Ponting irked by more cricket controversy
Yet another umpiring decision has been called into question by the Australian cricket team, this time involving New Zealand opening batsman Tom Blundell.
Australian captain Tim Paine questioned the review system's accuracy during the Boxing Day Test but largely focused on the ball-tracking software used to judge LBWs.
This time Hot Spot and Snicko foiled the hosts in what Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne thought was a clear dismissal of Blundell.
"I thought it was out, I heard a noise", Labuschagne told Fox Sports.
"I can't definitely say it was out but I heard a noise and the time sounded good and the whole cordon kind of went up so I thought it was out."
Australian quick Pat Cummins appealed for a suspected outside edge from Blundell's bat when he was on 16, only to be turned down by on-field umpire Aleem Dar and then again by third umpire Nigel Llong after sending it to the review system.
While the only spike in noise that appeared on Snicko was well after the ball passed the bat, at least one Australian player claimed there was the faintest evidence of an edge on Hot Spot.
"It's not as high definition on the big screen, so it's hard for us to see if there was a little spot. I think James Pattinson in the circle said there was a little spot, he spotted it," Labuschagne said.
"Not sure at all though. At the end of the day we heard a noise and thought the time was good, hence why we reviewed it and unfortunately it wasn't out."
Ex-Australian captain Ricky Ponting was on Pattinson's side, saying he too believed Blundell had got a faint tickle on the ball.
"If there's no mark on the bat before and there's a mark where the ball passed the bat on Hot Spot … for mine that is conclusive evidence," Ponting said in commentary for Seven.
"We had one at the MCG, Mitchell Santner (given not out by the third umpire) … it hit the sweat band (of his glove). I think the umpires' decisions are being rushed. They have to ask for every possible (angle) to make the correct decision."
Most Aussies appealed but Steve Smith, fielding at slip, didn't, suggesting he was one of the only men around the bat not to hear the noise his teammates did.
Paine has an ordinary record when it comes to using the DRS and in Melbourne said he was "angry" when the system disagreed with him again on a couple of key decisions.
He was given out LBW upon review at the MCG despite believing he was struck outside the line of off stump. Ball tracking had a different view and even though left-armer Neil Wagner was angling the ball back in from around the wicket, the technology said the ball hit Paine in line and was continuing on to hit the stumps.
In New Zealand's second innings Paine and Co. thought Ross Taylor was plumb LBW but the Kiwi star reviewed and ball tracking showed the ball missing the top of the stumps, leading the Aussie skipper to quip Taylor must know "the bloke in the truck" responsible for the process.
"It's certainly got its good points. But there's just some ironing out at times that needed to be done," Paine said of the DRS in Melbourne.
"I know they are trying to get it as a precise as they can. But I think as an aid to help the umpires get to the right decision I think it's good."
Blundell helped New Zealand end the second day of the Sydney Test on 0/63, going to stumps unbeaten on 34.
This article first appeared on the NZ Herald and was reproduced with permission