It has become painfully obvious during the first two Tests against Australia that India should be given unlimited DRS reviews. The controlling body for Indian cricket the BCCI were very reluctant to accept the DRS system, refusing to play under it for years, and now we can see why.
Unlike most cricket teams, the Indians genuinely believe that every appeal they make in the field is clearly out. When batting they truly believe that any decision given against them must surely be wrong. Any on-field umpire who disagrees must either be partially blind or on the take.
The current DRS protocol allows each team two incorrect reviews per new ball and this is just not enough. India routinely blow their allotted reviews within the first 20 overs, leaving them another 60 overs of wild appeals without official scrutiny. It’s agonising to watch, you can tell by the ferocity of their appeals that they are missing out on so many wickets. Of course, no opposition team would score more than 20 runs if all their appeals were “correctly” upheld.
Australia’s first innings in Bangalore was a perfect example. India used their first allotment of reviews fairly early and had to wait until the second new ball for two more. They used the first of those on a LBW appeal against Shaun Marsh which was clearly out, unless you were the umpire or the DRS system or anyone watching on television.
Not long after Matthew Wade stuck his front pad down the wicket to a ball which pitched half a metre outside leg stump. The ball spun, flicked the top of his pad before brushing his shoulder on the way through to the keeper. The Indians were adamant that he was out, it’s not certain whether they liked the look of the LBW or the caught behind, but Ravichandran Ashwin simply knew Wade had to go. The DRS system did its job and showed the ball pitching outside leg and missing the bat and glove. Reviews all gone and 65 overs remaining until the next set.
When the ICC devised the two review system, they clearly did not take into account the inherent arrogance of the India cricket team. The captain alone needs to have limitless reviews when he is batting, because he is never out. When Virat Kohli was bowled not playing a shot in the second innings of the First Test he stood there for an uncomfortable amount of time, trying to work out how he could possibly be out. He looked like he was seriously considering a DRS review. In the first innings of the Second Test he allowed the ball to hit him in front of middle and leg (see photo) and promptly reviewed the decision.
It’s not known whether the Indians would be happier with limitless reviews, because quite often it’s the actual rules of the game that seem to be letting them down. It is hoped that another benefit of limitless reviews would be the constant re-enforcement of the vagaries of the game, like the ball pitching outside leg LBW law. Of course under the new protocol, each day’s play would have to be extended by at least two hours to allow the third umpire enough time to carry out all the reviews.
The administrators are constantly looking for ways to improve cricket. For the sake of all Indians who live and breathe this great game, the ICC has to change the rules to allow unlimited DRS reviews – preferably before Kohli bats in the second innings.