Where the already divisive Decision Review System was concerned, this summer’s Ashes wasn’t short of controversy. The repercussions have now been felt with the revelation that Hot Spot is to be axed for the return series Down Under.
The infrared system, which helps determine exactly what part of a batsman the ball has hit, was at the centre of at least three contentious decisions during the recent battle for the tiny urn. Now, Australian host broadcaster Channel Nine has opted against installing the equipment when the sides renew hostilities in November.
The news is the last thing Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen would have wanted to hear, as the development means siding with either willow-swinger to be England’s top runscorer in the series, at 9/2 and 7/2 respectively, should be swerved.
Both men favour the leg side over the off to score their runs and are prone to a shuffle across their stumps in order to satisfy that thirst. That leaves them extremely susceptible to an LBW dismissal should they misjudge their shot.
In that situation, their only escape would be to get an inside edge on the delivery. Trott’s dismissal in the second innings of the first Test this summer proved that, even with Hot Spot in action, those inside edges can be missed. So with no specific “edge-detector” in place whatsoever – third umpires now must rely on stump microphones and standard instant replays to detect an edge – the South African-born duo are instantly the most at risk on the batting card.
It makes avoiding Trott and Pietersen, who’ve been trapped LBW in 20 and 19 per cent of their Test careers, and lumping on Ian Bell at 9/2 by far the wiser move.
The Warwickshire timer is coming off the most successful series of his career after plundering the Aussies for 562 runs, and is far less prone to getting wrapped on the pads, which his 14 per cent of LBW’s proves.
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