Contrastingly, Australia have embraced the DRS quite well © Getty Images
Contrastingly, Australia have embraced the DRS quite well © Getty Images

Former Australia speedster Mitchell Johnson, who retired from international cricket in November 2015, has weighed into the unceasing debate of the Decision Review System (DRS), appealing the cricket fraternity to abolish it and revert back to the “100-year old tradition”. The left-arm tearaway pacer was a part of the Australian team that used DRS without any qualms, pulling off many tight decisions in their favour with the help of the technology. But as Johnson speaks about doing away with the DRS completely, it does questions the guardians of the sport whether they really want to continue embracing the modern day technology coming into the game, or they want to maintain its traditional richness.

Johnson was obviously hurting for New Zealand bowlers, as as Voges, who would have been dismissed for 7 eventually fell for 239. New Zealand lost by innings and 52 runs. He wrote in a column, “In my mind, we need to decide if we want to use technology properly or not use it at all. To be honest, I’d be happy if they left everything to the on-field umpires. I’m happy to have no DRS — cricket worked pretty well without it for over 100 years. I tend to agree with India’s perspective on the DRS debate — it’s either got to be spot on, or not used at all. If we can make sure that technology is used to get the right decision every time, then that’s great. But until then, I’m not so sure.”

Johnson added, “”It worked out pretty well for ‘Vogesy’ and I’m really happy for him but as a bowler, I can tell you it’s very annoying when I see that stuff happen. Bowlers are checked for a no-ball almost every time they take a wicket, so it’s a bit strange that it can’t work the other way. Surely the third umpire could intervene?” ALSO READ: New Zealand team seek ICC answers on DRS howler

‘To err is human’, goes the saying and we do get to see the errors made by both players and officials on a regular basis. If Adam Voges was wrong in assessing the line of the delivery from Doug Bracewell by not reading the line and length correctly and shouldering it, umpire Richard Illingworth committed a blunder by signalling it as a ‘no-ball’ for overstepping. The howler had a massive impact on the outcome of the first Test between New Zealand and Australia, Was DRS of any help in this case? No. Did the umpire err, yes! If the safe-keepers of the sport cannot treat this as a landmark moment to improve the way technology is used in cricket, is it of any use at all? A resounding ‘no’ comes across as the primary answer. ALSO READ: ICC steps up effort for uniform DRS

In order to make cricket as fair as possible for all contesting parties, the ICC has been mulling over hundreds of ideas. While it keeps coming up with new ways to improve cricket, there are glaring areas which remain untouched. The one as simple as giving the TV umpire the duty to check all over-stepping bowlers will be discussed in one of the upcoming meetings, despite everyone acknowledging that what happened at Wellington should not have happened. ALSO READ: Time for ICC to take away no-ball calls from on-field umpires

India’s stance, in such cases, seems absolutely justified. The world’s richest cricket body has been asking for the technology to be made foolproof. In a way, the Indians stand vindicated every time the DRS shows ball hitting the wickets but the decision going in batsman’s favour because it was an erroneous ‘umpire’s call’.

Talking about the umpires, India captain MS Dhoni has time and again challenged them to get their decisions right on the field and stop relying on the technology a lot. But alas, the quality of umpiring too has taken a hit in the recent years.

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)