DRS back in spotlight in India-England series


Nottingham : The use of technology came under scanner on the second day of the second cricket Test when England were left unconvinced by the Hotspot technology after it failed to spot a faint edge off V.V.S. Laxman. It led former England captain Michael Vaughan to speculate that the veteran Indian batsman might have used Vaseline on his bat.

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In the series, where only a watered down DRS system is being used after the lbw reviews were left out, England were sure Laxman had edged a delivery and called for a review.

However, the Hotspot camera didn’t show any white mark on the bat and despite the third umpire, Billy Bowden, saying he could hear a sound but had no evidence to ask for a change in the decision, it led to a small confrontation between Laxman and Kevin Pietersen. The Hyderabadi, however, soon shrugged off the incident and went on to make 54.

The review system has been put into sharp focus in this series after India refused to accept reviews of decisions for lbws. They are not comfortable with the Hawk-Eye technology used for lbw reviews as they feel it is far from foolproof. India were at its receiving end in a series in Sri Lanka.

No reviews for lbws proved costly for India Saturday when replays showed that Harbhajan Singh, who was the second victim of Stuart Broad’s hat-trick, had a massive inside edge before hitting the pad. Umpire Marais Erasmus clearly failed to spot the edge.

Vaughan stirred the hornet’s nest, suggesting that a spot of skin cream might have come to Laxman and India’s rescue.

“Has Vaseline on the outside edge saved the day for Laxman?” tweeted Vaughan, now working for Test Match Special on the BBC.

He was referring to the possibilities of batsmen applying Vaseline and other substances to the sides of the bat in order to mask the appearance of edges.

England paceman Stuart Broad admitted the players are beginning to have reservations about the part of DRS that is now the mandatory requirement.

“All of our players thought that was quite a clear edge and Hotspot hasn’t really shown up the faint edges which is a bit of a flaw I think,” Broad was quoted as saying in the media. “There was a question of what it hit and the answer wasn’t what KP thought it was.”

Broad, however, said Laxman had used nothing on his equipment. “I actually had a cheeky feel of his edge when the ball went past, but there’s no Vaseline or anything on there,” he admitted. “I think it’s just Hotspot, we’ve found the really faint edges don’t show up. It’s just one of those things.”