Some among the technology futurists believe that the ICC should include Hawkeye in the umpire review system. I’m not one of them, for two reasons: 1. the usual, ol’ fashioned creed that readers now know by heart, and 2. of all the ways batsmen can get out, LBW is one of the more mysterious. This is a law that basically requires umpires to predict the future, relying on a) where the ball pitched; b) height at impact; c) where impact occurs vis-a-vis the stumps. But it’s also based on an important value: batsmen bat, they don’t pad.
So when Ricky Ponting does not play a shot against Mohammad Asif, I think R. Koertzen hits the mark when he raises the Slow Finger Of Death, even though Hawkeye later reveals the ball would miss the stumps. I’m not saying all batsmen who get hit on the pad for not playing a shot deserve to get out (though that would be a fine rule). But that ball looked close enough (Ponting’s typical lunge to the right didn’t help) and it showed that it was going to miss leg stump, which really makes it a problem for me (what kind of batsman pads up to a ball that’s swinging in enough to go past his leg stump?).
I just think certain LBWs can rely on more leeway, and padding up is one of them. It would have been a real shame if Hawkeye were used and restored Ponting’s wicket — not just because I hate Ricky Ponting (in a sort of, You’re one of the greatest batsmen of all time, resentful way), but because, in this case, he deserved the duck he got.