DRS (Decision Review System) was launched by ICC on 24th November 2009. Since then, it’s safe to say that it’s one of the most important factors that dictate the play in modern-day Cricket.
Human error is a part of umpiring and DRS has given teams the liberty to question the on-field decisions. The major dismissals that come under DRS are caught behind and LBW. These decisions are often not taken correctly by the umpire due to distance or getting carried away with the appeal. Decisions like runout and caught out(in case of a low catch) don’t get checked with a DRS call, instead, the umpire’s call plays a huge role in them. Both DRS and the umpire’s call make use of slow-mo cameras and snicko meters.
DRS gives the teams the ability to change LBW decisions based on their intuitions. This is very important as the keeper can judge the height of the ball slightly better than the umpire. The bowler also might have a better sight of the point of impact.
DRS does have its downsides. There’s ongoing speculation about the umpire’s call which hasn’t been treated that well. The pitching of the ball, the line of the ball, whether or not the batsman is leaving the ball, some issues need to be fixed. Decisions depend on whether the stump is getting hit by more than half of the ball or not. This surely needs a slight look into.
Despite all of that, DRS has come out to be a boon for Cricket. Having a limited number of DRS makes teams act wisely and use the system only when they think it’s required. Various matches have turned due to DRS and many will continue to turn. In test matches especially, each dismissal holds immense value and teams surely can’t afford to compromise. Even if they’re not sure, bowling teams use DRS to slow down the game, hinder the rhythm of the batsman and have a quick chat to propose further plans.
In order to take correct decisions, the captain should have a chat with the keeper as well as the bowler, slip fielders also come into play. The bowler should avoid getting full of themselves and letting their emotions take over.
In the batsman’s case, they always know whether or not they’ve nicked the ball. The batsman should always consult with the non-striker before taking any decision as it might help to get a front view perspective. A poor DRS decision taken by a batsman can prove to be costly for the rest of the batting team. Just a single act of impatience can throw a team out of a tournament.
DRS provides a fair chance for all the teams to cross-check decisions with technology and act wisely. Matches, series, and even tournaments can be decided and changed by DRS. It’s a double-edged sword where alertness, mindfulness, intuition, strategy, and consultancy play a massive role in deciding the outcome. It has immensely changed Cricket and will continue to get better and smarter with time.