Trent Bridge, August 1: The controversial Decision Review System (DRS) was at the crux of a verbal joust between commentators Ravi Shastri and Nasser Hussain while on the air during Day 3 of the ongoing Trent Bridge Test between England and India.
Earlier, in a column for a leading local newspaper, Hussain had stated that it was a 'disgrace' that the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) had refused to accept the use of lbw reviews, adding that a holistic implementation of the DRS should be made mandatory by the International Cricket Council (ICC) , instead of leaving the choice to individual boards.
The BCCI is reluctant to call the Hawk-Eye into play for adjudging leg-befores as it feels that the technology is not foolproof yet. But the issue came to the fore on Day 2 when Harbhajan Singh was given out lbw off Stuart Broad's bowling when replays showed a clear inside edge onto his pads.
Reacting to Hussain's salvo, Shastri slammed him indirectly on a pre-play show for insinuating that the ICC was pandering to the whims and fancies of the BCCI and that India's tremendous stature in the game had spawned jealously in the rest of the cricketing fraternity.
"They (England) are jealous about the way the IPL is going, jealous that India is No.1 in world cricket, jealous about the fact that India are world champions. They are jealous because of the too much money being made by BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India). Bottom-line is that they have never been No. 1 in the world in Test cricket."
Then on Day 3 while the two were sharing the microphone in the commentary box, Hussain picked a bone with Shastri. "Ravi, I just want to pick you up on something you said on a show yesterday, questioning my right to call non-use of DRS a disgrace. Well, I have earned that right after 96 Test matches to voice my opinion on the game of cricket. It is my job and my right to voice my opinion," the former England captain said."You also said that there was a jealousy factor about India going to be No.1. No one is more proud than me about India at top," Hussain added.
Shastri however, stuck to his guns...
"You said, disgrace India not taking it. India has got every right to decide whether to take it or not. India decided not to take it because they don't think it is foolproof. Technology is improving all the time and after seeing the way Hot-Spot has behaved, Hot-Spot has become cold spot. I think India has got every right to believe and do what they did."
"England were the last to adopt the DRS and now they vouch by it. India tested it three years back and they had a problem with it in the series against Sri Lanka. Yes, Harbhajan's dismissal was a howler and it should not have happened," Shastri added.