Pad on, DRS isnít watching
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For the first time in two and a half days, an umpire had upheld an LBW appeal. The ball from Umesh Yadav had reversed into Samit Patel, and kept low, and struck him on the crease. So far, so plumb. But replays ó even at normal speed, with no pitch mat or ball-tracking ó showed that it was missing leg stump.
Patel looked distraught. His hands must have itched to make a T-sign at Aleem Dar. But this, he knew, would be an empty gesture in a series without the Decision Review System. Patel was the first batsman in the Test match to long for DRS. Till then, its absence had only made bowlers' hearts grow fonder. If R Ashwin had been able to call for a review, for instance, Patel might not have remained at the crease to suffer his unfortunate dismissal. Six overs earlier, an Ashwin off break had struck him in front of middle, not too far in front of the crease.
Before that, Alastair Cook had survived a raucous LBW shout from Pragyan Ojha. He would go on to survive another, later in the day, in England's second innings, when he missed a sweep and felt ball strike his front pad low, in front of middle stump. Ojha was bowling from left-arm around, and the ball had straightened after pitching on middle.
If anything, the umpires were being very consistent, having overruled a number of close appeals during the Indian innings as well. On Friday morning, Yuvraj Singh and Cheteshwar Pujara had survived a number of loud shouts. This isn't to say that technology would have made things perfect. Reports have suggested, in fact, that the DRS ó had it been in use ó might have relied on faulty measures. Derek Pringle, in his Day Two report in The Telegraph, took the example of a Graeme Swann appeal for a ball that Pujara had padded up to, on 113.