Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting once again didn’t hold back while criticising Tim Paine’s side, coming down heavily on Nathan Lyon not opting to use a review on day four despite having two in the bank, ESPNCricinfo reported.
Lyon was given out leg-before after India spinner Kuldeep Yadav rapped him on the pads with a full delivery. The off-spinner walked off the field despite the hosts having just a wicket in hand and both reviews in tact.
“That dismissal actually says a lot to me about the mindset of this Australian team at the moment,” Ponting said on Seven, one of the host broadcasters. “There’s no desperation there whatsoever.”
“Why wouldn’t they have had a look at that? They’ve still got the two reviews up their sleeve. There had to be some sort of doubt in that.
“Given out straight away and Mitchell Starc just puts his hand out and says ‘oh well, it’s not me, it’s up to you to make [a call]’. Well, unfortunately, when you’re out there together it’s a partnership. You’ve got to do whatever you can to try and save your mate. And there was absolutely none of that there. And as it’s shown already that would have been given not out. Slack and not desperate enough.”
Australia were bundled out for 300 in their first innings with Kuldeep Yadav picking up five wickets, and India skipper Virat Kohli opted to follow-on. Openers Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja safely negotiated four overs before bad light stopped play on day four. Australia still trail India by a whopping 316 runs and seem destined to lose the series.
Ponting also questioned Lyon’s batting partner Mitchell Starc’s positioning at the non-striker’s end, reckoning that the pacer made it impossible to judge whether the ball had pitched in line of the stumps. “You can see where Mitchell Starc is standing at the non-striker’s end,” he added.
“One, look how wide he’s standing. There’s no need to be that wide in the first place. Nathan Lyon looks up, ‘Oh what do you reckon?’ ‘Oh I don’t know mate. Yeah I don’t know. But let’s not bother looking. We’ve only got two [reviews] up our sleeve.’”
A day earlier, Ponting had lashed out against the Australia batsmen for failing to capitalise on a good batting strip in Sydney. “If they’re flat, get some runs on them,” he had said.