Australians call for review of review system
Media and fans Down Under bemoan narrow loss in first test, blaming it partly on the DRS
Reuters in Melbourne
The decision review system and the struggles of a brittle batting order bore the brunt of frustrations Down Under yesterday after the tourists' 14-run defeat in the first Ashes test.
The DRS, heavily criticised throughout the see-sawing clash over five days, ultimately decided the match when the technology picked up a nick from wicketkeeper Brad Haddin that umpire Aleem Dar had failed to detect.
The caught-behind decision captured Australia's final wicket and handed England a 1-0 lead in the five-test series, but the manner of victory left many cold.
It also left local media seething after England tail-ender Stuart Broad was allowed to remain at the crease when Dar missed a thick edge, a costly oversight that Australia were unable to appeal, having used up their DRS quota.
"What a tragedy that this brilliant first test ended with the umpire decision review system making the final decision," prominent Australian cricket writer Malcolm Conn wrote in Sydney's Daily Telegraph.
"Dar gave [Broad's] most obvious of edges not out and Australia had used both their reviews so the decision stood.
"Until cricket finds a way of using technology to get rid of the howler then the game will continue to make a fool of itself."
Despite the controversies, which also saw England batsman Jonathon Trott out lbw after the operator of the "Hot Spot" technology failed to analyse the correct delivery, both captains backed the system and said it had not influenced the result.
England skipper Alastair Cook, who had two referrals in hand when Haddin was dismissed, said the use of the review was a skill in itself.
Opposing skipper Michael Clarke had failed to master it, cricket pundit Robert Craddock said.
"We in Australia have acted more on impulse. Michael Clarke is a very emotional man... I think Australia needs far more calculation than what they have at the moment," Craddock said.
After moving to 84 without loss in pursuit of 311, Australia lost six wickets for 80 runs to leave a veritable mission impossible.
Batsman Ed Cowan's failures in both innings came in for a storm of criticism and some media called for the exiled Dave Warner, set to tour Africa with Australia A after punching England batsman Joe Root in a bar incident, to be quickly reinstated.
"Australia came so close despite some major deficiencies in their top order," the Sydney Morning Herald said.
"They are major deficiencies that have been bubbling along and band-aided for several series. Major surgery is required before the second test at Lord's to fix it."