Sydney: Australian captain Ricky Ponting admitted the 'tainted' Sydney Test has left a 'sour taste' in the Indian mouth, but warned pulling out of the tour might jeopardise cricketing ties between the two countries.
"I think the whole (Test) has been tainted a little bit by some of the events during and then after the game. Otherwise I think this actual game and the first Test in Melbourne, apart from the one issue which everyone knows about right at the moment, was played in very, very good spirits," Ponting told Channel Nine.
"Sure there has been something else in the background that has happened in this last Test that has put a sour taste in a couple of the Indian team's mouths," he said.
But pulling out would not be the right reaction, he said.
"...I think it is important for all of us to look past that and realise that both India and Australia have got and have had tremendous relations through a hundred years of Test cricket and you won't like to think that one little incident like this would bring undone all the great work that has been done over a long period of time," he said.
Ponting, who was speaking before India filed a complaint against Brad Hogg for abusing one of the players, was baffled by the widespread criticism of his team.
"It's disappointing and they are entitled to their opinion, but if you look back at the game, I really can't see how we have done anything wrong by the spirit of the game," he said. "There is one incident that has come out of these first two Tests and it doesn't involve the Australians," he said.
Ponting believed contentious catches were at the centre of the controversy and said he was no fan of the referral system.
"Contentious catches have always been a thorn in my side, if you like, with the referral to the third umpire. I, for the last five years or since I have been captain of the Test team, have been trying to get that taken out of the game because I really think it is a blight on the game."
"Coming into this series at the referees' meeting, Anil and I had agreed we would, as captains, ask the player for their immediate reaction if they caught the ball or not," he said.
Told that the team had not upheld the spirit of the game by standing their ground and appealing even in case of bump catches, Ponting said, "If an umpire gives you not out, you stay, if he doesn't, you go. That is the game of cricket, that is what people love about the game."
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