Ponting unimpressed with technology
Ricky Ponting called the technology used to rule on disputed low catches "a blight on the game" after his take of Alastair Cook was turned down.
The decision had no impact on the result - Cook was on 209 at the time - but Ponting remains upset that the replay issue continues to simmer six years after he tried to secure a gentleman's agreement among international captains.
Ponting was not animated when he claimed Cook's flick low down at midwicket, mainly because England were 1 for 457, but he started to become grumpy when it was given not out by the third umpire. "If it was the first wicket of the innings I might have been a bit more annoyed," he said.
"I do get a little bit annoyed with it because I think it's a blight on the game, trusting in technology that's not good enough to show them. I could have thrown the ball up straight away and nobody would have questioned it."
The Australians were too tired to rush to Ponting when he leaned forward to scoop up the ball and while it looked like he caught it live, the replays didn't totally agree. Cook said he stood his ground because he "wasn't sure". "I don't think Ricky was sure either," he said.
Ponting was told by the umpire Aleem Dar that the decision was "not 100% clear", and he then started discussing with Cook whether the ball had carried. He said it was the only time Cook, who finished with a ground-high 235 not out, was flustered during his innings.
"I said to the umpires straight away that I was pretty sure that I caught it," Ponting said. "That's about all I could do. As soon as they referred it you pretty much know what the end result was going to be."
Before the series Ponting did not chat to Andrew Strauss about accepting the word of fielders in these sorts of cases, and he has grown weary of his lone battle to get the unofficial regulation passed. "It's up to the umpires now, they've set that standard and they have to make it consistent all the way through," he said. "Not that long ago, you look back to a Test match played at Lord's where there was a pretty obvious one that went the other way."
Phillip Hughes was the dismissed batsman on that Ashes occasion and Strauss was the fielder at first slip. "Sometimes you've got to take the good with the bad," Ponting said. "It just highlights the technology is not what it's needed to be."
Cook had added another 13 when Ponting missed a tough chance to his right as the floating slip. It was one of five chances Australia dropped during their 152 overs in the second innings. Ponting said so many spills were "not acceptable" and that fielding was another area that needed to improve before Friday's second Test in Adelaide.
Ponting's day got a little better with an unbeaten half-century as Australia finished the drawn affair at 1 for 107. "The fact that we actually went out and batted the way we did tonight was a good positive sign," Ponting said. There was little else for them to cheer over the final two days.
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo