Did BCCI's reluctance to accept the DRS cost India the match?
Despite putting up its highest total of 309 in Perth, India failed to register a win in the first of the five-day series against Australia in Perth. On one of the flattest WACA tracks in recent times, Rohit Sharma's unbeaten 171 went in vain as Australia rode on skipper Steve Smith's 149 and Bailey's 112 to script a five-wicket victory in the first cricket one-dayer in Perth.
It would not be misleading to assume that a decision that a wrong decision that went against India could have potentially turned the game in its favour. The match could have gone India's way had it not been for India's reluctance to accept the Umpires Decision Review System (UDRS or DRS).
Bailey, who went on to milk Indian bowlers as he put on a mammoth 112, could have been out the very first ball that he faced. Bailey was given not out when the tourists appealed for a catch down the leg side from debutant pacer Barinder Sran. The hosts were struggling at 21 runs at the loss of two wickets at that time.
Both the ‘Real Time Snicko' and the ‘Hot Spot' showed that the ball had brushed Bailey's glove on the way through to wicket-keeper Dhoni. This wrong decision by umpire Richard Kettleborough has cost India heavily and has rightfully rekindled the debate on DRS in India.
The stand of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been firmly against the DRS in its current form. According to the ICC, DRS can only be applied if both teams agree to the use of this technology before-hand. With India's opposition to the DRS, the system is not in place for this series and the tourists were unable to review the decision, thus allowing Bailey to continue his innings.
A team is allowed a maximum of one unsuccessful review request per innings during a One Day International. A fielding team may use the system to dispute a "not out" decision and a batting team may use it to dispute an "out" decision.
When Dhoni was asked at the post-match press conference of the Bailey non-decision changed the course of the match, Dhoni responded: "It could have, but at the same time we need to push the umpires to take the right decision. You have to see how many 50-50 decisions don't go in our favour. If it always happens, then you have to take it. But I'm still not convinced about DRS."
India believes there are a few deviations with the DRS that even the makers agree to. In December, BCCI President Shashank Manohar reiterated India's stance that unless DRS became "foolproof", they would continue to refuse to use the technology in bilateral series, despite other nations embracing the system.
The DRS has been the centre of controversy, notably during the Adelaide Test against New Zealand when a reprieve handed to Australian tail-ender Nathan Lyon - which the ICC later conceded was an error - turned the match in the home side's favour.
Regardless, Bailey and the Australian side are all smiles. When asked after the match about the decisions, Bailey said, "It would have been interesting to have a look at it on DRS,” he said.
“But we're not the team that doesn't want it," he added.