Several Australian newspapers agreed on Monday that India should have won the second cricket Test, and criticised the behavior of Australian players during the Test. "India have been dudded. No one with the slightest enthusiasm for cricket will take the least satisfaction from the victory secured by the local team ... that entertained spectators, provided some excellent batting but left a sour taste in the mouth," wrote Peter Roebuck in Monday's Sydney Morning Herald.
"It was a match that will have been relished only by rabid nationalists and others for whom victory and vengeance are the sole reasons for playing sport. Truth to tell, the last day was as bad as the first. It was a rotten contest that singularly failed to elevate the spirit."
After the match won by Australia by 122 runs in the scheduled second-last over of the day, India captain Anil Kumble accused Australia of unsportsmanlike conduct and the team's manager called for "incompetent" umpires to be replaced after a dramatic end Sunday to the second Test.
While Australia celebrated its world record-equaling 16th consecutive test win, India fumed over poor umpiring decisions and Australia's attitude in the field - in particular Andrew Symonds and Mike Hussey, who both scored centuries in the Test, but did not leave the field when they were clearly out.
Mike Coward, veteran cricket writer for The Australian national newspaper, took a more conciliatory tone, but criticised Australia's behavior and the umpires.
"It is shameful this splendid Test match, won in such a remarkable fashion by the indomitable Australians, has left such a bitter taste," wrote Coward. "The standard of play often was outstanding and occasionally exceptional but the standard of player behavior was questionable and, at times, unacceptable. And the standard of umpiring was poor."
"Test cricket is not robust enough these days to withstand these failings and the protagonists and umpires Steve Bucknor, in particular, and Mark Benson should be called to account." Former Australia captain Steve Waugh, writing in Sydney's Daily Telegraph on Monday, said it was a "real pity" that the Test match "will probably be remembered for all the wrong reasons - and not for the outstanding quality, pressure and the excruciating drama it ultimately provided."
Waugh said the a racial exchange involving India spinner Harbhajan Singh and Australian allrounder Symonds - for which Singh was eventually banned for three matches - could have been handled better.
"Perhaps a better outcome may have been for both captains, coaches and named players to get together at the end of the day's play and work out a solution before they went past the point of no return - which now has the potential to affect relations between both countries," Waugh wrote.
Waugh said "sledging" between the teams that eventually led to the verbal altercation is part of Australia's sporting culture. "Teams playing against Australia fail to understand that banter, gamesmanship, sledging or whatever anyone would like to call it is just the way Australian kids joust and play in the schoolyard and backyards," Waugh wrote.
He called the match "one of the great games of the modern era." "For Australia to even be in a position to win after slumping to 134-6 on day one shows the side's character, never-say-die attitude and ability to adjust to all circumstances," Waugh wrote.