In the past, I haven't thought much of Ricky Ponting's captaincy at all. In what I have managed to see of this series, however, I haven't had any problem with his strategies. In contrast, his behaviour after the first referral regarding Chanderpaul was ridiculous. I have in the past agreed with his comments on cameras and low catches, but they just make his response to the not out decision even more ridiculous.
Ponting says that the referral system was meant to get rid of things like that, presumably meaning mistakes that are 'obvious'. That is a stupid idea - it was only meant to get rid of mistakes that were obvious to the tv viewer with certain technology. As well as being largely motivated by television, the system restricts the third umpire to approved technology, rather than giving them everything that might be provided to the spectator at home.
It is quite clear that a mistake could be 'obvious' to those on the field without being obvious to the cameras, or even being wrong. In this case, I think it is more likely that there was an edge than that there wasn't. However, the replays and hotspot views shown did not provide enough to justify a conclusive umpire's decision, and certainly not enough to justify overturning a decision in the current framework. I do question why both hotspot cameras were not used, but I believe there will always be some level of ambiguity, if not error, not matter how good the technology is.
Ponting should have accepted that the cameras did not provide the evidence of what he thought he heard and saw. Instead, as some predicted, the review system has provoked even stronger dissent. The match referee should haul him up on a charge of dissent, or at least stupidity. Of course, off the field, more interest has been shown to the later appeal, when the umpire's not out decision was overturned. I still haven't seen footage of this, but form all accounts it was a strange decision by third umpire Asad Rauf. Most disturbing are the rumours circulating that this prompted the withdrawal and retirement of umpire Benson.
For an umpire to not complete a test for reasons other than relating to health is a very big deal. It is hard to believe the "suggestions" received by the Sunday Times (and of course repeated by Cricinfo, Fairfax media and others as facts reported by the Sunday Times) that Benson's departure from Australia was motivated by these incidents, rather than existing health problems. I don't see why the issues as reported would require a visit to hospital rather than a phone call to his long-standing doctor. Obviously the suggestions came form somewhere, but I can't see how it could be true that he was upset most by the second decision, unless there is much more to the story in the umpires' room.
Before the talk of retirement, I'd have hoped the umpires' coach would take a careful look at Benson's performance in Adelaide. In any case, he is no stranger to criticism of his decisions. However, it seems to me that apart form ill health, I suspect it is not he that should be the centre of the attention at the moment.