Technology has become a major part of cricket these days. A prime example of this was visible in the India vs Australia T20I at Mohali. During the 11th over of the first innings, India's right-arm pacer Umesh Yadav got two wickets, and both these wickets were determined with the help of ultra-edge technology.
The on-field umpire had given the batsmen not out in both the cases, but the decisions were reviewed by Rohit Sharma and India got two wickets.
When Steve Smith's decision was reviewed, ultra-edge showed that there was a slight touch of the bat with the ball. Later, in the same over, Glenn Maxwell too had to depart in the same way. He had edged the ball and the umpire had given him not out. The decision was once again reviewed, with the ultra edge technology, it was seen that there was a slight edge from the bat. Maxwell, too had to depart like Smith.
The Australian team, which dominated the first 10 overs of the game, got under pressure after losing two wickets in an over.
If you looke at both the dismissals with a naked eye, it would appear that the ball didn't touch the bat. It was only in the ultra-edge view that it was established that the ball had indeed touched the bat.
What is ultra-edge technology? Ultra edge is an advanced version of Snickometer which is used for edge detection. The technology, Snickometer, was first invented by a British computer scientist Allan Plaskett and it was used in 1999 by UK's Channel 4.
The ultra-edge technology has been approved for use by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after tests and verifications. This system has been thoroughly tested by engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
This technology uses the mics placed inside the stumps and different cameras installed on the pitch and around the ground. When a ball touches the bat, the ball produces a particular sound that is picked up by the wicket mics and it is detected on the tracking screen.
The stump mic is able to differentiate between the sound made by the bat and pads. As as the ball approaches the bat, the cameras placed on the opposite ends of field tracks the ball for visual depiction. The sound microphone in the mic picks up the sound of the ball striking the bat to an oscilloscope. This oscilloscope displays the sound energy in waves which we visually see, in case the bat nicks the ball. This only decides whether the batter is out or not.
Can there be glitches in this? Just like every technology has a glitch, this too can sometimes go wrong.
The first glitch can be when a spike is registered in the sound wave lengths before the ball touches the bat. This could happen due to external sounds picked up by the mic at the time of the ball being bowled.
The second glitch can happen when the bat hits the ground and the ball simultaneously. In this, the sound detected by the bat can cause confusion. The third glitch can happen when the ball hits the body as well as the bat while in close proximity. This can cause a distortion in the sound lengths detected.