Kohli out or not? Spotlight on DRS

Kohli out or not? Spotlight on DRS

Kohli out or not? Spotlight on DRS

Virat Kohli’s controversial dismissal in India’s second innings here on Monday has put the Decision Review System (DRS) in the spotlight again.

In the 33rd over of the innings, umpire Nigel Long upheld Josh Hazlewood’s appeal for leg before against Kohli and the Indian skipper immediately wanted a review of the decision.

He was confident that he had hit the ball before it struck him on the pad, but repeated replays did not conclusively establish the fact that he had edged it first. Third umpire Richard Kettleborough asked Long to stay with his decision, which is the rule in such situations.

To make it clearer, had Long not given Kohli out and if Australia had reviewed it, the batsman would have remained not out under the same circumstances. The umpire’s call gets precedence in these instances. The Indian team, however, wasn’t too happy with the verdict against their best batsman.

“We were all a bit surprised by the call,” said the Indian team’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar. “Was there a conclusive evidence to make that call or there wasn’t any conclusive evidence…That is something the match referee will look into and have a chat about. Obviously, Virat was really pumped up and he is a big match player. He wanted to succeed very badly in this innings. But it was a normal (disappointed) reaction of a batsman in the dressing room when he gets out cheaply,” Bangar explained.

India, who began using DRS only from the England home series last year, don’t use HotSpot technology which is used in deciding whether the ball has struck the batsman’s bat or pad – a very critical point in determining if a batsman is out or not.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) instead have UltraEdge, approved by the International Cricket Council, and serves the same purpose. The difference being where HotSpot provides infrared images to determine the point of impact, UltraEdge does so without the image.

There isn’t any conclusive evidence to prove one technology is better than the other. There have been instances when even HotSpot has come under scrutiny. But then there is no harm in having all the technology available at ones disposal.

The BCCI wanted to have HotSpot as part of DRS but since the cameras used in this case are of military grade, there are logistical issues involved in importing the technology from Australia.   
Bangar, however, said the bad experience with DRS has not shaken their faith in the system. “I don’t think it has gone to that extent,” he stressed. “We are new to DRS and the rules have been tweaked a bit. It is very much the umpire’s call which becomes really crucial. We haven’t really sat down and evaluated it. It is new to us and we are learning with as many games we are playing with DRS”, Bangar added.