“Ball Clearly Missing Stumps”: Ben Stokes’ Bold DRS Verdict After England’s 434-Run Loss In Rajkot


England captain Ben Stokes isn’t a happy man, having seen his side suffer one of its biggest defeats in the history of the game. As India came out on top in the third Test at Rajkot, securing a 434-run victory to go 2-1 up in the 5-match series, Stokes was left to rue some dubious LBW calls that left him and head coach Brendon McCullum bemused. The “umpire’s call” in the DRS system is a factor that has been debated around for a long time, with several cricketing personalities wanting the ICC to do away with it. Stokes, citing the example of Zak Crawley‘s LBW dismissal in the second innings to Jasprit Bumrah, suggested the same and even had a chat with the technology maker’s people to understand the scope of the error.

“We just wanted some clarity around Zak’s DRS when the images came back,” said Stokes in a chat on TalkSport. “The ball is quite clearly missing the stump on the replay. So when it gets given the umpire’s call and the ball’s not actually hitting the stumps, we were a bit bemused. So we just wanted some clarity from the Hawk-Eye guys.

“It came back saying the numbers, or whatever it is that is, it was saying that it was hitting the stumps but it was the projection that was wrong. I don’t know what that means. Something’s gone wrong, so, yeah.

“It’s not me blaming that on what’s happened here, like I didn’t last week. It’s just… what’s going on?,” he added.

Ben Stokes Wants Umpire’s Call Scrapped

England barely had reviews going their way in the Rajkot Test and Stokes feels there are parts of the DRS system that need to change. He wants the ‘umpire’s call’ to be the first one.

“We’ve been on the wrong end of three umpire’s calls this game and that is part of DRS. You’re either on the right side or the wrong side. Unfortunately, we’ve been on the wrong side. I’m not saying and never will say that’s the reason why we’ve lost this game, because 500 is a lot of runs,” he said.

The England captain also clarified that he isn’t pinning the blame of his team’s loss on the technology but wants the DRS system to be more robust.

“It is not something you pin down to result of the game. Sometimes when you are on the wrong end of those decisions it hurts but that is part of the game. You want them to go your way, sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t

“You just want a level playing field. The umpires have an incredibly hard job as it is, especially in India when the ball is spinning. My personal opinion is if the ball is hitting the stumps, it is hitting the stumps. They should take away ‘umpire’s call’ if I’m being perfectly honest. I don’t want to get too much into it because it sounds like we are moaning and saying that is why we lost the Test match.”

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