India won't change DRS stance

Virat Kohli (Gallo Images)
Virat Kohli (Gallo Images)

Durban - India’s BCCI are unlikely to change their controversial view on the non-use of the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS) despite the horrible decision against lynchpin batsman Virat Kohli which saw him given out caught behind to the first ball of the final day at Kingsmead on Monday.

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Kohli was expected to lead India’s attempt to save the test match but a bouncer from Dale Steyn brushed his shoulder – having missed both bat and gloves – on its way through to ‘keeper AB de Villiers. The appeal for a catch was upheld by Australian umpire Rod Tucker and there was nothing to save a stunned Kohli, despite replays clearly and instantly showing that he had not touched the ball.

The DRS system is approved and used by all nine other test playing nations but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has refused to endorse the system’s use in either home matches or tours in other countries. The ICC’s regulations on playing conditions stipulate that both teams should approve of its use before a series begins.

“The BCCI have been quite open about their objections to DRS,” said legendary former opening batsman and commentator, Sunil Gavaskar. “They say it is not 100% accurate and they will not accept it until it is.”

Gavaskar, however, concurred that no amount of technology would ever be 100% accurate while it was operated by human beings: “The solution for India, perhaps, is to simplify it and then give control to the third umpire or match referee to call for a review. The Indians are sceptical about thinks like ‘Hot Spot’, ‘Snicko’ and the predictive element of ‘Hawkeye’, but in the case when straightforward television replays clearly indicate an error, then they should be used,” Gavaskar said.

Wisden India managing editor, Anand Vasu, was sceptical about whether the Indian team would change its stance, despite potentially series-changing mistakes like Kohli’s decision: “Attitudes are currently too entrenched. The players are convinced that technology produces just as many mistakes as human error, and they are a long way from changing their view,” Vasu said.

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