Australian skipper Steve Smith’s tactics during the third test for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Indore were not only praised for his captaincy skills but also scrutinized for exploiting a loophole in the Decision Review System (DRS) rule. Former Indian wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel has now called for changes in the DRS rules after Smith took advantage of the loophole, leading to the Australian side saving their DRS reviews.
Steve Smith discovered that each time a stumping appeal was made, it was immediately sent upstairs by the on-field umpire and the third umpire checked for an outside edge as well. This loophole helps the fielding side and saves them from losing a review on potential caught-behind dismissals. Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey made sure to remove the bails after which Steve Smith made a loud appeal for stumping, convincing the on-field umpire to go upstairs for the review.
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Steve Smith exploited the loophole in the rule quite effectively and even got success twice including the wicket of Ravichandran Ashwin in the first innings. While the Australian side managed to save their DRS reviews using this tactic, it didn’t go well with many experts including Parthiv Patel who urged for a change in DRS rules.
“The on-field umpire should avoid going to the third umpire if he is sure that it’s not out when there is an appeal for a stumping,” Parthiv Patel said on Cricbuzz. “The ideal solution is that the TV umpire should only review the stumping if the appeal is made only for a stumping. A caught-behind should not be checked unless the fielding captain opts for a review,” he further added.
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Steve Smith’s leadership was applauded on most occasions as he kept the Indian team under constant pressure, but his DRS tactics received backlash from experts. In the third test, Team India were bowled out for just 163 runs in the second innings as Nathan Lyon took an eight-wicket haul. The Australian batters comfortably chased down the target of 76 in the second innings on Day 3 in Indore with 9 wickets in hand.
As cricket evolves, rules need to be adapted and refined to ensure the game is played fairly. With Parthiv Patel’s suggestion of the TV umpire only reviewing stumping appeals, the DRS rule could potentially be more effective in ensuring fair play.