Sachin Tendulkar: Third umpire should intervene even without referral

Updated: Nov 16, 2016, 11:42 IST | Subodh Mayure

India's former batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar welcomes India's usage of DRS by BCCI, but wants to see referral system leading to only right decisions

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar played only one Test series with the Decision Review System – the 2008 contest in Sri Lanka which India lost 1-2. While other countries were happy to use it, the Indians avoided it like the plague. They copped some criticism for their stance of it being flawed, but who is to say that the DRS was bereft of flaws.

When the technology improved, the Indian cricket board agreed to use it. And that's how the ongoing India vs England Test series is a debut one for the referral system in India. The retired batting icon spoke to mid-day about the improved DRS yesterday on the eve of the 27th anniversary of his Test debut – against Pakistan at Karachi in 1989.

Excerpts:

On the anniversary of his Test debut:
November 15 is a special date for me. Something (playing for India) that I always dreamt of, actually happened that day. It will always be special for me.

On whether he was surprised at BCCI's decision to use DRS:
I was not surprised at all. I never said that whatever the BCCI felt then was permanent and they would not implement it. Over a period of time, the review system changed. I don't think it is a negative call or whatever. I support it. It's a good decision taken by BCCI. It's a positive step.

Murali Vijay (right) consoles teammate Cheteshwar Pujara after he was given out on the third day of the first Test against England in Rajkot on November 11, 2016. Pic/AFP
Murali Vijay (right) consoles teammate Cheteshwar Pujara after he was given out on the third day of the first Test against England in Rajkot on November 11, 2016. Pic/AFP

On DRS' flaws in 2008:
There were a few things that we did not like. We were not convinced about the technology and as I said, over a period of time, things changed. The technology is better and there has been more and more research, more consistency in what they are trying to achieve. We did not agree to certain things because one part of the world was using snickometer. In other parts, there was hotspot. There was a match… I think a Zimbabwe versus Bangladesh Test where no one knew what was being used. The idea is to standardise things for all parts of the world. Laws in cricket must be standardised no matter which part of the world you play in.

On Pujara's second innings dismissal at Rajkot:
In spite of Pujara being not out and DRS being there, he still ended up losing his wicket. Should the third umpire have the authority to intervene and correct the decision? I feel, yes! The whole concept behind DRS is to get correct decisions; the idea is to be consistent and be consistently correct. The third umpire should be given the authority to intervene. All three umpires should work together as a team and if the third umpire spots something, he should be in a position to tell the on-field umpire, 'I feel this is not out' or vice versa. You can overturn that decision. It's all about getting correct decisions, so you must go all the way to get it right.

On whether non-striker M Vijay should have urged Pujara to refer the decision:
See, the batsman at the other end is thinking about his own batting. He is planning how he is going to tackle the bowler. That period (at the non-striker's end) becomes a breather for the player. He takes some time off and thinks about what he wants to do and in that fraction of a second, he can miss something.

On India's advantage of using DRS in this series:
Again, it's all about getting decisions right. If India have advantages, England will also have advantages. If India have disadvantages, England too will have disadvantages — it is the same for both teams. It can't be an advantage to one team and disadvantage to another.

On how does the current England team compare with the 2012-13 touring side:
The 2012 team was an established one. There were quite a few senior players on that tour who are not around now. This is a new team, a young one as far as experience is concerned.

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