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Prepare for a loud Test series with plenty of heat on umpires

What do the three above images have in common? Yes, they’re all Indian bowlers appealing to the umpire to give a batsman out.

Another common denominator is the umpire in every case gave the answer of not out, and there wasn’t a damn thing their captain MS Dhoni could do about it.India are the only nation in the world who refuse the use of the Umpire Decision Review System, which the International Cricket Council says has increased the accuracy of decision-making in top-class cricket from 92 per cent to 96 per cent.

The logic of N. Srinivasan, the head of the Board of Control for Cricket, in going against the crowd is baffling. 

While the DRS isn’t perfect, it’s a force for good, there to stop howlers, the decisions where a batsman hits the cover off a ball and gets given out LBW or gets collected on the toe in front of middle and off peg and given not out.

It’s no slight on umpires, who we find are right more often than wrong when their decision is reviewed.

But who wouldn’t want to prevent those big cock-ups from being a thing of the past? Well, India.

This means the Test series against Australia starting this week could be decided by officials’ stuff-ups.

I also reckon India like their chances of getting under the skin of umpires Dharmasena and Erasmus and jagging a call in their favour (I wouldn’t dare suggest a lack of video referral increases the risk of match fixing, though).

Watching India, I can’t help but think they appeal more and louder than other nations (Australia are no angels here, either). But with DRS, it would be reduced hugely.

If you don’t like what the umpire says, you can go upstairs to challenge it – and you’re allowed to be wrong twice. Couldn’t be fairer.

If I was running the ICC – contact me at the email below – I’d take this further.

If a team carried on with a massive appeal (and there’s nothing wrong with appealing as a batsman can’t be given out without one), and doesn’t review it, they should be punished heavily for appealing when they didn’t think it was out.

That would shut ‘em up.

Agree or disagree? Is India out of order refusing to use the DRS? letters@tntmagazine.com

 

Toughest test to come for SBW

Sonny Bill Williams peacocked into Sydney Roosters HQ last week after nearly getting his block knocked off in the 10th round after dominating an overweight, ageing prize fighter. 

Good for him. Sonny Bill has every right to be cocky, having fought and beaten everyone he’s got in the ring with, and regardless of accusations of shenanigans, he’s a supreme athlete.

Then there’s his impressive move to rugby union which ended in making the best team in the world, the All Blacks.

But now he’s back in rugby league I don’t think things will be quite so cruisy for the bloke who deserted Bulldogs so spectacularly – he will have nowhere to hide in 26 weeks of the most brutal sport of all of those he’s excelled at.

He’ll be a target of the South Sydney Rabbitohs when he lines up in the season opener at Allianz Stadium on March 7 and every team he faces after that. Now we’ll find out what he’s really made of.

 

Photos: Getty


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Opinion: India refuse DRS but you know who'll scream loudest
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