MELBOURNE (Agencies) - Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been fi ned 40 per cent of his match fee after being found guilty of breaching the ICC's Code of Conduct during the Boxing Day Test against England. Ponting was charged with a Level 1 offence under article 2.1.3 (h) of the code which relates to "arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the umpire about his decision". Ponting pleaded guilty to the charge and as such, under the provisions of the code, the matter was determined by Ranjan Madugalle of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referee without the need for a full hearing. Australian captain Ricky Ponting may like his team and fans to think that he is coping with the Damocles' sword hanging over his head. However, the truth is far from it, as Ponting's frustrations boiled over when he lost his temper at umpire Aleem Dar after a caught behind appeal against Kevin Pietersen went in the England batsman's favour. The incident occurred in the 84th over of England's first innings in the post-lunch session on the second day of the fourth Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Australia's wicket-keeper Brad Haddin, who was the only Australian to appeal, was adamant that Pietersen, then on 49, had edged a catch to him off Ryan Harris's bowling. Ponting asked for a referral after Dar ruled in Pietersen's favour. And, though the replays didn't show signs of an edge, Hot Spot showed a flash on the bottom of Pietersen's bat, which could have come as a result of the bat striking the pad. Based on the evidence he saw, TV umpire Marais Erasmus upheld Dar's decision. It was at this stage that Ponting, who could be on the verge of losing his third Ashes series as captain, lost all self-control and had a prolonged heated and finger-wagging argument session with Dar. Ponting was joined in this show of disrespect by Peter Siddle, and both these Australian cricketers can expect a hearing with match referee Ranjan Madugalle after the day's play. After arguing with Dar for around five minutes, Ponting then pleaded his team's case with square leg umpire Tony Hill before asking Pietersen if he had hit the ball. Pietersen was out shortly afterwards for 51 when Siddle trapped him plumb in front. Aleem Dar, who has twice been named ICC Umpire of the Year, proved his mettle yet again, when he checked with the third umpire to confirm if Mitchell Johnson had overstepped on the delivery in which the Australian pacer had dismissed England's wicket-keeper Matt Prior towards the end of the post-lunch session. Dar's decision to ask Prior to wait was vindicated when replays confirmed it was a no-ball. Ponting was also involved in a brief controversy surrounding the Decision Review System in the first Test match at the Gabba as the match headed towards a draw. Ponting, who thought he had taken a clean low catch at midwicket off Alastair Cook, was slightly miffed when inconclusive evidence awarded the benefit of the doubt to England's vice-captain, who went on to score a career-best 235 not out. At the time, Ponting had said resorting to ineffective technology is a 'blight on the game'. Ponting captaincy tactics including field settings and bowling changes have been under the scanner, and while one can appreciate the stress that Ponting is under, this is no way for an icon of the game to behave in front of a global audience. The onus is now on Madugalle to deliver appropriate punishment to Siddle and Ponting, be it in the form of fines or suspensionsm but Ponting's actions were uncalled for and should be strongly censured for as captain of an international cricket team, 'Punter' should really know better. And, while he may have lost his temper in the heat of the moment, it wasn't a pretty sight. Meanwhile, Australian cricket skipper Ricky Ponting was last night staring down the barrel of becoming the first Australian captain to lose three Ashes series since Billy Murdoch in 1890, but heir apparent, Michael Clarke, backed him to retain his job at the end of the series. Exacerbating his woes, the 36-year-old is also in the middle of one of the worst form slumps of his career. His tally in the Ashes series so far is a paltry 93 at an average of 15.5. Australia's bleak position combined with an ominous weather forecast in Sydney, where rain is expected to fall on each of the five days according to a long-range weather forecast, could mean Melbourne will be the stage of Ponting's last meaningful contribution as Test captain, Fox Sports reports Ponting's grip on the captaincy will become even weaker later this week should Australia fail to stage the miracle required to pull it from the deepest of holes. Clarke is at short odds to become Australia's 43rd Test captain should Ponting be sacked but the Tasmanian's long-standing deputy last night backed his skipper to keep his place. ''Ricky's been a wonderful player, an amazing leader for a long time, I think his record in international cricket speaks for itself," Clarke said. Beleaguered Australia captain Ricky Ponting could face a disciplinary charge after remonstrating with umpires over an unsuccessful video review as his team struggled on the second day of the fourth Ashes Test. International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Ranjan Madugalle was reviewing video footage as he considered laying charges against Ponting and Australian paceman Peter Siddle following a fiery day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Ponting, who scored just 10 runs in Australia's disastrous first innings that saw the home side dismissed for just 98, became agitated after Kevin Pietersen was given not out while on 49 by the video referee. Cricket Australia spokesman Lachy Patterson said umpires were reviewing footage of the match and any decision regarding a possible charge arising from the incident would be made from ICC headquarters in Dubai. The 'hot spot' technology used by the third umpire showed a bright mark on Pietersen's bat, but it was not near where the ball passed between bat and pad. Pietersen was dismissed by Mitchell Johnson for 51 before fellow South African-born batsman Jonathan Trott led England to 444-5 at stumps for a lead of 346 runs. Trott, who shared the crease with Pietersen when the incident occurred, claimed to have no knowledge of what was said or why Ponting was angered. "I don't really know much about what was going on, I was talking to K.P. the whole time," he said. "I didn't see any altercation really. I saw (Ponting) chatting but I'm not sure what about." Siddle returned figures of 3-58 and took two catches.