India v Australia, 2nd quarter-final, World Cup 2011, Ahmedabad March 24, 2011

We were 20 runs short - Ponting


Ricky Ponting arrived in India in early February, confident that his team could win a fourth consecutive World Cup. Less than a week ago, Australia remained the only undefeated team in the tournament, and his hopes remained high. He will fly home a bitterly disappointed man, after Australia were knocked out in the quarter-finals by India in Ahmedabad.

"I'm devastated," Ponting said after the five-wicket defeat. "We came here with high expectations; we had a well organised group that had come off a good series of one-day cricket against England. We found it difficult at times getting a bit of momentum and continuity with the way our programme was set out, but that was no excuse.

"We had plenty of time to train and we got to a stage where we thought we could win a game today [Thursday]. We weren't far off, but just little critical moments are what cost us the game. We didn't have enough high-quality partnerships and not enough pressure with the ball. It only takes a couple of those little moments for things to change."

Ponting certainly did his part with a captain's hundred, but wickets kept falling throughout the Australian innings. There were only two half-century stands in the innings, between Ponting and Brad Haddin and later Ponting and David Hussey, and the visitors never quite got on top of the Indian attack. R Ashwin opened the bowling and immediately found some sharp spin, and the Australians knew they were in for a tough day.

"I thought we were 15 or 20 runs short with the bat," Ponting said. "After we saw the first over Ashwin bowled and how much it spun, we said to ourselves than 250 or 260 looked like it would be a good total out there. As it turned out, we got that, but we probably could have got more. We couldn't get a partnership going, we'd lose a wicket at a really bad time; we probably were one or two wickets too many down to be able to accelerate when we wanted to at about the 35-over mark.

"They played well as a team today. You've just got to look through their batting card. [Gautam] Gambhir, [Sachin] Tendulkar, Yuvraj [Singh] all got fifties, and got them at a reasonable rate. Their bowling was steady. Zaheer [Khan] was good again today, especially right at the end of the innings in the Powerplay overs. I thought we played their spin pretty well today. It was a good combined effort by the Indian team and I think they're going to be pretty hard to beat as this tournament wears on."

India head to Mohali to take on Pakistan in a semi-final, a match that Ponting believes the hosts will win, while the Australians will fly home. They will spend some time with their families before returning to the subcontinent in early April for their three-match one-day series against Bangladesh.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    India might need Sreesanth's nippy pace in the fast and bouncy Mohali.So better trash Munaf

  • Sivali on March 25, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    Australia with 12 wides and 2 no balls gave 14 runs to India, not to mention the extra 2.5 overs. If these were not given, Ponting would not have needed 20 "extra " runs. Tait was the chief culprit and his bowling was really bad.

  • Biso on March 25, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    Ponting played a very different innings. The application he showed was something he should have shown lot earlier in this phase of his career. Although lucky to escape getting out lBW to Harbhajan as India had consumed all their reviews, nevertheless it was an innings of great class.About the performance of the Aussie side- The bottom line is that Aussie bowling was not good enough. The so called fast men were totally in-effective against the classy batting of the Indians. As for their spinners, it was a sad sight to see lack of an international class spinner in the side. This Australian side will have awful problems in test matches against teams like SA, Sri-lanka and India.It is not surprising that they lost the Ashes. Even though they won the ODI series against the English, the shortcomings are definitely glaring.The Aussie era had ended long back. Indians had already exposed the chinks in their Armour in their last few series against them , both at home and in Australia.

  • Herman on March 25, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    Although Ponting batted well, none of his teammates really scored, and in bowling and fielding Aus was under pressure the whole time, making critical mistakes. Yes India did well, give them their due, but Aus choked under the pressure. Now they know what it feels like to choke in a critical match.

  • Damian on March 25, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    I blame Cameron White. SHouldn't be playing. Can't bat, can't bowl.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    The only change India need now is remove Munaf Patel from the team. break his leg atleast, so that we can call Praveen Kumar Back (if he is recovered) . Or else Give Sreesanth a chance. Against Pakistan he will be handy....

  • M on March 25, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    Australia still will be ateam to remember winning 4 world cups is not eating a piece of cake thats too away 1987-India, 1999-England, 2003-SAfrica 2007-WIndies...n same goes for ponting 2 wc as captain..Great Player as well...If India dosent win the wc at home it will haunt them...

  • Lalith on March 25, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    Bowlers let Aussies down. As I commented before, only Lee is the only good fast bowler. Both Tait & Johnson are expensive and bowled too many wides & noballs. Aussies should have brought 3 best spinners like other teams, a leggie, offie and left armer for sub continent instead Tait & Johnson.

  • sam on March 25, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    I saw that match on tv . It was too hot for Oz. Why do they not start at midnight when it is cooler? India have some good batters and Ken Dulkar is genius , but not much else . Huw Vraj is a bit hit and miss like our Jim Love at Yorkshire in the 70's. Pakistan will win semi with better bowlers . India have no spin , only Zahere is world bowler . The chap on the tele with the baldness said that India spinner would not turn on a corrugated roof ! From what I have seen , I think the West Indies will come good later on .

  • Shreesh on March 25, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    Even 20+ runs would not have made any difference to the end result. Otherwise also, I felt they got an above par score.

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