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Ashes 2019: Langer and Paine Blame DRS Decision Making And Not Umpire Wilson

Coach Justin Langer and captain Tim Paine refused to blame umpire Joel Wilson for his blunder in the thrilling final stages of the Headingley Test, when Ben Stokes was given not out off a Nathan Lyon delivery, with both men saying Australia need to improve their use of the Decision Review System (DRS).

Cricketnext Staff |August 26, 2019, 1:32 PM IST
Australian captain Tim Paine. (Pic: AFP)

Coach Justin Langer and captain Tim Paine refused to blame umpire Joel Wilson for his blunder in the thrilling final stages of the Headingley Test, when Ben Stokes was given not out off a Nathan Lyon delivery, with both men saying Australia need to improve their use of the Decision Review System (DRS).

Had Stokes been dismissed Australia would have won the Test by 1 run and in turn taken an unassailable 2-0 at the end of the third Test of the five match series and retained the Ashes.

What made matters worse for Paine and Australia was that they had no reviews left, who conceded that DRS has been a problem area. England at the time had one review available to them.

"I can't fathom why or how that wasn't given out at the time," Paine told the Nine Network. "Because England had referrals left, so if it was (incorrectly) given out, the correct decision is then made from upstairs.

"But that's OK, it happened. We've got to use our reviews better. But that one in particular is hard to take at the moment."

Langer believes whether the Australians had reviews left or not, should ideally not have been part of Wilson’s thought process while making the decision.

"The umpire should make the decision he thinks is right, regardless of reviews (remaining)," the coach said. "If they think it's out, they should give it. If they don't, they should give it not out. The review system is as it is and sometimes they go your way, sometimes they don't.

"We've been really poor at it this whole series. We talked a lot about getting better at our reviews."

Wilson has already been subjected to heavy criticism for his mistakes in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston and Headingley is the last bit of involvement in the series for him.

A combination of Ruchira Palliyaguruge – who has umpired just three Tests previously – and experienced veterans Marais Erasmus and Kumar Dharmasena will stand in the final two Tests. Paine was left to regret some pivotal non-referrals at Lord's last week, and believes he isn’t in a position to criticise Wilson.

"I don't think I've got a referral correct the whole series, so I can't sit here and bag the umpires," he said. "To sit down and single out an umpire is unnecessary. He is no different to everyone else, he is allowed to make mistakes. I've got every review wrong so far, so I'm going to give up and give it to someone else."

Paine was slammed for using up the last review on not-out decision against Jack Leach, where replays showed the ball was clearly sliding down leg.

Former skipper Ian Chappell said Paine "lost his brain" when he asked for the third umpire's opinion. Another ex-Australian skipper Mark Taylor added Paine had used his reviews "frivolously", while wicketkeeping great Ian Healy said the skipper "burnt a review stupidly".

"Patty Cummins said, 'I think it might have pitched in line, but I think he hit it'," Paine said. "And I said, 'he definitely didn't hit it', but I was worried about where it pitched. And it was just a spur of the moment, we'll have a dabble at it. And got it wrong."

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