The first day of the Melbourne Test had brought back the haunting memories of the Sydney Test of 2008, only this time the hosts were at the receiving end. Of course nobody can match up to the erroneous level of Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson of 2008, we saw a couple of dubious decisions.
Michael Hussey was especially unfortunate to be given out first ball when umpire Marais Erasmus adjudged him caught behind. Replays showed Zaheer Khan's bouncer had come off Hussey's sleeve.
A few overs later, Ian Gould gave debutant Ed Cowan out caught behind off R Ashwin, although Hot Spot showed no contact, and the batsman appeared to be surprised at the decision. None of these decisions could have been referred since the BCCI refused to have it in the series. Ever since the Decision Review System was introduced, the Indian Cricket Board has been consistently against it.
The question is should technology be used or shall we have the game in its traditional form that leaves 'not so brutal' room for human errors? The world was at peace when umpires had the final say and nobody questioned his authority.
The problem is not with the usage of technology but the way it is used. India was the first team to have played under DRS in 2008, and from the very beginning they have been at the receiving end. Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag were among the very few who want DRS. But after the horrendous England tour, if Dravid had second thoughts about, one doesn't know. He had three decisions going against him.
None of the elements of the DRS is fool-proof. Hot Spot, Hawk-Eye, Snickometer all have technical glitches which leave one with doubts. We have seen in the past that Hot Spot sometimes failed to catch faint edges.
While Hawk-Eye's glitch came to the fore during the India-England match in the ICC World Cup when an lbw appeal and then a referral against Ian Bell was rejected. The Hawk-Eye replay showed that the delivery would have hit the stumps, the Indians were incensed when the referral was quashed on the grounds that Bell had been struck more than 2 metres from the stumps, the distance at which the technology wanes and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Later on the distance was increased to 2.5 metres.
But such alterations and changes should first be tested and used at the domestic levels all over the world. The International Cricket Council should first negate all the follies of the DRS rather than test various aspects of the system at the international level make changes. What's the hurry? Cricket has evolved and still going strong without the DRS, and it can wait for some more time till all controversial and negative points have been crossed successfully. Are the cricket bosses listening?