India's dismal affair with the Decision Review System
What’s the story?
Virat Kohli was keen on having the Decision Review System (DRS) in place but the Indian skipper has had a dismal success rate which indicates that referrals are not exactly his cup of tea.
The five Test match series against England is where the DRS made its debut in India and since then out of 7 matches which have had 55 referrals, India have only made 17 correct decisions.
This comprises both fielding and batting statistics and the success percentage is at a mere 30.9 percent.
Speaking about it former India wicket-keeper batsman Deep Dasgupta told PTI,” DRS should be strictly used for howlers. And it is a tool to help umpires be as accurate as possible. For me an umpire's call should only be challenged in case of leg before if a player is absolutely sanguine that he has had an inside edge onto the pads.”
"Every batsman knows if he has had an edge or not. So if anyone thinks that ball tracker will help him, he should get the concept right. As far as fielding team's referrals are concerned, the wicketkeeper should be the DRS captain. He should be assertive enough if need be to tell the skipper that don't go for it. The keeper's conviction makes it easier for the skipper."
In case you did not know
When MS Dhoni was leading team India he had reservations about using the DRS but then again his successor Kohli is quite a follower of the system.
However, time and again his players have wasted review opportunities. In a few cases, it has been an act of desperation like in Pune where openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul wasted two reviews in six overs.
It did not matter as the Indians were convincingly beaten but it could have cost the team had someone like a Virat Kohli played a big innings and then got a raw deal.
The heart of the matter
But only the batting referrals haven’t been the problem. They got 7 successful reviews out of 13 taken but then the fielding referrals have been disastrous.
The Indians have just got 10 correct out of 42 which they have taken in all seven Tests combined. While the final call for the review rests with the skipper of the side, it is often the wicket-keeper who is the best judge of it.
While Wriddhiman Saha has been brilliant with his glovework, he has not been able to assert his authority when Virat is needed to take a final call.
It will be interesting to see how the Indian team approaches the DRS now. They know they have been making mistakes repeatedly and maybe Kohli will consult his close in fielders more than go by his gut feeling.
There are still three more Test matches to go in this series and India should be careful with their reviews so that it does not come back to haunt them when they need it the most.
Published 28 Feb 2017, 11:46 IST