Former Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has reacted to the Decision Review System (DRS) controversy in the third Test between India and South Africa in Cape Town.
During the 21st over of the fourth innings, on-field umpire Marais Erasmus adjudged South Africa captain Dean Elgar out LBW of Ravichandran Ashwin’s bowling. However, the Proteas’ skipper reviewed the on-field decision. Hawk-Eye showed the ball going over the top of stumps and overturned the decision.
The trajectory shown by Hawk-Eye left the cricketing fraternity baffled. The Indian team, including captain Virat Kohli, battered the broadcaster, SuperSport, for the doubtful outcome of the review.
Ajmal, speaking to PakPassion, recalled a decade-old World Cup incident in the all-important semi-final against arch-rivals India. He expressed his disappointment at the DRS overturning a decision involving the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar. He said:
"When an obvious decision goes against you, then you realize how difficult it is to accept. There is no way my delivery to Sachin Tendulkar from the 2011 World Cup was missing the stumps, just like the Ashwin delivery to Elgar today wasn't missing the stumps."
"When the Sachin Tendulkar decision from the 2011 World Cup was overturned on review, I was told that the technology should be trusted & is accurate. Today, those same people are saying the technology should not be trusted and is not accurate."
The DRS overturning Tendulkar’s wicket in the erstwhile World Cup match proved to be match-defining. Tendulkar was on 23 when he was adjudged out by umpire Ian Gould but DRS overturned the decision. He went on to score 85 in that match, picking up the Man of the Match award.
“There is no way that the ball was going over the stumps” – Saeed Ajmal on Dean Elgar’s review
Saeed Ajmal stated after multiple viewings of the incident that he felt Dean Elgar was out. He said:
“I've watched the Dean Elgar review a few times today. There is no way that the ball was going over the stumps. The ball hit him on the knee-roll and he was out."
Match officials and commentators also expressed their disbelief at the Hawk-Eye ball-tracking. Umpire Marais Erasmus was caught on the stump-mic saying the trajectory that Hawkeye predicted was impossible. Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar was also in disbelief while broadcasting for Star Sports.
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South Africa won the final Test of the series against India on Day 4. In the chase, the hosts rode on to Petersen's half-century followed by an unbeaten 57-run stand between Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma.