Australia great Ricky Ponting was involved in a heated on-air debate with journalist Peter Lalor over skipper Tim Paine’s use of the DRS during the Australia-India Adelaide Test.
The discussion kicked up when Paine opted not to use DRS for a caught-behind appeal involving Virat Kohli on day one of the Test. The debatable call by Paine, who is known to have a history of poor decision-making when it comes to the DRS, divided opinion on social media, especially after Hotspot showed was some glove involved.
Ponting seemingly defended Paine after the call, but Lalor, a chief cricket write for The Australian, wasn’t impressed by the non-review.
“Jeez you’re harsh, you blokes, very, very harsh. There was not even an appeal, hardly a reaction,” Ponting was heard saying on Channel 7. “The DRS is brought in for the absolute howler, let’s get that right. If they thought that was out, there would have been more appeals and everything out there.
“That’s just one that … it wasn’t even an option to be reviewed as far as I’m concerned.”
Lalor immediately responded with: “Well, mate, they discussed it, I don’t know what they were talking about if it wasn’t for a review. They’re paid a lot of money [to get it right].”
Ponting’s co-commentator Tim Lane tried to ease the tension, saying: “So we know what tomorrow’s lead story is.”
“Yeah,” Lalor replied. “‘Ricky Ponting tries to defend Cricket Australia again and his mate Tim Paine’.”
Kohli, then on 16, went on to add 58 more before he was run out after a mix-up with vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane.
Early on day two, Channel 7 presenter James Brayshaw enquired if the duo had made up, asking Lalor: “Hey Pete, have you and Punter kissed and made up or is there still some tension, how’s that going?”
Lalor said: “Well, they’ve kept us apart for this cross,” while Ponting quipped, “You’re in one grandstand and I’m in the other, we’ll catch up at some point in the commentary box today, I’m sure.”
Peter Lalor having a bit of a spat with punter on 7.#AUSvIND
— Sami Dowd (@samidowd) December 17, 2020
Wow Peter Lalor and Ricky Ponting get fierce in awkward on air moment #AUSvIND
— Andy Park (@andy_park) December 17, 2020
Lalor seemed to infer Ponting is a Cricket Australia puppet. Must be hard to work for CA and also commentate without fear or favour.
— Ben Cameron (@BenCameron4) December 17, 2020
— Paul Bamford (@pwbamford) December 17, 2020
Lol Peter lalor just took Ponting to cleaners on seven. " as long as you're mate Tim paine is there its okay" #AUSvIND
— Lucas 🇪🇸🇦🇺 (@3ptSpanishKing) December 17, 2020
Ricky Ponting has just gone very quiet. He’s trying to think of a reason not to punch Peter Lalor. #AUSvIND
— Scott King (@ScottyAKing) December 17, 2020
Apart from the disagreement with Lalor, Ponting had an eventful day in the commentary box, earning praise on social media (along with some criticism), for correctly predicting Prithvi Shaw’s dismissal moments before he was bowled by Mitchell Starc.
On the same day, his former teammate Shane Warne, commentating for Fox Cricket, copped criticism for referring to Cheteshwar Pujara with the nickname given to him at Yorkshire.