Ashes

Johnson riled by refferals

2011-01-04 17:52
Mitchell Johnson (File)

Sydney - Mitchell Johnson hit out at the umpire referral system after Australia were again on the wrong end of a reviewed decision which kept England's Alastair Cook at the crease in the fifth Ashes Test on Tuesday.

Debutant Michael Beer was celebrating what he thought was his first Test wicket after Cook, then on 45, skied to Ben Hilfenhaus at deep mid-on only for umpire Billy Bowden to ask the third umpire to check on a suspected no-ball.

Replays showed the spinner had overstepped and Cook remained, finishing unbeaten on 61 at the close with England 167 for three and trailing Australia by 113 runs after the second day.

It was the second time in the series that England had been handed a reprieve after a review by the third umpire after Matt Prior was recalled to the crease following a slip catch during last week's fourth Melbourne Test.

Prior was on five at the time, but went on to score 85.

England retained the Ashes thanks to their innings and 157-run win in Melbourne but Australia are out to level the series in Sydney this week.

Johnson said umpires should call a no-ball when they see it rather than relying on a referral as in the case of Cook's 'life' on Tuesday.

"I guess it can be frustrating. If the umpires know it's a no-ball, they should call it, instead of waiting to call it," Johnson said.

"Everyone is going to have different opinions on it. I suppose it's not a bad thing. But it can be frustrating. I suppose you've just got to get your foot behind the line."

The paceman said he felt for Beer, who was playing in his first Test and believed he had dismissed Cook, England's leading scorer in the series with 638 runs, currently at an average of 127.60.

"It was disappointing for him that he didn't get his first wicket. It would have been a good wicket to get, too, being Cook," Johnson said.

"But the way he handled himself after that, and the way he bowled, were good signs for us. It looked like he spun the ball and got a bit of drift.

"You could see the reaction on his face when he was called for it. It was a big moment for him."

But England spearhead James Anderson said he backed the umpires referral system if the correct decision was reached in the end.

"I think it's great for cricket because the correct decision comes out of it," he said.

"We should do it more often, I don't think they use it enough. I think a no-ball is a no-ball and you should get the correct decision each ball."

Johnson said the Australian team set-up had to find answers to their costly no-balling.

"We need to find a way to fix this problem -- whether it's more centre wicket practice or to be more strict at training. It's obviously a problem and we need to fix it," he said.

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