Ricky Ponting points at the several no-balls Ishant bowled that weren’t called
"I've said this for a lot of years; I honestly don't think the umpires look at the front line anymore," Ponting.
Updated - Dec 10, 2018 3:11 pm
Right after the conclusion of the 1st Test match between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting said that a number of deliveries by Indian pacer Ishant Sharma in the match were way over the line and should have been given no-balls for sure. But the fact that they were overlooked on multiple occasions goes on to show the lack of no-ball monitoring on the umpires’ behalf.
The issue was raised when Aussie opener Aaron Finch was given out to Ishant on the fourth day of the Adelaide Test as the hosts were batting their second innings. He decided to review the lbw decision and it showed that the Indian pacer had overstepped and thus altered the original decision by the umpire Kumar Dharamsena.
Finch fell not so long after to Ravichandran Ashwin after making a mere 11 off 35 balls. But the previous incident did cast a light on how the on-field umpires were lenient with their calls on the front foot no balls.
Don’t think the umpires look at the front line
“I’ve said this for a lot of years; I honestly don’t think the umpires look at the front line anymore,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
Ponting said that there were other deliveries as well from Ishant which should have been called, and some were as plain as the daylight. It only means that the umpires are simply not looking at it.
“Some of the ones we’ve seen… he was 4-6 inches over the line. I don’t think the umpires are looking and I certainly don’t think they were looking at those ones because they were blatantly obvious ones,” he added.
The former Aussie skipper went on to say how the only time the umpires consider checking for overstepping is when it is the matter of a wicket, and he feels that is not at all the right way to go about it.
“As we know now, they’ll only ever look at them if a wicket falls, which as far as I’ concerned is not right,” he quoted.
Surely, there can be mistakes when it comes to the close calls. But calling no-balls is a very important aspect of umpiring, and when a bowler steps around six inches over the line, it is not something that can be simply overlooked, in Ponting’s opinion.
“Part of umpiring is to get the no-ball decisions right as well. I’m not asking for everything to be spot on, but if you’re six inches over then surely you can call it.”
He also thinks that as the captain of the fielding team, he would definitely want to know if his bowlers are continuously overstepping so that the situation can be taken care of. But by not calling the no-balls, the umpires are not giving skipper the chance.
“If I was the fielding team, I’d want to know. If I was Virat Kohli and I knew that my bowler was bowling a no-ball more often than not, I’d want to know that so I could pull that back in line,” Ponting stated.