Umpire didn’t need to involve in Kohli-Paine verbal spat: Ponting

Melbourne : Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting believes that there was no need for the on-field umpire to get involved in the verbal spat between Indian captain Virat Kohli and his counterpart Tim Paine on Day Four of the second Test at Perth.

Kohli and Paine were seen locked in a heated conversation as the hosts strengthened their position on Day Four of the second innings of the match. Ponting, however, stated that whatever happened on the field was “lighthearted” and “quite funny at times.”

“A lot of the banter we’ve heard since has been quite funny. I know the umpires got involved but they probably didn’t need to,” quoted Ponting, as saying.

“It was a conversation, a bit of banter between the two captains and whatever we heard today has been pretty lighthearted and quite funny at times,” he added.

Ponting, while asserting that it is the skill set that matters the most, said that if a team is playing good cricket then they don’t really need to involve in such banter. He further stated that Australia are on top of their game in the second Test and that they should now let their performance do the talking.

“If you’re playing good cricket you don’t need to do that. Australia are on top in this Test match now and if you look at both teams, Australia have had less to say than India have. Let your bat, let the ball do the talking and impose your skills on the opposition,” Ponting said.

“If you can be more skillful and outplay your opponents in key moments then walking around with a smile on your face is quite easy. Australia weren’t able to do that in Adelaide, they’ve done it for most of the game here in Perth and I’m sure if they start well again on day five that real aggressive Aussie attitude will be out there for everyone to see,” he added.

The former captain was also full of praise for the right-arm spinner Nathon Lyon who has recorded brilliant bowling figures in the match so far.

“He’s (Lyon) hardly had a bad series in a long period of time. His control is better, the ball is coming out of his hand perfectly, and he’s a lot smarter. It’s one thing to be able to think about it, another thing to be able to execute it and he’s doing both those things really well,” Ponting said.

“We know that when finger spinners come to Australia, whether they’re Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, whoever they are, they’ve all struggled here – but not Nathan Lyon. He loves the extra bounce he gets in Brisbane and bounce he got last week in Adelaide. He’s bowled well here, he’s used the footmarks, his arm ball really well. His variations and his skills are absolutely spot on,” he added.

Australia have set a 287-run target for India in the second Test. In reply, the visitors have lost their crucial top-order batsmen, including Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, without putting many runs on the scoreboard.