Is it time for the DRS to become an integral part?

Aussies Brad Haddin (front) and James Pattinson fought hard. But Haddin was declared out, through DRS.-AP Aussies Brad Haddin (front) and James Pattinson fought hard. But Haddin was declared out, through DRS.

It is all well and good to say that DRS minimises the errors in the game even if it is not 100 per cent foolproof, but how about empowering the umpires more to make use of the provision?

Well, well, well, it doesn’t seem like the DRS will ever be out of the equation, does it? Who would have thought that the final verdict in a tight Test match will be arrived at by way of a ruling through DRS?

The Ashes does have its charm in as much as an Indo-Pak series does but in recent times, the margin of victories IS getting tighter and tighter. It has to be said that the opening Test was enthralling filled with enough drama in every possible respect. Apart from a lot of tense situations, the element of controversy was not left far behind. What would have happened to the end result if Stuart Broad were not to stand his ground? Did he commit a grave mistake in not walking? Well, these are questions that will linger long after this Ashes series gets over.

There are two ways of looking at that incident. Broad was different in not doing what most players would have done automatically — that of tucking the bat under the armpit and walking away. But his optimism was justified to the surprise of many when Aleem Dar ruled him not out! It has to be said in Broad’s defence that most spontaneous of walkers have not done so when their teams were in a tight situation.

The other side of the coin is that it is better to leave the job of umpiring to the concerned authority. Besides, the Aussie captain Clarke has been accused in the past of not adhering to the spirit of the game on an occasion or two. That particular incident coupled with the Haddin ruling forged out of the DRS will arm the ones that have been in support of the DRS to be used in all series even more. Now, is it time for the DRS to become an integral part of the game? Maybe yes, but the Aussies did not particularly gain anything out of the DRS.

It is all well and good to say that DRS minimises the errors in the game even if it is not 100 per cent foolproof but how about empowering the umpires more to make use of the provision that the laws of the game provide them? I am referring to the fact that the umpires are allowed to revoke their decisions before the player leaves the field of play. That being the case, why can’t they be allowed to confer with the third umpire in the event they sense that they have made a mistake? This will enhance the respect of the umpires apart from providing them an opportunity to save their face. The ego element will vanish as some umpires might tend to feel that the DRS is a tool that enables the players to challenge their authority and self respect.

At the moment the umpires are allowed to check on whether a wicket taking delivery was fair. It will be a worthwhile exercise to allow them to do so as many as they would like to even if the technology available is limited.

For instance, Stuart Broad would surely have been given out by the third umpire if that provision were to be enforced. I am positive it would not be an exaggeration to say that particular incident was the biggest turning point of the game. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that DRS is advocated to benefit the game but its scope is limited in more sense than one. Instead the umpires can be given wider latitude to ensure that the percentage of decisions made is on the money more often than not. Human intelligence has proved to be more practical than electronic intelligence in other walks of life. Therefore it will be in the best interests of the game to rely more on human intelligence. Of course, the other option can always be a back up.