By arguing with the umpire over Tendulkar's recall, Ponting could have got himself into a soup © Getty Images

Ian Chappell, the former Australian captain, has said that Ricky Ponting was "out of order" when he questioned the umpire's decision in the recently-concluded DLF Cup. Chappell was talking about Ponting's argument with umpire Mark Benson, during the final league game of the tournament, when he recalled Sachin Tendulkar after incorrectly declaring him out.

Though Chappell didn't think highly about the Spirit of Cricket pledge championed by Australia and encouraged by the ICC, and called it "nonsense", he felt that Ponting had crossed a line. "I know when I was a captain that the law stated the captain was able to check with an umpire on a point of law, and I think this is where Ricky's wrong," Chappell told The Age, a Melbourne-based daily. "If you're arguing on a judgement call, then I don't think you should be doing that. I think it's also in the way that you ask the questions."

Ponting was not reported for the offence because he had been called over to discuss the issue by the umpire and hadn't broached it himself. But another offence like this one could see him miss a Test match. He had, previously in the same match, questioned a wide call too.

"The spate of things seems to have been quite recent. Up until then, I thought he was controlling his temper pretty well. I'm pretty sure he's aware of it, and he's going to have to continue to be." Chappell also added that the Ashes would be a decisive series for Ponting as a captain. "Particularly if England play well again, how he copes with this series will give us a really good clue as to whether his captaincy has gone up a level or two."

Australia won the DLF Cup by beating West Indies by 127 runs in the finals at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur. They will next head to India for the Champions Trophy beginning October 7.