Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has expressed his belief that on-field umpires no longer bother to check the front line for no-balls, following several unsignalled no-ball deliveries by Indian fast-bowler Ishant Sharma on day four of the first Test in Adelaide.
Australian opener Aaron Finch was nearly dismissed after being ruled LBW by umpire Kumar Dharmasena following a delivery by Sharma early on. However, television replays indicated that the bowler had overstepped resulting in a reprieve for Finch.
The Indian cricketer continued to overstep throughout the day's action, none of which were signalled as no-balls by the field umpires.
"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.
"Some of the ones we've seen today … 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."
"And as we know now, they'll only ever look at them if a wicket falls, which as far as I'm concerned is not right."
"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 added stating that umpires were growing increasingly reliant on the third official for no-ball decisions.