Galle (Sri Lanka), Aug 12: When India play a bilateral series, it is a foregone conclusion that there will be no place for the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS). And same is the case for the 3-match Test rubber against Sri Lanka which commenced today.
Due to non-availability of DRS, an on-field umpiring error has already been witnessed early on the opening day of the 1st Test. The DRS debate is back.
As Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews won the toss on Wednesday and elected to bat first at Galle International Stadium, the hosts were reduced to 15/2 in 7.1 overs. They were eventually bowled out for a paltry 183 with off-spinner R Ashwin taking 6 wickets.
However, right-handed opening batsman Kaushal Silva (5) was adjudged out wrongly by English umpire Nigel Llong off paceman Varun Aaron. Sliva was not happy with the verdict as he kept shaking his head as he headed back to the pavilion.
A short ball from Aaron saw Silva trying to hook it but failed to make contact with the bat. But the ball brushed his arm guard and Shikhar Dhawan took the "catch" diving in the slips and the Indian players started celebrating.
Umpire Llong gave the batsman out but the replays proved him wrong. When Silva was on 4, Dhawan had dropped an easy catch at 1st slip off the same bowler.
Former Sri Lankan all-rounder Russel Arnold, who is currently commentating on the Test, took to Twitter to call Silva "unlucky" to be sent back in this manner. He was not the only one, many fans commented on the wrong decision.
It was in 2008 in Sri Lanka that India got the first taste of DRS. It did not go well for them and since then they have shunned it. However, captain Virat Kohli recently said he is open to discussions on DRS with his team-mates.
The use of DRS is mandatory in ICC tournaments. This year's World Cup too saw the use of it. The ongoing Ashes Test series also has DRS.
With no DRS available, there might be few more umpiring errors and players being unhappy during the three-match series.
The home fans will be hoping that their legendary batsman Kumar Sangakkara will be spared of such erroneous judgments in his final 2 Tests.