Opinions divided on DRS’ efficacy

Published : Aug 24, 2013 00:00 IST



Cricket needs to be played in the right spirit, wherein the umpires on the field are the ultimate adjudicators.

It is rather ironical to see that the BCCI’s stance on the DRS is slowly but steadily gaining popularity after several debatable decisions in the ongoing Ashes. All along, the BCCI was accused of throwing in its financial might to thwart the ICC efforts in getting the DRS employed in all the international matches. Now that the technology has failed to convince the authorities of the otherwise powerful nations during the ongoing Ashes, opinions are divided on its efficacy. I suppose, it is a case of the wearer feeling the pinch of the shoe, but the most ridiculous suggestion came from the providers of the technology.

Their contention is that the batsmen should stop using the protective tape on the bat! Batsmen have been using such tapes for ages and it is perhaps unthinkable to see them embracing that view. Come on, the next thing we will hear from the technicians is that cricket has to be played with material that will make DRS foolproof. The onus is on the maker of the technology to provide a system that minimises the errors committed on the playing field.

While there is no doubt that it is extremely difficult to get a 100 percent efficiency, the DRS has been found wanting rather badly. As much as science can be useful to enhance the quality of cricket, to make it a slave to science will create more issues than solutions. I say this because scientific findings in a lab prompted the ICC to bring in a rule, allowing bowlers to flex their elbows upto 15 degrees. This has provided an escape route for many bowlers with questionable action. Cricket needs to be played in the right spirit, wherein the umpires on the field are the ultimate adjudicators. In a bid to make them more proficient, a lot of backend support systems have been brought in, but unfortunately the results have not been extraordinarily different. Gone are the days when players and umpires had a word or two about some contentious decisions off the field and moved on with it.

Amidst all the controversies and debates, the highlights on the field of play during the Ashes have been pushed to the backburner. The home side has played some good cricket but it has to be said that the Englishmen had the rub of the green in every respect, be it the referrals or weather. In a tight game the element of luck does play a critical role and the Aussies perhaps got the wrong end of the stick, repeatedly. However, that does not compromise the batting efforts of Ian Bell ( in pic.), who has been the bugbear of the Aussies. He is technically so good, that he adapts to different conditions, and performs head-and-shoulders above some of his colleagues. He plays the ball late and takes his time, and the decisiveness in his footwork is remarkable. In a series where the bowlers have called the shots, Bell has silently come out on top. He will get overshadowed by the aura of Kevin Pietersen alright, but the discerning will realise the value he provides to the team.

The other person who will remember this series is Chris Rogers, who has waited a long time to get his green and gold baggy. The elegance that is deemed synonymous with a left-hander may be missing in his batting but the determination to make his opportunities count was evident. It is not easy to make one’s debut in the mid-30’s but Rogers displayed the hunger that is characteristic of an aspiring cricketer, who wants to play a decade and a half of international cricket. His maiden hundred in the Ashes is something that he will cherish but there is a possibility of it going in vain. Nonetheless, his personal success will no doubt give him pleasure and he can’t be blamed if he were to think what might have been if he was given the cap a few years earlier.

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