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James Anderson remains supportive of DRS but believes it needs to be "tweaked"

James Anderson: Has called for the DRS system to be 'tweaked'

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England bowler James Anderson remains supportive of the controversial umpire's decision review system (DRS) but believes it needs to be "tweaked" to help teams decide when to use it.

DRS has been an unwitting star of the Investec Ashes Series so far, with a string of questionable verdicts delivered at key moments creating the impression that it is getting as much wrong as right.

Both teams have been on the receiving end as the grey areas left by the technology create frustration on all sides, but Anderson believes it can work if allowances are made.

Should DRS be scrapped?

"What strikes me as particularly harsh is losing a review for an lbw appeal that is rejected on 'umpire's call,"' Anderson said in a column in the Mail on Sunday.

Anderson used the example of England's appeal of a not-out decision on the first day of the ongoing third Test at Old Trafford, when Graeme Swann believed he had trapped Australia's Steve Smith.

Hawk-Eye showed the ball going on to hit the stumps, but it was not clear-cut enough to overturn the original decision, and Smith survived.

"I don't have an argument with that," Anderson added. "But I do believe that losing a review in those circumstances is an unfair penalty.

"Not only have the fielding side not got a wicket for a ball the technology showed was actually hitting the stumps, which is deflating enough, but an opportunity to use a review - which might be vital later in the innings - is also lost."

Leeway

Appeals are not automatically upheld if Hawk-Eye shows the ball clipping the stumps as the technology is only an estimate, and the ball must be seen to be clearly hitting for a decision to be overturned.

"I do think allowing an element of leeway to support the on-field umpire's decision is fair enough," Anderson added.

"But I believe if the DRS does show the ball hitting, losing a review for a legitimate inquiry is not right."

Other limitations with the technology also frustrate the players when making decisions on whether or not to review as Hotspot can create just as many grey areas - with its inventor admitting it is inaccurate in hot conditions such as those at Old Trafford this week.

Smith survived a separate appeal against Anderson when Hotspot failed to show him making a contact England were certain had been there, while Tim Bresnan chose not to appeal against his dismissal - given caught behind - despite replays showing he did not strike the ball as he feared 'wasting' a review.

"This is not intended as a whinge and the Aussies had their own issue with the dismissal of Usman Khawaja: we all have every sympathy for the umpires and officials who are doing their best in very difficult conditions and we all make mistakes," Anderson said.

"But taking wickets can be hard work and it is frustrating when something you think you have earned is taken away from you through no fault of your own."

Day five - and who is going to win at Old Trafford?

  • Australia
  • England
  • The weather - for a draw