MS Dhoni, former Indian captain, mastered the art of effectively using the Decision Review System [DRS] in the latter part of his career that it is hard to believe that he wasn’t a big fan of the system in its initial years.
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Aakash Chopra, the former Indian cricketer-turned commentator, recently reminisced about how and why India was reluctant in using the DRS for a long period of time.
The Decision Review System was implemented for the first time during the 2008 Test series between Sri Lanka and India where a plethora of wrong calls were made by the Anil Kumble-led Men in Blue.
“India was the first team to use DRS in around 2008 during a series against Sri Lanka. MS Dhoni was not the captain of the team, Anil Kumble was. We took some really bad DRS calls in that series. It was a new thing, and we made poor use of technology. That’s when we decided, that we don’t like it. And if we don’t like it, then we won’t use it,” Aakash Chopra said.
Dhoni also had his reservations against the technology and for the longest period of time post that 2008 series, DRS wasn’t used in bilateral matches involving India.
“Also, MS Dhoni was not a fan of it. The thinking of your team’s captain matters a lot. Dhoni was convinced for the longest time that technology is not full-proof. Even today, it is not full-proof. There are still issues with the umpire’s call, there are still issues with soft-signals. There are still issues, but it was even more back then than it is today,” he added.
MS Dhoni didn’t like it, but now I call DRS as ‘Dhoni Review System’: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra reckoned that with Virat Kohli becoming the captain of the team, and considering he loves DRS, India started embracing the system.
The Review System was first used during the 2016 Test series against England and since then it has been a constant in all Indian matches.
“I have been a fan of DRS from Day 1. If you ask me, if you do not embrace technology, then you won’t improve it. But I was not playing back then. The fact is Dhoni didn’t like it one bit. So, if he didn’t like it, India won’t use it. Now things have changed since Kohli has become the captain,” Aakash Chopra said.
“He is a huge fan of DRS. He wants DRS in every match – be it IPL, or Ranji match – in any match. Now the thought has changed that embrace the technology, take it forward and make it better,” he added.
The former opener added that it is strange that he now calls DRS as ‘Dhoni Review System’ owing to MS Dhoni’s success despite him having initial reservations about the technology initially.
“Another strange thing is that, Dhoni didn’t like it, but now I call DRS as ‘Dhoni Review System’. Because, if Dhoni said from behind the stumps, that we have to take DRS, then 9 out of 10 times, he gets it right, even when you feel he is making a mistake, he would turn out to be right,” Chopra further said.
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