Umpires must be 'brave' on lbw calls

Two controversial DRS decisions during the WACA Test have raised fears umpires are too quick to defer to the technology

Australia batting coach Graeme Hick has called for elite umpires to be "brave" and not rely on the Decision Review System for borderline lbw decisions.

Two controversial DRS rulings went against Australia in the first Commonwealth Bank Test, which left current skipper Steve Smith flummoxed and former captain Ricky Ponting criticising the technology in use.

Hick wants the umpires to continue to back themselves when making tough decisions, and says the recent tweaks to the DRS, which have made it easier to be given out leg before wicket, have eliminated the 'benefit of the doubt' going to the batsmen.

"But I also like to see umpires be brave and make some decisions … sometimes on those real marginal ones I feel that they just throw to DRS too easily," Hick told reporters after the Australia squad touched down in Hobart on Tuesday.

"But that's what we play by in this game, those harsh decisions.

"And while both those decisions went against us, the umpires were proved right.

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"The players get used to it and they have to adapt and change their techniques maybe in how they're playing spin.

"But the stumps have certainly got a bit wider."

In July the International Cricket Council extended the impact zone on the wickets for lbw decisions by half a stump to the cheers of bowlers all around the world.

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Smith was given out lbw in Australia's first innings in Perth after he advanced down the pitch nearly three metres from the stumps and was struck on his front pad, to which the batsman was shocked and immediately called for a review.

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The umpire's decision was upheld when the ball tracking technology predicted the ball would have hit the outside of the top of leg stump, leaving Smith to shake his head in disbelief as he left the playing arena without scoring.

Ball tracking again came under fire on day five, when Mitchell Marsh was given out lbw to Kagiso Rabada after the umpire originally declined the South Africans' appeal.

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis called for a review, with ball tracking predicting the ball would have cannoned into Marsh's leg stump after taking a sharp left deviation from where it landed.

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Ponting was convinced the projection was incorrect, and while Hick admits he too was puzzled by Marsh's dismissal, he says DRS is here to stay.

"They (Smith and Marsh) were disappointed because I suppose they were marginal but very close," Hick said.

"But it's the same for both sides, they're the rules that we play by now so we just get on with it and accept it.

"The only one that surprised me, the Mitch Marsh one in the second innings with the trajectory, I felt that was missing.

"But it was obviously shown not to.

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"So whether the trajectory actually followed track properly once it made contact with this foot, I don't know.

"It was all marginal, but they're the rules we play by so you get on with it."

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Meg Lanning Steve Smith