Staying under review: Shane Watson. Photo: Getty Images
Shane Watson has suffered an injury scare just 19 days before the Ashes, in the final match of Australia's one-day tour of India.
Watson pulled up in his delivery stride while bowling, grimaced as he walked back to his mark and left the field. The nature of the injury was not clear on Saturday night but will draw attention to questionable timing of the one-day series.
The scare came just after Watson had spoken of his determination to set up the Ashes for Australia, and to use the Decision Review System more sparingly, admitting he has ''absolutely no idea'' when it comes to the referral system.
Watson joked that he has felt relieved not to have the DRS in place during the one-day series in India, which finished with the series decider on Saturday night.
''It makes my life a lot easier,'' he said from Bangalore. But the all-rounder was quite serious when he said he would only send howlers to the TV umpire from now on, given his unflattering success rate with challenges. Watson sent four lbw decisions for review during the Ashes but only once was he successful.
''It made me realise that I've got absolutely no idea about umpiring and lbw decisions, so I certainly know that is not going to be a career path for me going forward,'' he said.
''Especially the 50-50 calls, it is guesswork, and I have realised that you do have to take the emotion out of whether you think it's out or not. It's more so what the umpire's decision was, whether he gave it out or not out, umpire's call and all those other factors that go into it.
''Unless it's a really obvious one that I've hit the ball onto my pad or something like that, I've learnt that you just move on.''
The DRS dominated the recent Ashes series in England. The Australians were terrible at using it at the start of the series, leaving them short of reviews at crucial times, but improved as the series went on, while the system was undermined by human error and faltering Hot Spot technology.
The DRS will be tweaked for the rematch in Australia this summer, with reviews topped up when the second new ball is due.
It's also possible the real-time Snickometer could be used and that Hot Spot could be exhumed following talks between its inventor and Channel Nine.
Further evidence that the DRS is changing the game in bizarre ways emerged during the Sheffield Shield game between NSW and Tasmania last week when national captain Michael Clarke was reprimanded for asking for a review despite there being no DRS in the domestic first-class competition. It's understood this became an offence under Cricket Australia's revamped disciplinary code because of an outbreak of players using T-signs to express dissent at lower levels of the game when they are unhappy with a decision.
Evidently, Clarke was either unaware of the change or had forgotten he was playing without DRS.
Watson said his struggles with the DRS are underpinned by not having grown up with the system.
''You grow up playing cricket where the umpire's decision is final, you're out or you're not out and you accept the umpire's decision and move on,'' he said. ''Now with DRS, it brings a different factor into the game of cricket that you haven't grown up getting used to. That does provide a different challenge.
''I certainly know now that I'm not good at it so I think I'm [better off] leaving it up to the umpire, which is what I did up until the DRS came in.''