Bailey dismissal sparks DRS debate again
India's opposition to the Decision Review System (DRS) has been well documented. They are the only country to not use the controversial system that was put in place to help umpires and rid the game of any glaring errors.
However, MS Dhoni, the Indian ODI captain, said the current system is based more as a means to justify umpires' calls rather than make the right decision. Dhoni also said that he 'may' agree with the notion that umpires are punishing his side for not using the DRS and that they give a decision against his side when there are 50-50 calls.
The topic popped up again after India missed out on dismissing George Bailey for a first-ball duck despite the right-hander gloving the ball down the leg-side. Barinder Sran had got the right-hander to feather behind to Dhoni, but the appeal was turned down by the umpire. Bailey went on to forge a match-winning 200-run partnership with Steve Smith, his skipper, as Australia beat India by five wickets. Bailey ended up scoring 112 in his side's successful chase of the visitors' 309 for 3.
Dhoni was asked by an Australian journalist if his 'position regarding the DRS had changed given that George Bailey, had DRS been used, would've been dismissed first ball'? Dhoni shot back, asking "Are you indirectly saying that we don't get decisions in our favour because we don't use DRS?"
"It could have (changed the outcome of the game)," Dhoni added. "But at the same time, we need to push the umpires to take the right decision. You have to see how many 50-50 decisions don't go in our favour. And it always happens that you have to take it but I am still not convinced about DRS," he said.
Dhoni said he did feel that there was some glove involved, but he wasn't a 100% sure Bailey was out. "From behind, unless it's very clear, it is always difficult to tell. It sounded like glove, but if you ask me if I was 100% sure, I won't say I was. It happens, you appeal sometimes, it goes in your favour, and sometimes it doesn't."
While he was ready to admit that calls sometimes go your way, and sometimes the opponents, Dhoni opined that if a system is put in place it should be absolute and not 'make the variables too big'.
"Ideally, what the DRS should be, it should be a decision-making system. If you see the deviation in the DRS, there's a bit of it. Even the makers agree that deviations can happen. And now, you have to take into account whether it was given out or not. And if it was not-out, then half the ball needs to hit the stump and all that. So that itself makes the variables too big. And in cricket every inch, every millimetre matters.
"DRS shouldn't be umpires decision justification system," he added. "In tennis, there is nothing which says 'the umpire has given it out, and half the ball needs to pitch inside the line, and if he has given it not-out, then the scenario is different'. The rules need to be plain and simple.
"You need to say this is what DRS is. It doesn't matter whether you are given out or not out, if half the ball hits the stumps then, irrespective of the decision, you are out. For example, you take DRS and in an LBW decision, what changes everything is whether the LBW was given or not. It can mean a margin of one inch overall and in cricket that's very big," he explained.
The Indian captain was also asked if he felt his side was being punished by the umpires because of their opposition to DRS. Although the Indian captain refused to take a side, he did drop a hint about his opinion, saying "I may agree with you."