Proteas

Biff backs the use of DRS

Graeme Smith (AFP)
Graeme Smith (AFP)

Johannesburg - The use of technology in cricket adds extra pressure on the captaincy but definitely has its advantages, Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith said on Wednesday.

"I'm a big fan of technology and it's become a part of the modern game," Smith said at SuperSport's launch of its 24-hour cricket channel in Johannesburg.

The Decision Review System (DRS), which allowed captains to review two decisions per match, involved a certain skill in itself.

"It's added a lot more pressure and intricacy to the captaincy now that maybe some captains don't really want or haven't coped with as well," he said.

"You also have to be reliant on your wicketkeeper and we don't always get it right."

The 112 Test veteran said the use of the DRS and Hotspot camera had sometimes been the difference between winning and losing games.

"From a playing perspective, we've certainly played in a series or two where technology has saved us a massive shocker which could have cost us a Test match or someone's career," he said.

While poor decisions had not been totally eliminated from the game, the technology itself was not to blame and Smith suggested human error still crept into its application.

"I've never seen it [Hotspot] as bad as what it was in the last Ashes series," he said.

"There are times where, as a team, you are 100% sure that someone has edged the ball and yet it doesn't show up on Hotspot.

"The system can improve. The challenge is that we don't want to take human error from the field into the television box and that needs to be fixed."

Smith said the system would benefit from player input, particularly those with recent experience in the game.

"I'd like for the people who decide on the system to get a few modern players involved in the decision-making and let them air a few views to get the right options in place," Smith said.

"I'd like to see technology stay and I think the fans love it."

Meanwhile, Smith said the current pressures made it impossible to have one captain for all three formats of the game.

"Obviously you would like consistent leadership, but with the amount of cricket and the stresses of leadership, it's not possible to captain Tests, one-day games and T20s.

"It's always important to make sure another player is making an impact with fresher ideas.

"Like England -- they have Alastair Cook as captain over two formats but he doesn't captain the T20 side. It gives the captain a bit of time away from the game. You sometimes need that bit of time to get a better place emotionally."

Smith felt the right combinations were still a work in progress and could do with a bit of tinkering.

"The three-format thing is so new, so I don't think anyone really knows what works yet.

"The three of us -- AB de Villiers (ODI captain) and Faf du Plessis (T20 captain) and I -- have a good relationship. We have a good understanding of where we are trying to go in South African cricket."

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