India benefit from decision review system

Steve Larkin

They're still reluctant to play in the dark. But India's Test cricketers must be rapt they have changed their tune on the decision review system (DRS).

The Indians were doubly thankful for the change of heart on Friday as reviews twice helped their cause on day two of the first Test against Australia at Adelaide Oval.

India refused to play under the DRS for almost a decade after its 2008 introduction to Test cricket - after a series against Sri Lanka, they deemed DRS to be unreliable.

The Indians, particularly ex-captain MS Dhoni, mistrusted the technology behind the system which had been adopted by all other Test-playing nations.

But with Dhoni's departure as leader, his replacement as skipper Virat Kohli softened India's hardline stance and accepted the DRS from 2016.

On Friday, the Indians firstly had success in reviewing a decision involving Australia's best batsman Usman Khawaja.

Khawaja prodded forward to a Ravi Ashwin offspinner and, when the ball landed in the gloves of wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, the Indians rejoiced in the belief of a caught-behind dismissal.

But Khawaja was given not out, prompting Kohli to seek a video review.

Hot-spot technology showed the faintest of touches on Khawaja's thumb en route to the 'keeper and the decision was reversed.

Secondly, the DRS system confirmed India had taken the wicket of Pat Cummins, who had frustrated the visitors in a rearguard 50-run stand with Travis Head.

Cummins didn't offer a shot to paceman Jasprit Bumrah's second delivery with the second new ball which cut back sharply and into the thigh of the Australian.

Umpire Nigel Llong gave Cummins out lbw but the Australian sought a review of the decision, only for ball-tracking technology to show the ball would have hit the stumps.

On Thursday, the Indians also deployed DRS successfully when Ishant Sharma reviewed after being given out lbw to a Mitchell Starc delivery.

Like Cummins, Sharma didn't offer a shot and was hit directly in front of middle stump but ball-tracking revealed the ball would have travelled over the stumps and the decision was overturned.