November 9, 2008

Australia in India 2008-09

What was Ponting thinking?

Nishi Narayanan
Ricky Ponting searches for answers as India pile on the runs, India v Australia, 3rd Test, Delhi, 2nd day, October 30, 2008
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Ricky Ponting has denied his side a deserved chance of securing a famous victory by using part-timers instead of his seamers in an attempt to up the over-rate, writes Peter Roebuck in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Somehow, a group of experienced cricketers and leaders managed to convince themselves that the over rate was more important than the match. At tea, Indian were in trouble. In the ensuing two hours, Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh stroked the ball around cheerfully, adding 100 runs in 100 minutes. It was the most staggering passage of play seen on a day that also included five penalty runs when the keeper threw a glove at the ball, and four overthrows given away by a fieldsman tying his laces. Indeed it was the most incomprehensible spell seen from an Australian team for a quarter of a century.

In Sydney's Daily Telegraph Jon Pierik writes that Ponting had every reason to hang his head in shame last night after allowing India to escape the noose in the fourth Test.

What a joke. With wickets desperately needed, Ponting had to roll the dice and unleash chief strike weapons Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee or Shane Watson immediately after tea. Instead, he turned to the part-time spin of Cameron White, who has five wickets in the series, and Mike Hussey, who has never come close to one in his Test career, to hurry through the overs with frontline spinner Jason Krejza.

The Australian's Malcom Conn calls it Ponting's worst day as captain while Dileep Premachandran terms the post-tea session "surreal" in the Times.

Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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