Will India accept the Decision Review System?

India may have not accepted the Decision Review System (DRS) saying it is not foolproof, but the debate is not likely to die any time soon.

The question of whether India should accept the controversial DRS like the other International Cricket Council (ICC) members, has popped up again. This time at WACA in the 1st ODI against Australia on Tuesday.

In a high scoring match, the result could have gone India’s way if umpire Richard Kettlebrough had lifted his index finger when debutant Brainder Sran’s length ball brushed Australian batsman George Bailey’s glove before reaching the safe hands of wicket-keeper Dhoni. However, it wasn’t so.

The umpire ruled out the appeal by the bowling team when the Australians were struggling at 21 for 2. The replays and the hotspot technology clearly showed that the ball kissed the gloves, but the umpire thought otherwise.

This saw the No.4 Bailey, who would have been cooling heels in the dressing room if there was DRS, went on to score a 120-ball 112 and helped his team coast to a five-wicket win, chasing a competitive 310 in 49.2 overs. The win saw the hosts take a 1-0 lead in the five match series.

Not just that, Bailey was involved in a record-breaking partnership of 142 runs for the third wicket with skipper Steven Smith (149).

Dhoni, however, has remained adamant against DRS terming it not 100 per cent foolproof. The Board of Control for Cricket in India, too, has similar views on the technology.

“It could have (changed the result of the game) but at the same time, we need to push the umpires to take the right decision. You have to see how many 50-50 decisions don’t go in our favour. And it always happens that you have to take it but I am still not convinced about DRS,” Dhoni said in the post match presser.

The ICC has been able to convince other countries about the technology but not BCCI and Dhoni. The world body uses the technology in its events, but it has left it to the boards on the use of DRS during the bilateral series.

If not Dhoni, then teammate and Test captain Virat Kohli had during the Sri Lanka series had indirectly stressed on the importance of DRS and implied that he was open for a debate on the topic.

“We are not using it in this series. It is not an issue that I would want to debate on at the moment. Once the series is over, we will sit down and think how important is it and how much do we want to use it,” Kohli said after losing the first Test Galle.

In fact, Kohli after the one off Test against Bangladesh in Fatullah had said that he was open for discussion on the system and appeared positive. Immediately after Kohli showed his positive intent on its use, the then BCCI president Dalmiya had said: “It is clarified that the stand taken on the Decision Review System (DRS) by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) remains the same as on date.

“But that does not mean we would not be open to discussions internally on whether the DRS could be used partially or in its modified version during bilateral series.”

Former India cricketer and currently an expert on TV, Nayan Mongia is surprised that the Indians have not accepted the system.

“I don’t know why. There is no point of not accepting it when the trechnology is available. DRS if not foolproof but it at east give you an opportunity to review a decision. If we had accepted the DRS, we could have gone to the third umpire when Bailey nicked to wicket-keeper on the very first ball he faced before going to make a century,” said Mongia.

Mongia said technology is something that can be foolproof. “It keeps on evolving. You won’t find any technology to be 100 per cent perfect, no matter what you use. But it still has scope for improvement,” he said.

Mongia, who was an ace wicket-keeper, believes that if DRS is available then a ‘keeper is the best person to decide if one should appeal against a decision.

“Wicket-keepers play an important role as far as DRS goes. They are the right men to consult in this considering they stand at a very crucial position from where they can judge if it’s worth going for the third umpire like when Dhoni appealed for that particular nick,” he added.