Why Team India must face up to DRS
When one thinks of the boring aspects in cricket, slow over-rates and flat pitches come first to mind.
When one thinks of the boring aspects in cricket, slow over-rates and flat pitches come first to mind. The other thing that is getting monotonous in the game is experts bringing up India's financial clout which helps get the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) whatever they want. In this case ... the use of the Decision Review System (DRS).
What the BCCI probably need to do is call their senior players together and ask them if they have had a re-think on the DRS. If they are still not comfortable with it, then come and tell the cricketing world why this is still not acceptable.
Confront technology: Australian batsman Michael Hussey walks back
in sheer disappointment after he was wrongly adjudged out by umpire
Marais Erasmus on Day One of the Boxing Day Test against India at
Melbourne on Monday.
That there are flaws in the technology is a fair point. What is not easily acceptable is that they are not willing to give cricket a chance to be error-free. Through all this talk of BCCI's clout, the International Cricket Council's member boards don't get enough blame. It's the CEOs of various boards that decide on matters such as DRS.
The DRS issue shows the ICC with no teeth, no spark and absolutely no gumption, but whatever recommendations made by the Cricket Committee have to be ratified by the executive board and here's where India are allowed to leave each meeting happy. Remember, the ICC is a member-driven organisation.
It's quite ridiculous -- like hosting a Brazil vs Poland football game with the off-side rule and Germany vs England without it because Germany don't want it. It's interesting what ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat said in an interview when asked about India's financial wealth: "We must acknowledge that the economic might of India is good for the game. I don't begrudge India its strength. Rather, what concerns me is the weakness of other boards.
They need to find ways and means of generating revenue, of sustaining the game. They cannot operate on a dependency mentality. It's not the strength of India that is a concern to me, it's the weakness of the others."
The Australian media turned and pounced when Mike Hussey was declared out by umpire Marais Erasmus off Zaheer Khan on Day one of the Boxing Day Test. Sure, Hussey was justified in feeling hard done by, but Zaheer Khan's delivery was a work of wonder.
The Aussie media even called India coach Duncan Fletcher a hypocrite because he was a supporter of DRS before he became India coach. Did they expect Fletcher to slam his own employers? The Aussies, known for their straight-talking, must realise that there is a difference between being candid and foolhardy.
At the same time, the Indian team/BCCI should think about how their reluctance to accept this technology can backfire. Wonder what would happen in the stands and to people in front of their television sets at home if the umpire goofs up and declares Sachin Tendulkar out on 99 in a home Test or for that matter, in any of the Tests in Australia. Or will they tolerate a human error more than a technological one just like commentator Ravi Shastri did on Monday?
DRS must be implemented if it is contributing to the reduction of umpiring goof-ups. At the same time, the influence of the on-field umpire must not be chipped at. The Indian batsmen should face up to technology to crush the cynical view of them being great without accepting the DRS.
Just like the perception of them being tigers only at home has changed (Sourav Ganguly and John Wright take a bow), this line of thinking needs alteration too! At times, not all the time, image must be king. And yes, the Australian media should change their image too. For, many consider them part of their national cricket team's support staff.
Clayton Murzello is MiD-Day's Group Sports Editor