DRS howler in South Africa vs Australia Test sparks widespread criticism and disbelief

It has been quite some time since the introduction of Decision Review System (DRS) in cricket but the jury is still out on the use of the technology to challenge an on-field umpire’s call and have it overturned. There have been plenty instances in recent years where the DRS has found itself mired in controversy, with critics and fans having different opinions about its use and feasibility.

One such incident occurred in the ongoing first Test match between South Africa and Australia at Kingsmead in Durban where visiting skipper Steve Smith looked all but out in the post-lunch as left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj slapped him on the pads right in front of the wicket, but the umpire wasn’t having any of it and adjudged him not-out.

DRS under scrutiny, during Australia and South Africa’s 1st Test of the series

Keeping the importance of Smith’s wicket in mind, his counterpart Faf du Plessis immediately went upstairs to review but was handed a shocker from the third umpire as ball tracking technology revealed the ball to have pitched a fraction outside the line and stayed with the umpire’s call, handing Smith an unlikely lifeline in his second essay of the match.

The primary object of discussion and argument was the pad on which Smith was hit first. DRS deemed it to be the Aussie skipper’s back pad, but the general consensus off the field was that the ball had clearly hit his front leg.

The apparent technology driven howler also led to heated discussions in the commentary box. “How is that not out?” former Australian fast-bowler Brendon Julian said in commentary as West Indies great Michael Holding claimed he had better vision than Hawkeye.

Given the status of the two teams in competition and the top notch billing attached to the series, the decision to rule Smith not out also sparked numerous reactions on the social media, with fans and pundits finding it hard to believe that that the Australian captain was still on the pitch.

READ: When Sanjay Manjrekar took out his anger on Sourav Ganguly.

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