We must accept DRS as it will only benefit our cause: Harbhajan Singh

Current and former players question BCCI's refusal to accept technology after plenty of decisions go against India in ongoing Test series in Australia

New Delhi: With close decisions going against India of late, current and former cricketers feel it is high time the BCCI give its nod to the contentious Decision Review System (DRS) as refusal to accept technology is hurting the team badly.

Cheteshwar Pujara looks disappointed after being given out caught
Cheteshwar Pujara looks disappointed after being given out caught behind from a short-pitched delivery by Josh Hazlewood (left) on Day One of the second Test against Australia in Brisbane on Wednesday. Replays indicated the ball came off the grille of his helmet. Pic/Getty Images.

India were at the receiving end of at least five contentious umpiring decisions in the lost first two Tests against Australia, prompting skipper MS Dhoni to say that the tourists are being more hard done. But he continued to hold the view that having DRS would not help the side’s cause too much.

However, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh feels that it’s time that India accepted DRS in its current form as it would only help the team during close Test matches.

‘DRS will only benefit’
“I believe it’s time that we accepted the DRS as it will only benefit our cause. If you look, in both Test matches, India were very competitive but there were key moments when our boys got a raw deal,” Harbhajan told PTI yesterday.

“I can recall four decisions. Shikhar’s (Dhawan) caught behind in the second innings in Adelaide. (Cheteshwar) Pujara’s caught behind in the first innings of second Test followed by Rohit (Sharma) and R Ashwin’s decision in the second innings. Had DRS been there, all these decisions were sure to be overturned and we might have been in a winning position in both Test matches,” Harbhajan opined.

“Even if I take it for a fact that DRS is not foolproof and 100 per cent accurate, from a personal point of view, even 90 per cent accurate DRS can get you key decisions at key moments in your favour,” said Harbhajan.

However, VVS Laxman is still not ready to warm up to DRS as he still believes that key issues like full-fledged accuracy of Hotspot or Hawk-Eye still can’t be determined. “Any technical foolproof system to provide accurate decisions is always welcome. I am not against DRS, but the system is still a long way from being foolproof.”

Mohammed Azharuddin, however, is of the opinion that if ICC has approved DRS, then it’s not a great thing if BCCI is turning a blind eye. “When other cricket playing nations are not averse to using it (DRS) then why is India ignoring it?” questions Azhar.

‘It has hurt us’
Dilip Vengsarkar admitted that he wasn’t in favour of DRS earlier but is ready to accept it after umpiring howlers in Adelaide and Brisbane. “I was of the opinion that DRS is not 100 percent foolproof but it seems we have to go for the technology now. A lot of easy decisions have gone against us and that has hurt us badly in the series.”

Legendary spinner Erapalli Prasanna and former India opener Chetan Chauhan also spoke in the same vein about accepting DRS in its current form. “From the beginning, I have been vocal about using DRS. Why isn’t it being used? Ask the BCCI,” was Prasanna’s terse comment on the subject.

Chauhan said: “Cricket is a game where one bad decision can change the course of the match. You don’t want to lose out on key moments due to umpiring errors. I am a fan of DRS from the beginning. Let’s use it in its current form and let the technical team work on it to make it even better. Right now, what we have is good enough to be used,” Chauhan said.

Ajit Wadekar was also overwhelmingly in favour of DRS: “India have been the worst sufferers for not using DRS. England and Australia have benefited and we must also start using DRS.”

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