The Australian media has said that Australia’s struggling run chase in the first Ashes Test is a combination of flaws in its own judgement and the under-fire decision review system (DRS).

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, indiscriminate recourse to the DRS has contributed to Australia’s imminent defeat in the Trent Bridge Test, although the paper also called upon the International Cricket Council (ICC) to review the system.

Wasted referrals

The report further said that Australia blew both its bowling and batting referrals before the fall of the fifth wicket recklessly, which almost fatally undermined the side’s idealistic bid for victory, adding that obtaining a Test wicket has almost become like negotiating terms of surrender.

According to the report, Australia’s recklessness cost the wicket of Stuart Broad on Friday at a time when it still would have made a difference, adding that the system promoted cynicism as Broad’s obstinacy was because of a dressing room directive not to walk under any circumstances, knowing that Australia was helpless to protest. The DRS fiasco started when Clarke had to go for 23 despite using the last challenge after Stuart Broad launched an appeal for caught behind to wicketkeeper Matt Prior, when umpire Aleem Dar gave him out after checking with the TV umpire, and the report added that even the Hot Spot review failed to save Clarke.

Along with Clarke, Shane Watson, Chris Rogers and Phillip Hughes also fell victims to unfavourable DRS calls, with Watson leaving the field cursing before dismissal that was upheld by the TV umpire despite Hawkeye showing only a fraction of the ball hitting the stumps, and Rogers dismissed in similar circumstances in the first innings.

The report further said that England also launched a successful review that cost Hughes his wicket, LBW to Graeme Swann, because more than half the ball pitched in line with leg stump.

However, the report also pointed out flaws in DRS’s incoherent protocols, saying that if Hawkeye had shown that the ball pitched in line, but was only clipping the stumps, the on-field umpire’s decision would have stood, in this instance not out, which is what damned Hughes.

According to the report, the evidence of this match alone ought to be enough to prompt to overhaul the operation of DRS; it has frustrated everyone.

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