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Graeme Swann defends England's referrals against SA


We messed up referrals - Swann

Graeme Swann defended England's use of the new umpire referral system after both calls were turned down on day one of the first Test against South Africa.

Jacques Kallis survived a referral appeal for an lbw off James Anderson, while Swann saw a caught behind referral off AB de Villiers rejected.

Swann, who finished the day with 2-61, told BBC Sport "Everyone around the bat was convinced [De Villiers] was out.

"If you think it's out then call for it, if not then don't."

Swann, along with England's close fielders and wicketkeeper Matt Prior, appealed in unison when De Villiers, then on 32, attempted a sweep off Swann in the 53rd over.

Umpire Steve Davis turned down the appeal, prompting Swann to immediately challenge the decision.

Although television replays could not provide conclusive proof that contact had been made with the bat, third umpire Amiesh Saheba had no access to "Snickometer" or "Hot Spot" technologies which provide more revealing evidence for caught behind appeals.

Anything under 400 will be a good day's work for us

Graeme Swann

Hot Spot requires specialist cameras, of which there are only four in the world, all of which are in either Australia or New Zealand.

"We talked earlier about the review system and how it could be a potential banana skin," said Swann, who bowled 24 overs on the first day at SuperSport Park.

"We were all convinced there had been a bottom edge and that's why we called for it. There's a not a lot we can do about that if we haven't got Snickometer or Hot Spot.

"If either were here then maybe it would have shown it was out.

"I think if we start umming and aahhing, shall we, shan't we, then we're getting into waters we can't control."


Onions saw a successful lbw appeal against Ashwell Prince reversed when the opener called for a review, while a thick inside edge off Kallis's bat scuppered Anderson's hopes of a reversal.

"Certainly with the lbw decision it's wise that the captain, wicketkeeper and bowler have a brief talk and see what they reckon," Swann added.

"With that one we all thought he was out and that's why we called for it."

Kallis went on to register his 32nd Test hundred with a miss-timed pull with a top-edged pull that just evaded fine leg Onions as South Africa edged an intriguing first day.

"We had a couple of half-chances that we didn't take but he's done for South Africa what he has done so often," added Swann.

'Calm' Kallis impresses Prince

"We really need to get rid of him on Thursday and get stuck into the SA batting order.

"Anything under 400 will be a good day's work for us. I think our bowlers have bowled well, we're certainly not losing heart.

"We've got a new ball and we can make inroads and get into the lower order."

However South Africa opener Prince said the hosts were looking for Kallis and JP Duminy to build a significant partnership on the second day.

"Everyone knows how calm Jacques is and it rubs off on everyone else," he said.

"We'll have to negotiate the first hour again on Thursday because the ball is quite new, but hopefully they can build the partnership as big as possible.

"I think being only four down has tilted things our way."

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