DRS - a work in progress for India

After India's missed opportunity to reverse an on-field decision on Day Two of the second Test in Visakhapatnam, former captain Sunil Gavaskar has observed India still had to learn to make the most out of DRS.

Moeen Ali's delivery to Ravindra Jadeja would have missed leg stump, according to replays.   -  Reuters

Ravindra Jadeja did not seem convinced when adjudged leg-before to off-spinner Moeen Ali in the morning session. He came down the pitch, had a word with non-striker R. Ashwin and then decided to walk to the pavilion without opening his account.

This is the normal practice in the age of DRS. The opinion of the non-striker is sought before the batsman in question goes for or against a review, if it is still available.

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In this instance though, things went horribly wrong for Jadeja. Replays showed the ball missing leg-stump. Had he taken a review he would have still been there in the middle.

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Moeen had operated from round the wicket to southpaw Jadeja and the ball had drifted down with the angle instead of straightening.

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Batsman’s call

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar shared his thoughts with Sportstar on the subject. “Eventually, it’s the batsman’s call. You see, the non-striker does not have the best view. He only sees the ball from an angle unlike the umpire who has a straight view.”

Gavaskar added, “Still, the batsman has to seek the opinion of the non-striker. But he does not always have to go by it if he himself is convinced that there is considerable doubt about the decision.”

The former India captain said, “After every 80 overs, a side’s two reviews get recharged. India was already six down and Jadeja was a key player at that point. The review could well have been taken. Like I said, eventually, it boils down to the batsman against whom a decision has been given. It’s his call.”

Gavaskar observed India still had to learn to make the most out of DRS. “These are early days for India in DRS. It will take some time but we will get better.”

Proved right

Former India opener Aakash Chopra cited the instance of Cheteshwar Pujara, straightaway, opting for DRS in the first innings of the first Test at Rajkot. “He did not consult the non-striker. He went for the DRS immediately and was proved right.”

But then, in the second innings, Pujara chose not to review when he was wrongly given leg-before to an Adil Rashid delivery that pitched outside leg.

Chopra said, “The non-striker does not have such a great view actually. If there is an inside edge, a batsman can tell. If there is no edge, it is always advisable to have a word with the non-striker. Sometimes, he too gets it wrong, it happens.”

Coach Anil Kumble said ahead of the Test that the Indians needed to get their act together on making the most out of DRS. For India, DRS is a work in progress.