14 Apr

The BCCI's newly introduced "limited" Decision Review System (DRS) in the Domestic Ranji Trophy semi-finals and final doesn't include the ball-tracking facility. This means that the third umpire cannot overturn an on-field decision where the only doubt is if the ball would hit the stumps or not. Similarly, the fielding side cannot review an lbw decision if the on-field umpire thinks the ball would have missed the stumps. During the recent Saurashtra-Gujarat Ranji Trophy semi-final in Rajkot, Chirag Jani had shouldered arms to a Roosh Kalaria delivery that pitched outside off and hit him on the pads. The finger went up and when Jani asked for a review, he was denied, though Saurashtra had all their four reviews in hand.

Players believe that limited DRS has helped in bringing down very poor decisions, but that it could be improved by allowing the third umpire to judge ball trajectory. " Abhimanyu Mithun, a Karnataka fast bowler, has openly called for the BCCI to invest in the ball-tracker next season.  Mithun said the players were still figuring out how the limited DRS worked and he himself was puzzled - like Jani - regarding the lbw calls specifically. Former Mumbai captain Amol Muzumdar, who was one of the commentators for Star for the Rajkot semi-final, said the limited DRS was not "foolproof" in its current form. "The ball-tracker is the essence of the DRS," he said. "Ultimately it's the ball-tracker that leads the third umpire to the decision. If the ball-tracker is not there, it's not fool proof at all. Overall, Muzumdar said the system would also help domestic players get comfortable about how and when to ask for reviews. "The second takeaway is the domestic players will get used to taking the DRS, or start thinking in those terms," he said. "We see when India use a review in an international game, the success ratio is pathetic. The way we take the DRS is just appalling, we have no idea how to take it. "But at the same time you have to understand that in domestic cricket we never use the DRS. So we don't know how to use it and when to use it.”

Brian Sturgess


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