Mind the ‘T’

Science, today, has found home in any field you name, and cricket wasn’t left behind. With a view to curb umpiring blunders and to promote a fair game, ICC introduced the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS) in 2008. Today 9 years post the inclusion, there still exists confusion over its conclusive and decisive use in international cricket. Hotspot, ultra-edge and the hawk-eye assisting systems were timely transformed and corrected but the resulting confusion led India to restrict its use in home seasons for 5 years. Today, when India eventually has the technology in use, Virat’s ability and choices to avail the facility is under immense criticism.

MS Dhoni mastered the art of reviews in the ICC Tournaments he led India in. Firm confidence, strong intuitions and ample of cricketing sense made him a captain of grit, determination and apt results. Be it ICC Cricket World Cups or Champions Trophy, the recent triumphs India has experienced owe a significant credit to DRS. Virender Sehwag was the first ever batsman to be given out after a DRS aid in 2008. Since then, DRS has also had it’s share of controversies and trolls with ‘Brain Fade’ and ‘Dharamshala Review System’ being the most recent.

Here’s an insight to DRS system:
The captain can challenge umpire’s decision on behalf of the team. With just two unsuccessful reviews permitted per 80 overs, they need to be used cautiously.
The process:
1) Checking the legitimacy of the delivery:

A routine front foot and bounce check of the ball to confirm the legitimity of the delivery is a compulsion.
2)Checking for an edge using Snicko: With appeals for a bat-pad, caught behind or LBW, ultra edge technology is put in use where the change in pitch of the snickometer on impact provides a conclusive evidence of ball hitting the bat. However a benefit of doubt is given to the batsman on indecisive calls

3) Hotspot: Being a rare French connection, Hotspot was found in Paris and first adopted in local cricket by Australia. Along with snicko, hotspot is also used to determine the interaction between the bat and the ball.  Evolving from the theory of friction and infrared sensors, hotspot is one of the most controversial inclusions in the DRS. Infact, even the ICC now plans a deduction or modification of the method. VVS Laxman being accused for coating his bat with Vaseline in the 2011 tour.
4) Hawk eye: Ball tracking as it is also called is used to trace the path of the ball. It stimulates the possible trajectory taking all external factors into account. The condition of the pitch, bounce, spin, weather, pitch and all other factors are well calculated before the result. It follows the LBW rules and righteously assists the umpire. A flaw in the 2.5m rule in DRS was effectively removed post the 2011 world cup due to varied glitches.
5) To check if catch is clearly taken: Review can also be asked to check if the catch is cleanly taken. Generally umpires would refer a close call but the batsman also has a right to ask review if he’s confirm of a bump ball or any such case.

6) To simply try his luck: An important team batsman or a last-wicket tailender uses DRS as a last throw of dice to hope his wicket is overturned.

DRS is certainly an aid to cricket even with all its flaws and conflicts. In this Cricketing  revolution, amidst all controversies and speculations, DRS still perseveres in its endeavour to promote a fair and clean game.