Former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly said on Friday that umpire Mark Benson could have consulted square leg umpire Steve Bucknor before adjudicating him out on the controversial catch taken by Michael Clarke during the second innings in the Sydney Test.
"I thought he (Benson) could have done a better job if he had consulted Bucknor. The moment I nicked it I turned back and saw it didn't carry. But that's the way it is. It was agreed to stick by the captain's word and we have to stay with that," Ganguly told the channel Star Cricket during the second day of the warm-up game against the ACT XI in Canberra.
The former captain was batting on 51 when he edged Brett Lee low to Clarke at second slip who immediately claimed the catch and the Australians celebrated before awaiting the umpire's decision.
Ganguly was convinced that the catch hadn't carried and waited at the crease. And to everyone's surprise Benson instead of consulting Bucknor asked Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who said the catch was legitimate.
It was among the several decisions that went against India in the Sydney Test and resulted in their 122-run loss to Australia in the match.
In fact at the start of the series, it was decided by both the captains that low catches would be left to the captains instead of referring them to the third umpires.
Ganguly said that playing conditions should be respected if agreed upon before the series. "If it's a decision by the captains then I think in modern day cricket it's fine. But the umpires have a responsibility too. You can leave it to the fielders but the umpires have to make a judgement. I think the umpires should interfere if they feel it's a 50-50."
Besides erroneous umpiring, the match was also marred by unsporting behaviour of the Australian team and charges of alleged racism on Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.
"Sometimes things happen at the heat of the moment. But I also admired how desperate they were to win. That's not a bad thing in sport. Some decisions didn't go our way. It hurt us. On the other side, it showed why they win so many Test matches," said Ganguly.
India are trailing 0-2 in the four-Test series, but Ganguly was confident that the team will bounce back in the third Test in Perth starting Wednesday.
"It's a happy team. We had a good year before this series. I spoke to the Indian board and said one warm-up was not enough. We should have had two. We had the Pakistan home series so it was difficult to fit in another game," he said.