India v Australia, 2nd Test, Sydney, 1st day January 3, 2008

Taufel should have umpired Sydney Test - Waugh

Cricinfo staff

Simon Taufel is rated as the world's best umpire but cannot officiate in Tests involving Australia © Getty Images

Steve Waugh, the former Australian captain, wants the concept of neutral umpires to be done away with and says the best umpires should officiate in high-profile matches, such as the India-Australia series. Waugh's comments came after several umpiring errors on the first day of the second Test between India and Australia in Sydney.

Waugh wrote in Australia's Daily Telegraph: "The world's No. 1 umpire for the past four years is Simon Taufel from Sydney and he should be out in the middle making the crucial decisions under pressure for this is what the best aspire to." He said there might have been a need for neutral umpires in the past, because of a lack of professionalism coupled with poor television cameras.

However, with more transparency and with poor performances from umpires likely to see them on the sidelines, Waugh believed there was no reason to insist on neutral umpires any more. Waugh was the most high-profile of the critics of Wednesday's umpiring. "To have at least four obvious errors in one day is not bad luck," Waugh said, "just inadequate concentration."

Mark Benson failed to spot an edge down leg side from Ricky Ponting on 17 and then did not see another deflection off the bat when he gave Ponting out lbw for 55. A nick from Andrew Symonds also escaped Steve Bucknor's attention, while the third umpire Bruce Oxenford turned down a stumping appeal despite replays suggesting that Symonds' foot was in the air when the bails came off.