In spite of a series riddled with umpiring errors, all inevitably exposed by television replays, captains Ricky Ponting of Australia and Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies yesterday reiterated their opposition to increased use of technology for making decisions. But Ponting recommended an increase in the number of umpires on the International Cricket Council élite panel after his team's victory in the third Test to complete a clean sweep in the series.
"One of the major problems might be just the amount of umpiring these guys are doing," Ponting said, noting that there are only seven on the main ICC panel. "We're always talking about the amount of cricket we are playing but someone has to be umpiring those games and if there's only seven there, then I'm sure it will be long, hard hours and tours on each of the umpires as well.
"I've never been a big fan of technology and I'll always say that, just for the simple fact that the actual technology that has been used and trialled over the last few years hasn't been accurate enough to give you conclusive evidence on dismissals."
Although they won by a comfortable margin, Australia had to fight hard to reach the 183 they required for their triumph in the first series since their Ashes series defeat in England last summer. They lost Brad Hodge for 23 to the fast bowler Daren Powell with 73 still needed but the left-handers Matthew Hayden and Mike Hussey, both with two earlier hundreds in the series, carried them home without further loss against spirited West Indies bowling and fielding and constant chatter that prompted the intervention of the umpires.
Hayden, who benefited from the umpire Aleem Dar's failure to detect an edged catch to gully off the leg-spinner Ramnaresh Sarwan when he was 27 the previous day, was 87 when Hussey stroked the winning run just after lunch. Hussey was 30 but also benefited from an error by Dar who missed a deflection from the glove to short-leg off Sarwan when Hussey was 18.
Hayden was named man of the series and Brian Lara, whose 226 carried him past Australia's Allan Border as Test cricket's leading scorer, the man of the match in what was probably his last Test in Australia. Australia won the first Test by 379 runs and the second by nine wickets. Ponting said afterwards that he expected tougher opposition in their next series of three Tests against South Africa, the first starting in Perth on 16 December.
The South African captain Graeme Smith will make that tour although his injured finger will need protection. Smith injured a finger on his left hand when attempting a catch during the fifth one-day international between India and South Africa in Mumbai on Monday. He was examined by a specialist in Cape Town yesterday and X-rays revealed no fracture.
Smith could miss a three-day tour match against Western Australia in Perth that starts on Monday "as a precautionary measure", a statement said. South Africa leave for Australia on Friday.
West Indies won toss; final day of five
West Indies - First innings 405 (B C Lara 226).
Australia - First innings 428 (M E K Hussey 133no, L Langer 99, R T Ponting 56; D J J Bravo 6-84).
West Indies - Second innings 204 (D J J Bravo 64, R R Sarwan 62; S K Warne 6-80, B Lee 4-46).
Australia - Second innings
(Overnight: 76 for 2)
M L Hayden not out 87
B J Hodge c D R Smith b D B Powell 23
M E K Hussey not out 30
Extras (lb3 w1 nb15) 19
Total (for 3, 58 overs) 182
Fall (cont): 3-110.
Did not bat: A Symonds, ÝA C Gilchrist, S K Warne, B Lee, S C G MacGill, G D McGrath.
Bowling: Edwards 11-1-52-0; D B Powell 14-2-40-1; Collymore 20-6-51-2; Sarwan 12-2-35-0; D R Smith 1-0-1-0.
Australia win three-Test series 3-0
Umpires: B F Bowden (NZ) and Aleem Dar (Pak).Reuse content