LONDON: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting reckons the catch taken by all-rounder Cameron Green to dismiss Indian opener Shubman Gill had the ball touching the ground at one point but credited the third umpire for taking the "correct decision" during the fourth day's play of the World Test Championship final.
Gill was batting on 18 when he edged one off Scott Boland and the ball flew low to the left of Green at gully, who scooped it inches from the ground and immediately celebrated the dismissal, as India were rocked early in the chase of 444.
While the Indian opener stood his ground, the decision was taken by third umpire Richard Kettleborough against the batter with India captain Rohit Sharma screaming "no" in despair followed by chants of 'cheat, cheat' across the stands here at The Oval.
Ponting told the ICC, "When I saw it live, I knew it had carried to him on the full, but I wasn't sure what the action was after that from all replays we have seen. I actually think some part of the ball did touch the ground and it is the interpretation of the umpire that as long as the fielder has complete control of the ball before the ball hits the ground then it is out. That must have been what the umpires' interpretation was and I think that is exactly what happened," he said.
After the end of the play, while Green said he had taken the catch, Gill took to social media to express his anger at the decision.
India pace spearhead Mohammed Shami also joined those criticising the decision, saying the umpires should have taken more time to deliberate since it is a WTC final.
Ponting echoed former Australia coach Justin Langer's opinion that there would be mixed opinions on the decision.
"It carried probably six or eight inches off the ground then there was another action after that. There will be a lot of talk about it I am sure and there will probably be more talk in India than in Australia, Everyone in India will think it is not out and everyone in Australia will think it is out. If it had have been given out on the field then I think the third umpire has to find conclusive evidence to overturn that decision and I don't think there would have been conclusive evidence," said Ponting.
The soft signal, which was removed from the playing conditions ahead of the final, could have gone in India's favour if the on-field umpires had signalled it not-out to the TV umpire.
"The reason I am saying that is, even without the soft signal, the third umpire thought it was out. At the end of the day I think the correct decision has probably been made. I was happy for that soft signal to be taken out of the game. I think there was too many of those that seemed irrelevant," Ponting said.
"Everyone will say now that without the soft signal it is going to what technology can see and technology can provide, but at the end of the day it is still the third umpire making the decision on what he can see," he added.