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HawkEye founder puts England’s outrage to rest with explanation on Joe Root’s DRS dismissal in 4th Test

Joe Root’s dismissal stirred quite a controversy during the fourth Test between India and England in Ranchi.

Controversy erupted during the fourth Test match between India and England in Ranchi with Joe Root’s lbw dismissal, prompting criticism of the Decision Review System (DRS). Root, the centurion from England’s first innings in the Test, found himself at the centre of attention when Ravichandran Ashwin’s delivery struck his pads. India decided to challenge the on-field umpire’s decision, opting for a review. The decision was eventually overturned after the Hawkeye deemed the ball had pitched in the line of the leg-stump in a significantly close call, ruling Root out.

The Hawk-Eye for Joe Root’s dismissal in the 4th Test(X)

This contentious call quickly became the subject of intense debate on social media platforms, with many questioning the reliability and accuracy of the DRS system. The controversy reached such heights that former England captain Michael Vaughan also suggested including television cameras and an ICC official in the DRS truck to ensure the “integrity” remains intact.

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Amidst the uproar, Paul Hawkins, the founder of HawkEye, has now stepped in to provide some much-needed clarity. In his explanation, Hawkins addressed the doubts and uncertainties surrounding the controversial decision.

“So firstly, you measure the width of the stumps on each day of the Test. That then becomes the lines between what’s pitched in line and what’s not. It was a very close-on (Joe Root call),” Hawkinds told Simon Hughes in the ‘The Analyst’ podcast.

“In tennis, you will occasionally get zero mm in or zero mm out (in terms of ball pitching outside the line). But in tennis, it’s decided that it’s not out until it’s not zero mm, but it’s 1mm out. So, in tennis, we shift the bounce mark just for the presentation perspective, so a zero mm in becomes a 1mm in to enable the viewers to see the mark.

“But that’s just a presentation thing, nothing different with the tracking or the answer. It just makes it clearer to the viewer.

“It would have been clearer on TV if the track hadn’t come off the ball, so you can see more clearly over the line, which happens automatically if the ball has pitched outside the leg stump.

Hawkins clarified that in Root’s instance, the ball’s trajectory landed just 1 mm within the line rather than outside. This minute difference compelled the umpires to adhere to the established guidelines, resulting in the decision to dismiss the England batter.

“It must be 1mm more in than out (Joe Root case) because otherwise, we wouldn’t have said it’s pitched in line. But it is a very close one.

“As per the laws, we gave the right answer. But we failed in the ability to not be the story and perhaps there’s a learning opportunity to improve our presentation and stuff to make those really close ones slightly clearer.”

The incident was yet another reminder of the complexities involved in using technology to assist umpiring decisions in the ongoing series. After the second Test, England captain Ben Stokes stated that he wanted the umpire’s call abolished. Throughout the series, both teams have had multiple marginal calls go in their favour, leading to debates between former cricketers, as well as fans.


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