HomeSportsCricketDecoding DRS: A Comprehensive Guide to the Decision Review System
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Decoding DRS: A Comprehensive Guide to the Decision Review System

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DRS in cricket, known as the Decision Review System, was introduced to enhance the accuracy of decisions in the game. This technology-based system assists on-field umpires in making fair and transparent calls.

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The DRS was initially used in Test cricket during India’s series against Sri Lanka in 2008. Virender Sehwag was the first international player to be declared out under this review system. Over the years, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has made significant improvements to the DRS process.  It is a technology-driven system used to review and potentially overturn on-field decisions made by the umpires. DRS is primarily used in international and some domestic cricket matches. While Test cricket was the first to adopt the DRS, it took until 2011 for the fifty-over format to be implemented it. T20 Internationals introduced the DRS as late as 2017.

When a team decides to use a DRS, they are challenging the on-field umpire’s decision. The third umpire then reviews the incident using various slow-motion camera angles and technologies like ball tracking and edge detection to assist in making a more accurate call.

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Set of DRS rules that the third umpire must follow

Third Umpire during DRS | KreedOn
Image Source: Sportskeeda
  • After the on-field umpire makes a decision, the challenging team has a 15-second window to decide if they want to use DRS.
  • To request a DRS review, the fielding captain or the batsman declared out must signal a “T” sign to the on-field umpire.
  • If the request isn’t made within 15 seconds, the on-field umpires will reject the Player Review.
  • Players are not allowed to question the umpire’s decision before deciding on a Player Review.
  • If the on-field umpires suspect any external input influencing the decision, they can decline the Player Review.
  • The third umpire first checks if the bowler has bowled a legal delivery (no overstepping).
  • If the delivery is legal, the third umpire proceeds to review the main event.
  • The third umpire uses Hawk-Eye, Ultra-Edge/Real-Time Snicko (RTS), and HotSpot technologies.
  • Ultra-Edge/RTS and HotSpot are used to determine if the ball hit the bat, especially for LBW decisions and catches.
  • HotSpot relies on heat generated by the ball-bat interaction, creating a visible spot in case of an edge.
  • UltraEdge or RTS uses sound to detect deviations or spikes when the ball is near the bat.

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New DRS (Decision Review System) rules 

New Decision Review System (DRS) rule for lbws is great news for bowlers | KreedOn
Image Source: ESPNcricinfo
  • New DRS rules introduce a modification to the LBW review process. 
  • Under this update, the bails are now considered part of the ‘wicket zone,’ increasing the likelihood of bowlers receiving favorable LBW decisions.
  • The ‘wicket zone’ encompasses the entire space occupied by the stumps, both in terms of height and width.
  • Previously, the area considered for height extended only up to the lower edge of the bails.
  • With the rule change, the height measurement now extends up to the upper edge of the bails, expanding the effective ‘wicket zone.’

Here are the main types of DRS in cricket

Player Review

– Teams have limited player reviews per inning (usually two or three).

– Batsmen or fielding sides can request a review if they disagree with the umpire’s decision.

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– Technology, including ball-tracking and Snickometer, assesses the decision.

Umpire Review

– Umpires can initiate a review without player input if they doubt their decision or need to review specific aspects like a no-ball.

Key DRS Technologies

Decision Review System (DRS) Technologies | KreedOn
Image Source: The Sportslite

– Ball-Tracking (Hawk-Eye): Cameras predict the ball’s path for LBW decisions.

– Snickometer (UltraEdge): Detects contact between ball and bat or pad using audio and visual data.

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– Hotspot: Uses infrared cameras to visualize heat from ball-bat or pad contact.

– Real-Time Snicko: Provides real-time audio-visual data for precise contact detection.


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Number of DRS allowed in different formats

ODI Cricket

– In One Day International (ODI) cricket, each team has the privilege of using two DRS review per innings.

– A successful review allows the team to retain the DRS option for later use in that innings.

T20I Cricket

– Similar to ODI cricket, International Twenty20 (T20I) matches also allow each team two DRS review per inning.

– A successful review permits the team to keep the DRS for subsequent use during that inning.

Test Cricket

– In Test cricket, initially, each team had two unsuccessful DRS challenges per innings.

– However, this was later increased to three challenges per innings.

– Importantly, any unused reviews from the first innings do not carry over to the second innings of the Test match.

Who holds the title of being the DRS expert?

Mahendra Singh Dhoni using Decision Review System (DRS) | KreedOn
Image Source: India Today

MS Dhoni, the retired Indian cricketer, is often hailed as the master of DRS, and some fans affectionately refer to it as the “Dhoni Review System” (unofficially).

In conclusion, DRS has had a significant impact on the game of cricket, but its effectiveness and fairness continue to be topics of discussion among players, officials, and fans. DRS is implemented to ensure fairer decisions in cricket and reduce errors. However, it has its limitations, and its effectiveness can vary depending on the quality of available technology, the accuracy of ball-tracking systems, and other factors. Players and teams must use their reviews strategically, as they are limited in number during an innings.


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who was the first to be given out by the use of DRS?

Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag was the first batsman to be given out by the DRS in a test match against India and Sri Lanka in 2008.

When was the DRS first used?

DRS was first used in Test cricket in 2008, 2011 in ODIs and October 2017 in T20I cricket.

Who used the DRS for the first time?

Anil Kumble was the first captain to use the DRS, when the on-field umpire turned down Harbhajan Singh’s appeal for the lbw of Sri Lanka’s Malinda Warnapura during the Test in 2008.

What is the full form of DRS?

The full form of DRS is Decision Review system.

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