A major talking point ahead of the Test series between India and England is the use of the Decision Review System (DRS). India, in the past, has been a vehement opposer of the system ever since they felt hard done by technology in a series in Sri Lanka in 2008. The change of stance now though has come about due to the presence of Anil Kumble as the coach of the team.
Kumble is also a part of the ICC Cricket Committee through which he was increasingly convinced about the improved efficiency of the system. The presence of DRS though will be a new experience for India’s Test players. It has been used in ICC tournaments in which a few members of this Test squad has played but it largely remains an unknown entity. The usage of reviews rightly is paramount so much so that players still discuss the right ways to go about doing it.
“It is a completely new concept for all of us. We’ll have to wait and see about DRS,” said Ajinkya Rahane in a press conference on Monday (November 7) in Rajkot. “We’ve been discussing about this from the last series and we have some plans. Wicketkeeper is obviously important and as a slip fielder you have that role to convey that message to captain and bowler. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes in this series.”
“As a batsman you are completely involved with the game so you (as a non-striker) have to see where the ball is going, and you have to convey that to your partner and you have to be sure all the time,” he added.
But Rahane insisted that this won’t be their primary focus going into the series. “See we will spend some time explaining about DRS, how it works and how we should approach it. Main focus is to play good cricket here. DRS obviously comes later on. Our main focus is to play some good cricket, some good attacking cricket here,” he said.
Rahane also felt that the opposition’s batting would be their main strength in the upcoming five-Test series. “I think playing against England will be a challenge for all of us. Yes, their bowling attack is comparatively new, especially their spin bowlers. Their batsmen – they’ve been here, they’ve played here. Alastair Cook, Joe Root and all. So I’m sure it will be a good series,” he said.
This will also be the first time since 1988 that a series consists of five Tests or more in India. Many members of the current India squad played a similarly apportioned series in England in 2014 and Rahane believes that experience could come in handy. “See, five-match series first thing is to be fresh till the last Test match. We played a five-match series in England and we got an idea how to approach a five match series. That was a great learning experience for all of us, as a young unit, when we played in England. We’ve been playing good cricket but the important thing is to be fresh till the fifth match,” he reckoned.
Rahane also refused to read too much into the wickets India had given away to Moeen Ali on the tour of England. “That is in the past. Moeen Ali is a good bowler and he’s done well for England. But he’s not the only good bowler in their team. There are also five other good bowlers. We have to play them as well. So the focus will not be on one bowler or a particular batsman. Our focus will be to play to our strengths and do it consistently. That’s the biggest point in the series. Our aim will be to dominate all their bowlers,” he said.