Australia v India: Tourists have to cop bad decisions on the chin, says Brad Haddin

Talk of an umpiring conspiracy against India because of their intransigence towards the DRS has been rubbished, with the tourists told they could "scream as much as they want" but had to live with bad calls while they continue to oppose technology.

India captain MS Dhoni drew raised eyebrows with his response when asked whether he believed his team was punished with 50-50 calls going against them as a result of their position on the DRS.

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"I may agree with you," Dhoni replied to the reporter following his team's loss to Australia in the first one-day international, a match in which a non-dismissal of George Bailey hurt them dearly.

It was the kind of remark, while not emphatic, that quite likely would have seen him fined if he were a player in an Australian football code, where authorities tend to be quick to pounce on any suggestion that an umpire or referee's integrity is being questioned.

Running hot: Dynamic Australian George Bailey.
Running hot: Dynamic Australian George Bailey. Photo: Getty Images

The ICC responded on Wednesday, saying via a spokesman: "The ICC umpires try to make the correct decision at all times, and over the past year their correct decision percentage has been 95 per cent even without the Decision Review System, which is the best it has ever been."

Dhoni escaped without sanction, but not without scrutiny. Brad Haddin, a former adversary, said on Wednesday India were not in a position to complain given their refusal to adopt the DRS, even when a call like Bailey's went against them.


Replays and Hot Spot shown by Channel Nine indicated Bailey should have been out first ball, caught by Dhoni down the leg side after he was flicked on the glove, but umpire Richard Kettleborough spared him. From there Bailey bludgeoned a century in a record-breaking stand with Steve Smith, which helped Australia chase down India's 309 and take a 1-0 series lead.

"India are the ones that don't want it, so they've got to live with these decisions," Haddin told Sky Sports Radio on Wednesday. "They can scream as much as they want about whether it's a conspiracy or that world cricket is against them, but they don't want DRS so they are going to have to cop those sort of decisions on the chin."

The former Test vice-captain agreed that Bailey had been fortunate. "They're usually hard ones to give down leg side because you've got hands and legs and that everywhere," he said. "But I reckon that was obvious last night that came off the glove."

Dhoni and the BCCI remain unmoved on India's anti-technology stance and in particular their opposition to ball tracking. New BCCI president Shashank Manohar said last month that unless DRS became "foolproof" the Indians would continue to refuse the technology.

Dhoni, who has been a vocal opponent of DRS in its current form, tiptoed around the question as to whether the whole playing group was united on the issue before explaining why he thinks the technology does not work.

"I tell you what DRS should be; it should be the decision-making system," Dhoni said. "If you see the deviations in DRS, there are quite a few deviations, even the makers agree that there's a bit of deviation that can happen.

"Now you have to also take into account whether it was given not out or not. If it's given out, it needs to touch the stump, if it's not out then half the ball needs to hit the stump. That itself makes the variables too big and in cricket every inch matters, it's millimetres that really matters. It has to be plain and simple.

"Now for example you take DRS in an lbw decision – what really changes everything is whether the decision was given in favour or not and it can mean a margin of one inch and in cricket that's very big."