“If technology isn’t helping, I don’t know who’s going to help!”

These were the exact words that the Gujarat Titans captain, Hardik Pandya, playfully uttered when asked about the DRS fiasco that ensued when Matthew Wade reviewed an LBW decision made against him in the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday evening.

In the 6th over of the 1st innings, Wade’s dubious attempt at sweeping a delivery by Glenn Maxwell had resulted in the umpire deeming him out LBW. In response, the 34-year-old immediately asked for the decision to be reviewed, as he believed that he had got bat on it.

However, UltraEdge determined that there was no spike as the ball passed the bat, and the review turned out to be unsuccessful. A furious Wade was forced to walk back to the pavilion, and unsurprisingly, he showcased severe frustration, thumping his bat and helmet at the floor as he entered the dressing room. He was reportedly fined for breaching the IPL code of conduct, and the deflection that seemed apparent on replays sparked tremendous debate on social media.

A similar situation, albeit in a contrasting scenario, occurred in the Mumbai Indians’ encounter with the Kolkata Knight Riders last week, when UltraEdge showed heavy spikes before the ball even reached the bat in a review for caught behind. The MI captain too, was shocked to be adjudged out in what evidently appeared to be a glitch in the technology.

“Technology sometimes helps, sometimes it doesn’t help. Today it didn’t help, but in most cases this season it has made the right decision,” Hardik continued, as he tried to reason about the supposed failure of the UltraEdge technology, which has faltered on more than one occasion now this season.

This dismissal as well as the one made against Rohit last week add to the growing debate on social media about the efficacy of technology in cricket. Be it ball tracking, hotspot, or edge detection, most of the arrangements that are relied upon to make accurate on-field decisions have repeatedly come under the scanner over the past few months. 

The scope of technology and the benefits it can pose for the game are unquestionable. But situations such as these highlight that it is far from ready to become the sole decision-making system in the rapidly evolving sport. And Hardik’s submission that despite its often-disputable outcomes, technology is backed to be right more often than not is the consensus that most debates on this topic seem to arrive at.

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