England’s Jonny Bairstow claims DRS disparity is ‘messing with careers’

• Fifth Test, day three: England 346; Australia 479 for 4
• England wicketkeeper Bairstow unhappy at DRS inconsistencies
• Gripe referred to late lbw decision overturned against Mitchell Marsh

Jonny Bairstow spoke of inconsistencies in the Decision Review System “messing with careers and livelihoods” following a chastening third day for England in Sydney. The England wicketkeeper’s gripe came followed a late lbw shout against Mitchell Marsh on 55 when struck in front by Tom Curran. It was given out on the field but overturned by the third umpire, Sundaram Ravi, when Snicko showed a murmur of noise, perceived to be an inside edge.

More likely, given the flicker did not appear to match up with any contact on the replay, it was the sound of bat on pad being detected. Joe Root, the England captain, was visibly upset by the decision even if it was moot when the ball tracking showed the delivery to be missing the stumps.

Nevertheless, over the course of the series England have become frustrated by the system used in Australia compared to back home. HotSpot is still being employed here, Hawk-Eye and Eagle Eye are rival ball-tracking companies, while there are different parameters for the UltraEdge and Snicko technologies in the two countries regarding matching vision with sound.

Bairstow said: “When it comes to all the technology it’s important that moving forward for all the teams there’s real clarity on the actual process and how the review system works. That’s getting Hawk-Eye matching up to the TV images, getting Snicko right, because it can pick up moving feet and people scratching around the crease and other stuff.

“We are aware there are two different systems in place around the world and it’s about making sure there is clarity on how those systems work for us as players out in the middle. When you see the spike on the graph and one system is allowed one frame before, but the other system has one frame after, and you don’t know which system is in place, that can be very frustrating - especially when you are toiling very hard for a long period of time.

“The technology is there to be used but we need to make sure it’s of the highest standard because it’s people’s careers and livelihoods you are messing with. It is a frustration not knowing the exact rulings and how it’s used.”

The frustrations of England and Bairstow likely owed more to a brutal third day when just two wickets fell and Australia took full control of the fifth Test. The Yorkshireman, who was on the 2013-14 tour during which the team disintegrated, is buoyed by the fact that the current side are sticking together even if the series is heading towards a 4-0 defeat.

“The game may not have not gone well but there has been no infighting within the squad,” he said. “There have been a few things thrown at us while we have been here but there have been no fractures within the group which is a huge positive for us as people and players moving forward to New Zealand and beyond.”

England’s day of toil sent thoughts back to their first innings and what was clearly a sub-par 347 all out. That total was doubtless hindered by the loss of two wickets in the final 10 minutes of the first evening when Root and Bairstow fell in quick succession against the second new ball. Bairstow, who was caught behind for five driving at a ball, had declined the use of Mason Crane as nightwatchman in a decision that divided opinions. But the Yorkshireman has no regrets over the call.

“It was my choice to go in. I’ve faced the new ball many times and you’ve got a nightwatchman who has not faced Mitchell Starc before,” he said. “I had 18 balls to survive. I’m backing myself to face half the balls, if not all. No one was complaining when I hit one for four two balls earlier. Live by the sword, die by the sword. I don’t think it’s a massive issue.”


Ali Martin at the SCG

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