Sydney, Jan 4: Known to be hostile to visiting teams, even the Australian media could not help commiserating with the Indian cricketers, who bore the brunt of the most shocking umpiring blunders in the second cricket Test against Ricky Ponting's side here.
In a hard-hitting column, 'Sydney Morning Herald' cricket writer Peter Roebuck said Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson spoilt what was a superb day of cricket.
"Alas, their errors changed the mood of the match. As usual, the weaker side suffered the rough end of the stick. It is hard enough to win in Australian without standing helpless as players of the calibre of Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds are given a second opportunity to build a substantial score," he wrote.
Umpires made four blunders yesterday and India were the worst hit with three of them going against them.
Roebuck wrote that Bucknor was past his prime and should have retired after the World Cup in West Indies.
"Indeed, he was expected to retire after the World Cup. Those responsible for allowing him to linger were also partly responsible for a decision that changed the course of the dayand possibly the match and series,"
The 'Herald Sun', meanwhile, said Wednesday's incidents brought the "dwindling umpiring standards" into focus.
"Symonds' heroic knock of 137 not out rescued Australia from serious trouble in the second Test in Sydney against a resurgent India, but not without a controversial helping hand from umpire Steve Bucknor," wrote the newspaper.