The BCCI has been adamant against the use of the Decision Review System for a while, but India captain Virat Kohli has said that he is open to discussing the matter with his team, moving forward into a long season in the subcontinent.
“You have to sit and analyse and ask the bowlers what they feel about it. Ask the batters what they feel about that,” Kohli said after the only Test in Fatullah. “We literally just came into this Test match with very less time on hand. So now that we have time, I am sure these discussions will take place.”
India are the only team who insist on not using DRS in a series, but things appear to be changing. Last year, Kohli’s predecessor MS Dhoni had opened up on the possibility of India changing their mind about DRS if it would assess an appeal independently and not try to “justify” the on-field umpire’s call.
The situation has changed a long way from when N Srinivasan, then BCCI president, dubbed DRS “a faulty system” in October 2013.
Earlier this month, ICC CEO Dave Richardson said the BCCI doesn’t want DRS because it goes “against the spirit of cricket.” The ICC argued that umpires getting heavily criticised and teams threatening to leave a series due to umpiring are reasons to consider the DRS.
“We have always said that we would like to have the same rules for everybody as far as DRS is concerned and implement it on a uniform, consistent basis,” Richardson said. “The fact is though one of our members doesn’t want DRS, they have a number of concerns regarding DRS. The major one being in their view the principle of a player reviewing an umpire’s decision goes against the grain of what the spirit of cricket is all about.
“Our argument has always been ‘well, what’s better? An umpire being accused of a cheat, his effigy being burnt, teams threatening to go home in the middle of a series because they are upset with umpiring decisions. Is that good for the game? Or the altercation where an umpiring decision need to be changed even if he is a little bit embarrassed by having to change his decision?'”
He said that the ICC is testing the technology to make it more accurate and reliable. He was confident that through these processes, the BCCI will agree on the DRS.
“Ideally, we want the players to accept the decisions and walk off although historically that has not always happened, Richardson said.” We think it is better for the game that we get as many decisions correct as possible. Ideally we want to be uniform but we are not there yet. What Geoff [Allardice, ICC general manager] is arranging is the testing of the technology so that everyone believes and trusts what the technology is supposed to be delivering is accurate and reliable. Once we get over that hurdle, the confidence in the DRS will grow and eventually we will end up with everybody accepting it.
“Down the line, may we get to develop the technology to such an extent that we can revert to the umpire being in control, whether the decision is to be reviewed or not. That is not in the realms of possibility but at this stage, the technology isn’t such that a system like that will work. That is an objection in principle that they have.”
For Kohli, however, the process of accepting the DRS starts in much smaller steps.