India's sense of grievance grows as DRS decisions add to injuries

 

England flew from one end of the country to the other yesterday in the hope of starting their one-day series. Forecasts suggest they may be no luckier at the Rose Bowl in Hampshire tomorrow than they were at the Emirates ICG in Durham on Saturday.

Although one innings was completed and the second started in the first of the scheduled series of five matches, rain ensured that there was no result. There is more bad weather about.

The early evidence firmly indicates that England will be examined much more sternly than they were in the Test series and will have to be somewhere near the top of their game. India, however, are beginning to believe the world is against them.

Having decided to field on Saturday, the England captain, Alastair Cook, cannot have expected to be chasing 275 to win. If that seemed within his side's scope on a tame surface, it began to look out of it after the loss of two early wickets.

Had the game been resumed, as it almost did twice, England would had much the worse of the Duckworth-Lewis system. At 27 for 2 from 7.2 overs they would have needed another 137 to win from 12.4 had 20 overs, the minimum required, eventually been possible.

India, who must now assume they are destined not to win an international match on this tour, were left licking their wounds on several counts. Not only did the weather deprive them of a splendid opportunity but they felt badly let down by the umpire Decision Review System which they have always been illogically against.

The tourists' more understandable annoyance on Saturday stemmed from the decision to give Rahul Dravid out caught behind after England's appeal was initially rejected by the on-field umpire, Billy Doctrove.

Replays showed no mark on the bat from the Hot Spot camera, which seems to be increasingly unreliable, but the third umpire, Marais Erasmus, was satisfied that he heard a sound as the ball went past Dravid's bat and relayed this information to Doctrove.

MS Dhoni, India's captain, was beyond placating later. "There were quite a few things wrong," he said. "There was no mark when it comes to Hot Spot, there was no visual deflection as such and the umpire had given not out.

"So I felt the benefit of doubt always goes to the batsman. I still don't know how exactly they gave him out. Whether it was Snicko, whether that is allowed to be used, or the audio technician gave him out or the third umpire gave him out."

The complaint prompted David Richardson, the ICC's general manager of cricket, to defend the system. "The purpose of the DRS is to get as many decisions correct as possible. The statistics show that with the full DRS in operation the number of correct decisions rises to almost 98 per cent and that is what we must focus on."

India undoubtedly feel that they are not getting the rub of the green. DRS grievances apart, their injury toll continues to rise. Rohit Sharma had a finger broken by a short ball from Stuart Broad on Saturday and is likely to become the seventh player to leave the tour. Sachin Tendulkar missed the game with a sore big toe and will see a specialist in Southampton.

"In this series right from the first Test match injuries have been a big part," said Dhoni. "We thought maybe the ODIs would be different but right from the very start we've missed Sachin to start and now Rohit gets injured. You always want to play with your best 11. At times you don't get the best 11 with injuries but I think we have gone down hard."

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