Penalised for not embracing DRS: Dhoni

New Delhi: The much-debated topic of decision review system is back to the fore again to haunt team India, however, limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni — steadfastly incisive on DRS matters — has kept his stand intact. Emphasising on the critical decisions that did not go in their favour, Dhoni questioned if the team was being penalised for not embracing DRS.


The spark into the affair was ignited after umpire Richard Kettleborough nodded ‘No’ to George Bailey’s dismissal, which the no. 4 batsman had gloved down to the wicketkeeper, the very first ball he faced. At that juncture, Aussies were 21 for 2, and then went on to win the match — riding high on the century from the lucky one; and of course, outshining an impressive 171* from classy Sharma.


At the post-match conference on Tuesday, Dhoni could well be seen unhappy with some of the umpires’ decisions. "It could have (changed the course of match) but, at the same time, we need to push the umpires to make the right decision and you have to see how many 50-50 decisions don't go in our favour and it always happens.” said Dhoni. “It always happens, then you have to take it.”


If one would try to interpret between the lines of the ever-calm captain, he wouldn’t fail to notice the pain he was in: not merely on losing the game, but also for often being victim of the umpires’ misjudgment. However, this couldn’t influence his outlook on the DRS. “I may agree with you... But, I am still not convinced about DRS," a determined Dhoni said.


Why India shies away from DRS?


DRS or the decision review system mainly utilizes three technologies: Hawk-eye, Hot-Spot and Snicko, neither of which could be relied on completely. It, sometimes, gets difficult to ascertain the difference between an actual edge, or when the bat hits pad; moreover, petroleum jelly counteracts the hot-spot technology — which Indian fan would possibly forget that humiliating moment in 2011, when England asked Laxman to check his bat if it were free of wax.


"First DRS should ideally be the decision-making system," Dhoni started when he was asked if the team was united in opposing the technology. "If you see the deviations in DRS, there are quite a few deviations. Even the makers agree that can happen. Now you have to also take into account whether it was given not out or out. If it was given out it needs to touch the stump (for the decision to remain out); if it was not out it needs to hit half the stump (to be given out). That itself makes the variable too big. In cricket every inch, every millimetre, matters.


"DRS should not be the umpires' decision justification system. It should be giving the right decision. Like in tennis you don't say the umpire called it out and half the ball has to pitch inside the line. It has to be plain and simple. You don't have to keep too many things in consideration. You either say, 'This is DRS, doesn't matter whether it is given out or not out, if half the ball is hitting the stumps, you are out.' Irrespective of the decision. Now, for example, you take DRS, in an lbw decision, what changes everything is whether it was given in favour or not. It can mean a margin of one inch overall, and that is very big."


By: Mayank Mohanti