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Change room advice for DRS?





What a riveting test in Bangalore! It was played on an expectant pitch, it cascaded with skill, brimmed with aggression and was as feisty as hell! Some emotions were over the top but tell me that package is not a good recipe for enthralling test cricket. It was brilliant and I couldn't keep my eyes off it.

Both skippers have been in the crosshairs since the completion of that match. Virat Kohli is a sensational cricketer and has been criticised by many for his bellicosity on the park. His adrenalin-fuelled animated attitude has incensed many. When I watch Kohli I do see someone who does need to check his emotions, but first and foremost I see a captain with extraordinary passion, leading his troops and country.

Barbs have now been thrown from both sides and that has sentiments running sky high as debate has raged about whether Smith and the Aussies disrespected the spirit of the game or whether Kohli was out of line in his post-match attack. Either way this has set things up sensationally for the next test in Ranchi. You are not going to want to miss that showdown.

Post Bangalore Steve Smith was gunned down for attempting to use some change room advice during his review. That is illegal and was clumsily explained away by him as a "brain fade". Kohli had other harsher words.

I have an idea. Why not use change room advice for DRS player adjudication?

Seeing cricket has adapted to the DRS process, why not make is as efficient as possible and introduce a system where change room advice actually can be used for reviewing decisions?

After all, when consulted by the batsman who has been given out, non-striker batting partner pressure is immense. Bear in mind also that they are often not in the best position, considering their viewing angles, to offer premium advice from their end.

As an avid NFL watcher I can confirm that a television-assisted review process is second nature in a game. During an NFL game a coach is permitted two opportunities to challenge the referee's decision. He does that by throwing a very visible red flag on the field of play before the start of the next snap of the ball. The coach is on the side-lines and often does not always have the best view of play. He importantly has assistance.

Sometimes the coaches do have the benefit of being able to watch a potentially reviewable play timeously on the stadium jumbotron or the replay screen before making a decision whether to throw the red flag. Most times though, someone with the coaching staff upstairs will assist and tell him to challenge the call.

Every NFL team has an employed TV coach or ‘spotter’ who is anchored in an upstairs booth in front of a television monitor and watches intently as the network feed plays out the contentious moment to the millions of viewers via various slow motion replays.

It is only after a few scrutinised broadcast angles of play that the TV coach contacts the head coach via a designated communication system on the side of the field and confirms whether or not he should challenge the referee’s call. The head coach then trusts the TV coach's call from a superior vantage point and throws the red flag to instigate the challenge of the referee’s decision.

Would the game of cricket not be better served if each team employed a specialist ‘television adjudicating spotter’ of this nature within the team environment who acted accordingly for a more precise end result? It will only add a few extra seconds, and all change room 'spotter' advice must be completed within a strict time span. Television directors will then continue to play a designated number of replays while assessments are made.

Baseball has a similar system.

Why not cricket?


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