'No way were they comparable' - Ricky Ponting calls for investigation over ball change controversy
Australia retained the Ashes urn by virtue of drawing the series 2-2.
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England dominated the majority of the fifth Test to have Australia on the ropes heading into the fourth innings. However, thanks to openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja, the tourists looked well on course to chase down a daunting 384-run target. The left-handed duo added 140 runs for the first wicket. However, both were them were dismissed in the space of two overs.
After the two openers resumed batting on Day 5, the umpires felt that there was some defect with the ball and changed it ahead of a rain break. Notably, the umpires change the ball if they deem it to be in an unsuitable condition. However, they replace the ball with another one that is almost as many overs old. The Aussie media and many experts felt that the ball which was used as a replacement on Day 5 of the fifth Test in London was much newer and harder. Some pictures also emerged on social media where a difference was evident.
The ball started moving around and the World Test Champions began to struggle to cope with the swing and seam. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting felt that the incident needed an investigation, calling the dubious ball replacement a "huge moment" in the game.
“The biggest concern I have is the big discrepancy in the condition of the ball chosen to replace it. There is no way in the world you can even look at those two balls there and say in any way they are comparable," Ponting told Sky Sports.
“That is a huge moment in this game, potentially a huge moment in the Test match. And something I think has to be investigated. I will put my hand up and say I have no doubt at all that [old] ball would not have done anywhere near as much as that one did this morning.”
When English fans threw grapes at Ricky Ponting
For the unversed, this is not the first time Ponting lost his cool during the fifth Ashes Test at Kennington Oval. After play of Day 1 ended, Ponting was giving his views on how things panned out and that is when some grapes were thrown at him from the stands. The bizarre incident understandably irked the legendary cricketer as he said on air that he would not mind finding the culprits.