Melbourne: The controversy-ridden second cricket Test between India and Australia was a "rotten contest" from Day one and singularly failed to elevate the spirit of sportsmanship, the Australian media has said.
The media sarcastically said the Sydney encounter 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. India lost the match.
The Sydney Test entertained spectators at the ground, provided some excellent batting but left a "sour taste" in the mouth, the Melbourne Age newspaper said.
Until another shocking decision was made by an umpire(Steve Bucknor) reliable in his time but past his prime, the fifth day of this "unattractive contest" was offering plenty of tension to put alongside the memorable hundreds contributed by capable batsmen on both the sides,it said.
"Had the umpiring been even remotely acceptable on the opening days, or had replays been used to give embattled umpires a chance, India might perchance have won the contest but that will forever remain in the land of conjencture," the newspaper further stated.
The newspaper said Rahul Dravid's dismissal in the second innings at a crucial juncture compromised all subsequent events rendering meaningless the continuation of Australia's run of victories.
On another issue, the newspaper said despite the amiability of many players, Ponting's team is developing a reputation for being headstrong and precious.
"Matthew Hayden's belittling of Anil Kumble's bowling at the MCG was case in point," it said.
The newspaper hoped that at least a vestige of sportsmanship is observed when the teams next meet in Perth.
"What happens in the middle has a nasty habit of spreading further afield," it said.