There were lots of opinions, plenty of debate and much speculation as to the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne this year. Most of this speculation centred around the quality of the drop in pitch.
One talking point which baffled many a scribe and former players was the manor of the dismissals of England’s James Vince and Dawid Malan. In both cases, the batsmen were given out LBW and chose not to appeal via the DRS system. However, in both cases, Hot Spot showed clearly that each player had hit the ball and therefore would have had their dismissals overturned.
While unusual, this is nothing new. In fact it happened earlier this year during the Champion’s Trophy at The Oval, when Mushfaqur (BAN v AUS) did not challenge his LBW decision.
Many reasons were given for such occurrences. The thickness of today’s gloves, the thickness of the bats the players are using today make it harder for players to realise they have hit the ball. However, the Malan incident was not a ‘feather’. In the words of my colleague, “he smashed that”.
Former players were adamant that this didn’t happen in ‘their day’, that they knew every time when they had hit the ball. They may have known every time that they KNEW they had hit the ball, but as Hot Spot is showing us, maybe there were times they didn’t feel a thing!!
On the subject of the MCG pitch, one thing we noticed while operating the Real Time Snicko, was how much noise the stump microphones were picking up off the pitch. Specifically, the amount of noise the dragging feet of the batsmen on the hard surface was being picked up. This was significantly more than usual, and significantly more than what we had observed a few days earlier at the ODI matches in Christchurch.