The first Ashes Test between Australia and England was a humdinger, with wickets tumbling, records being broken, a nail-biting finish and a heroic performance from James Anderson.
It also provided plenty of talking points courtesy of the Decision Review System, or DRS. Jonathon Trott was given out when he was not out because Hot Spot replays were not available. The operator had forgotten to flip a switch. But the biggest howler was also possibly the turning point in the match.
Stuart Board got a huge nick with bounced off Brad Haddin before settling in first slips’ hands. Except umpire Aleem Dar did not give out, Broad did not walk and Australia had used up their reviews. Broad batted on and his partnership with Ian Bell was crucial in England setting Australia a fourth innings target over 300.
On SportsTalk, veteran cricket writer Ayaz Memon said the Broad non-dismissal exposed a critical flaw in the current system of DRS.
“The more alarming thing for me is that it is actually promoting cheating in a sense. Let me explain Stuart Broad’s case – the two reviews available to the Australians have been used up and Michael Clarke admitted later he did not use them properly. He gambled with them rather than employing them.
“Stuart Broad knows the opposing team has no reviews left and he knows he has edged the ball. This is the Ashes series, it is a big contest and he doesn’t want to walk Fair enough, from a player’s point of view. But he has got an edge. Now suppose there was a review pending, I think he would have walked. He would not have waited for the decision because it was a such a thick edge.”
Memon also felt the system was inequitable and favoured star batsmen or bowlers, who might use up a team’s reviews simply because they had a sense of entitlement, leaving the lower order or lesser bowlers to fend for themselves.
“It is not an even-stevens situation,” Memon said.
Watch the full discussion on the DRS with Ayaz Memon and Pulasta Dhar in the video above and let us know what you think about the DRS in the comments below.