RCB ace quick, Harshal Patel believes that there is a lot that will have to be looked into, after IPL announced that they allow DRS to intervene into checking the wides and no-balls. With a change of angle for right-handed batters and southpaws, it will be intriguing to see how frequently the DRS is being summoned into action, particularly in terms of the close-calls that has frequented of late, particularly in the death overs.
Talking to ESPNCricinfo, Harshal Patel said, “Technology can definitely be helpful in situations where you can separate black and white. But these balls are always going to be grey, especially wide-ball lines. Because you can’t really judge how much the batter has moved, whether the ball was within his reach, the angle of the delivery.”
Here is why Harshal Patel believes that things may go haywire with over-intervention of technology
Explaining further, RCB’s highest wicket-taker in 2021 added, “There’s going to be a huge difference in where the ball finishes between a right-hander bowling the same ball a couple of inches outside the wide line and a left-hander bowling from over the stumps a couple of inches outside the wide line. When the [right-hand] batter tries to reach, it’s always going to be wider when he plays the left-hander, [and] it’s always going to be closer when he plays the right-hander.”
He continued, “I don’t know how many of these factors will be taken into account when making decisions. Obviously, they can’t take a lot of these factors into account because that will consume a lot of time. In my humble opinion, this doesn’t solve the problem. You have to call it the human factor in the game and move on.”
Making another important pointer on the number of reviews and how they will be used, Harshal said, “The other thing is you get only two reviews, right? Do you really want to use a review on a marginal call, which may or may not go in your favour, as opposed to use it in a situation where you can get the batter out,” Harshal said in response to that question. But if you have a review in hand and you are bowling at the death, a phase where fast bowlers tend to bowl wide yorkers outside the off stump?”
“For sure – 100%,” Harshal said, that in such a case he will insist on his captain going for the review.
Here is what Simon Taufel had to say about the human side of umpiring
Harshal Patel’s thoughts were echoed by Simon Taufel last year, stating, “With wides, for example, and here we’re going to, potentially according to you, or according to the player or the debate, take a wide call and throw that back to the third umpire for them to judge on something that might be marginal and is still a judgement call. Are you going to be able to over-rule as a third umpire what a leg-side wide might look like? That’s a really interesting proposition to throw to a third umpire and say: I definitely think you got that wide wrong.”
Taufel concluded by saying, “If you look at a ball that cuts across a right-hander from a left-armer [fast bowler], that cuts the wide guideline – that’s a pretty big call to over-rule. Can you clearly define for me what conclusive evidence is to overturn a wide both leg side, off side and height? And where do you then draw the line as to what a wide is? Because with wides, for example, you still got this opinion around: either could the batsman have played a shot? Has the batsman brought the ball sufficiently within reach? And you are putting them [under] a lot more stress and pressure around those definitions. Of course, if the ball has flicked the bat or the pad, and an umpire’s called a wide – yeah, that’s quite clearly an error. But I worry about where this is going to end up. Is everything that an umpire does likely to fall under the Decision Review System?”