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England bowling coach puts heat on umpires after Ben Stokes no-ball controversy

England’s camp has been left frustrated by the umpires repeatedly failing to call Ben Stokes‘ no-balls in the lead-up to the illegal delivery that dismissed David Warner.

Stokes’ gaffe proved to be a massive turning-point on Day 2, with Warner, then on 17, going on to make 94 in a 156-run partnership with Marnus Labuschagne for the second wicket.

After Warner was called back, it was revealed that each of Stokes’ first four deliveries in his opening over had been no-balls, with the fourth delivery only identified because it involved a wicket.

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Following the day’s play, which saw Australia finish with a 196-run first innings lead with three wickets in hand, England’s bowling coach Jon Lewis vented his frustration.

“What a fast bowler needs is some sort of understanding of where his feet are,” Lewis said.

“You can’t see your own feet. So the umpires are watching the line, and after the first ball, that’s Ben’s first ball on this ground in probably eight years.

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“In England you have bowl throughs in the morning, but you don’t have them in Australia on the square, so he’ll need some feedback from the umpires to understand where his feet are.

“It would’ve been nice for his first ball to be called a no-ball, so he could then have made an adjustment, and from then he would’ve been behind the line because he then knows where his feet are.”

Lewis was not the only one left frustrated by the umpire missing Stokes’ initial no-balls, with former international umpire Simon Taufel and ex-Australian captain Ricky Ponting teeing off at the missed calls.

Former Australian Test skipper Mark Taylor also called on umpires to be more vigilant.

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“I don’t know if anyone was talking to him,” he told Wide World of Sports.

“I think in that situation you’ve just got to let him know. If they’re not going to get called, at least let him know because from his point of view and from everyone’s point of view you don’t want him then getting a wicket, which he did.

“I think they’ve got to be a bit better in that regard.”

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