Australia fined for slow over-rate
Ricky Ponting's urgency to speed up the over-rate on day four saved him a possible suspension, but it did not prevent him being fined 20% of his match fee. Mike Procter, the match referee, added to the Australians' disappointment at ending their 16-game winning streak when he ruled they were two overs short of their target.
Ponting will have to pay about A$2500 while his team-mates were hit with a punishment of 10% of their fees. Australia's pace quartet was responsible for the tardiness and at one stage the side was eight overs behind, an amount which could have resulted in Ponting missing Thursday's final match in Adelaide.
The part-timers Michael Clarke and Andrew Symonds were employed at a time when the home team was desperate for wickets to limit the size of the chase. However, the decision meant VVS Laxman and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were able to play without the threat of facing Brett Lee during the 21 overs Clarke and Symonds delivered in the second session.
"I didn't manage the bowlers that well," he said. "[But] I'm not bowling the overs, and they've all got long run-ups. It's something we have to be aware of. In the second innings I was forced to bowl part-timers at times I otherwise may not have."
Despite the problems caused by the selection of four fast men, Ponting did not regret the make-up of the side and will look to avoid a repeat if a similar attack is used in the future. "We'll always entertain the idea when we get the conditions to suit," he said.
Ponting also said he mis-read the pitch, which led to Shaun Tait playing instead of Brad Hogg, the local wrist-spinner. "Anyone who got out there and looked at the wicket would have thought it had more pace," he said. The surface was not slow, but the lack of severe bounce limited the home-ground advantage and allowed India to dominate on the way to a win Anil Kumble rated his best.
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo