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Talking Point: Captain Kohli bites the DRS bullet

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Bengaluru: The DRS ghost continues to haunt the Indian team, especially skipper Virat Kohli.

While the skipper’s ineffectual use of the review system was still fresh in memory, Kohli fell prey to the system and this time the world’s best batsman let out a feeling that he was let down by the system.

Having wiped out Australia’s lead, Kohli was settling nicely into a rhythm along with Cheteshwar Pujara.

To keep India in the match, the home side needed their skipper to stand tall on a misbehaving third day pitch.

But, Kohli departed in dramatic fashion with a LBW decision that went in favour of Josh Hazlewood.

Kohli jammed down on a Hazlewood delivery that kept low and jagged back. The India captain was confident that his toe end of the bat touched the ball before hitting the pad and immediately went for the review after Nigel Llong raised his finger even while the bowler was not appealing.

The third umpire after observing from almost all possible angles couldn’t determine whether the ball hit bat or pad first.

ICC rules says that the third umpire must have enough evidence to overturn the field umpire’s decision. But with the third umpire not able to find ‘conclusive evidence’ it was advantage Australia.

“I don’t think I’ve got any conclusive evidence there to say that is definitely bat first, so let’s go through to ball tracking, please,” Kettleborough said during his deliberation.

The Australians then let out a huge roar when ball tracking technology confirmed that the impact was on the off and the ball was crashing the stumps.

This made the third-umpire stay with the field umpire’s decision as a visibly agitated Kohli walked back.

The dismissal made many wonder whether the benefit of doubt is being awarded to the batsmen or to the field umpire!

Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar on Star Sports 3 said that the benefit of doubt must go to the batsman if the third umpire finds there isn’t any conclusive evidence.

“I believe the benefit of doubt must go to the batsman. Even when there was no DRS and if a referral was made to the third umpire, most of the times we have seen that if the umpire had an element of doubt, the benefit of doubt has always gone in batsman’s favour,” Gavaskar said on air.

Former Australia captain and Star Sports commentator Michael Clarke thought the India skipper had managed to get some bat to survive.

“When I watched that live, and obviously I’m up here and not out on the field, I actually thought Virat hit that before it hit his pad,” Clarke said.

“But when you slow it down, with the on-field umpire giving you out, you can understand why the (third) umpire can’t change his decision. “Live, I thought it was bat-pad.”

In four innings this series Kohli now has scores of 0, 13, 12 and 15 at an average of 10. He was out for a second-ball duck in the first innings in Pune before offering no shot to be bowled and trapped in front of the wickets in his next two knocks.

However, this time, the skipper was looking in good touch only to be struck down by DRS.

Ever since India have opted to use the DRS, the review system has only hurt them. Most importantly in crucial times like these where the match might potentially turn in the opposition’s favour.

In the seven Tests since India have adopted DRS, Virat Kohli has teed up for a whooping 55 times and has reaped the rewards only on just 17 occasions.

However, while batting, India have enjoyed much success. The Indian batsmen have reviewed 13 decisions and had seven overturned.

But on the third day of the second Test, technology failed to convince the third umpire and it was Kohli who bore the brunt.

The protocol was followed by the umpires, but at the end, one wonders if the right decision was taken.

The DRS drama continues…

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