DRS continues to haunt India

India’s trouble with the DRS continued unabated, as it made three wrong reviews on Day 2 of the second Test match in Bengaluru, of the three only one was returned with umpire’s call.

India’s poor success rate with the DRS continued in Bangalore.   -  PTI

For long, India's response to the Decision Review System was complete disengagement. Then under a new captain-coach combination, it decided to embrace the technology. It started rather well as India did better than its opponents, both in the five-Test series against England and the one-off Test against Bangladesh.

However, the Pune Test laid bare the relative inexperience of India when it came to using the system. It reviewed seven times but was only successful once. Of the six it lost, three did not even return umpire's call, a clear estimate of how wishful the thinking behind them was.

On the second day of the second Test against Australia here, India's troubles continued unabated. There were three reviews and all of them wrong. Only one returned umpire's call when R. Ashwin challenged Nigell Long's decision to not declare skipper Steven Smith out leg before.

“We have been working on it,” said Cheteshwar Pujara. “At times there were some close calls and we didn’t get it right. We will work on it more.”

After the experience in Pune and Virat Kohli's rather impulsive review on day one to overturn a leg-before decision against him, it is fair to say that India was a tad circumspect on the field. An initial burst of excitement was often followed by a sedate response, for none of the decisions seemed like howlers.

Changing fortunes:

Feb. 10: Kohli-Saha's success in DRS;

Feb. 27: 'Indecision' Review System: India gets 17 out of 55 calls right

“We had to take that chance but we didn’t go for it. Probably that’s something that we can work on but we are getting better with DRS.” - Pujara

That level of caution perhaps cost the host when it chose not a review a catch off Umesh Yadav's bowling with Shaun Marsh batting on 14. Replays suggested that it had clipped the glove but only Wriddhiman Saha, the wicketkeeper, was excited. The 33-year-old went on to score a battling 66.

“We had to take that chance but we didn’t go for it,” said Pujara. “Probably that’s something that we can work on but we are getting better with DRS.”

READ: 'DRS enabled umpires to make 98.5 per cent correct calls’

After the number of reviews were reset at the turn of 80 overs, India was yet again trigger-happy. Perhaps the fact Australia was five wickets down played a part in the desperation. In a matter of seven overs it exhausted both the allotted reviews.

On Saturday, when Nathan Lyon when asked if Australia's longer experience with DRS helped them, said, “I suppose so. We've played a fair amount of cricket over the last few years with DRS but it's up to the individual.”

“We've got a really good platform now: we go straight to Matt Wade, the bowler and Steve Smith. Those three decide, and there's no other real input unless someone's seen something pretty obvious. DRS is here to stay; we've just got to use it to our advantage.”

All of this suggests that DRS isn't an exact science. It's a balancing act which can be better honed only with time, experience and better decision-making protocols. It can only be hoped that India learns from the pretty bad experience it has had in this series thus far.

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