sync, it would merely be compensation. The issue is that we are presented with one frame of video, representing a set point in time, where as the snicko graphic represents a larger period of time between the frames.

@stuart bate - well said

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 14, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

Those complaining about DRS should remember that the onfield umpire gave it out, so if there was no DRS he would still be out. Everyone forgets about the 5 or 6 clear errors that DRS overcomes in a test (like the Smith dismissal) and focuses on the one very, very marginal decision that would be there with or without DRS! No matter how much technology is improved there will always be ultra-fine nicks at the limit of technology.

In this case the evidence was inconclusive as there was a sound so makes sense to stick with the onfield umpire.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (December 14, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

Nobody likes the close ones going against them, but can't see how the third ump could change the call on this one. It is reasonable to assume the sound was bat on ball, given the visual, and that the bat was nowhere near the pad. You have to be certain to overturn the onfield decision.

Posted by azzaman333 on (December 14, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

Middxump; the third umpire is instructed to go with the on-field umpire's call in the case of doubt. Erasmus presumably had no doubt that Root had snicked it, and with a sound picked up on Snicko at the right time for there to have been an edge, there was sufficient doubt in the technology that there was no reason to overturn Erasmus' decision. You could argue that the DRS is flawed in that it gives the benefit of the doubt to the on field umpire rather than to the batsman, but that's how it works right now. Furthermore, the DRS upheld Erasmus' decision because it wasn't conclusive that he'd made the wrong call, so how can that possibly be undermining him?

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

@indianpunter This wasn't a howler though, live there was definitely a noise there. Also if you watched the SA v India one day series recently you'll have seen Rahane get out to a ball, because there was a sound. Unfortunately the sound was when his necklace hit the grill of his helmet, as the ball was somewhere near the bat. When I say near, he missed the ball by about 1 or 2 feet. Given that this decision, without DRS, would STILL have been out, and that if India had DRS they would obviously have had the Rahane dismissal overturned, your argument is more or less meaningless. Also, without DRS Smith would have stayed in, instead of being correctly given out. See how your "BCCI is always right" argument has no leg to stand on yet?

Posted by PoundOfFlesh on (December 14, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

Let's move back to the glory days and accept umpires' follies as part of the game.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

@Chris Difference is that it was given out, unlike Smith. And if you noticed on Smith's dismissal, the sound actually occurs 1 frame after the ball is past the bat, rather than exactly when the ball passes the bat. Then again I guess most English supporters have ignored the factual way in which snicko, and sound in general, actually works.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 12:00 GMT)

Just in the same way Australia was baffled at Old Trafford with Khawaja''s dismissal. Short memories, swings and roundabouts.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 11:58 GMT)

@Middxump Actually real time snicko was accepted as the creators of hotspot technology admitted that there are fine edges that hotspot cannot detect, such as Root's edge today. The reason England are baffled is because they are cricketers, not physicists. Anybody who understands that the speed of light is ~1 million times faster than sound knows that it would be impossible for the sound to appear in the same frame, given that the ball is only 1 inch past the edge at most. To reiterate, I didn't say possible, maybe or it's neither here or there. I said "PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE". As in cannot, will not, and never even remotely possibly will be, in the same visual frame. (Unless you rigged snicko so the sound matched up with the edge)

Posted by orangtan on (December 14, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

This was a bad call, and the third umpire Tony Hill is now extending his poor run as an on-field umpire. There was no proof that there was an edge after the hotspot and snicko had been used.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (December 14, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

You can't compare Smith's. There was a loud and clear noise on his when he edged it. It was obvious inreal time that he'd edged it, it was a pretty loud clunk. Umpires used to give those out.

Snicko just proved the sound wasn't anything but bat on ball. Plus it had a small hot spot.

Root had no hot spot, and an uncertain sound that wasn't heard and only showed up with Snicko. That should have been plenty enough evidence that he wasn't out.

The Poms got stooged on that one.

Posted by Andross on (December 14, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

From the live shots, it looked and sounded out, so I've got no problems with the on field umpire giving it out. As for the third umpire... well as we established in England earlier in the year, they err on the side of the onfield umpire which seems to be the best way to do it to me. I want to know though, is why they can't use false colour images on hotspot? It would greatly increase the definition and therefore senstivity for edges.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

It does not seem to be recognised that when the edge of a moving bat passes close to the air flowing round the ball, an impulsive noise is generated even if the bat does not touch the bat. Frank Fahy Emeritus Professor of Engineering Acoustics University of Southampton UK

Posted by indianpunter on (December 14, 2013, 11:48 GMT)

M/s ICC/Tony Hill/ Erasmus; i am sorry. All of you got it wrong this time. For starters, DRS is NOT to eliminate howlers alone. I checked the ICC website and it says, the aim is to " get as many correct on field decisions, whilst also avoiding obvious umpiring errors". Hot spot was negative, the bat hit the pad, there was space between ball and bat, and snicko was negative when the ball passed the outside edge. I have watched enough "snicko's" to know that the undulation in the baseline comes along. This controversy is fueling the BCCI stance and not good for the game. At the end of the day, technology is only as good as people interpreting it and i think that is was Erasmus obstinacy which got in the way of the correct decision here.

Posted by kingcobra85 on (December 14, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

Speed of light is greater than speed of sound, so a slight delay in snicko is accurate.

Posted by Middxump on (December 14, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

Oh dear. I understood that Hotspot and Snicko were to be taken together. The reason for taking account of a Snicko noise is valid because of the way that TV pictures are "framed". A noise can show up 1 frame after the bat actually comes into contact with the ball, but if there is no evidence on Hotspot followed by a noise on Snicko, in my opinion it should be given "Not Out". There is a tried and tested unwritten rule with cricket umpiring. A doubt? ... Not Out. I am afraid that on field umpires are being undermined by incorrect use of technology.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 14, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

Note: Frame after the ball passes the bat.

Fact: If the sound was in the same frame as where the ball had just passed the edge of Root's bat I would call rigging, as this would be breaking the laws of physics given the speed of sound.

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Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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