India v Australia, 1st Test, Mohali

Ponting hopes for controversy-free series

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 30, 2010

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting at a training session ahead of the first Test, Mohali, September 30, 2010
Ricky Ponting: "We have to do the best we can in this series to ensure that people want to watch the game again" © AFP

Having lost the Test series 2-0 back in 2008, setting the record straight is high on Ricky Ponting's priority list. At the same time, he recognises that a contest that has produced some gripping cricket over the past decade and more has added significance as a result of the unsavoury headlines that have enveloped the sport in recent times. Winning will be important, but it will be just as crucial that both Test matches are played without controversy or rancour.

"Whenever I've spoken about this series over the last couple of weeks, I've said how important it is for the international game that this series is played in the right spirit," he said on the eve of the Mohali Test. "You've got to expect that it's going to be a fierce contest because you've got two very good teams playing international sport. But both teams will understand that they can't overstep the line. There's enough negativity around the world at the moment about international cricket that we have to do the best we can in this series to ensure that people want to watch the game again. There's no doubt that things have been tarnished a bit the last few weeks."

The immediate target is victory in Mohali, a venue where India haven't lost since the days when West Indies were still kings of the Test-match castle. "We'd love to come here and win," Ponting said. "We know how big the challenge is. We also know just how competitive a series it was over here last time. Last time, I don't think any of our bowlers had played Test cricket in India.

"We've got a little bit more experience this time round. Our batting group is a bit like India's, pretty experienced. Most of us have played a fair bit here in the subcontinent. It's not so much about revenge, it's about us playing a brand of cricket over the next 10 days that's going to be good enough for us to remain competitive and win both of these Test matches."

Over the past decade and a half, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy has seen some titanic tussles, but according to Ponting, it still ranks a step below the Ashes in terms of prestige. "I'm not sure if it's bigger than the Ashes," he said. "If you look at international cricket at the moment, Australia has three major rivals. We have England, and there's always an added edge whenever we play an Ashes series. Then you have South Africa, who have been the No.1 or No.2-ranked Test and one-day team for a few years now. Our rivalry against them has been very strong. And there's India, who we've had some amazing battles with over the past five or six years. All those series are exceptionally entertaining to be part of as a player. I would still put the Ashes slightly above the other two."

Given that India are unlikely to provide the sort of pace-friendly conditions that gifted Australia victory at Nagpur back in 2004, Ponting wasn't unduly concerned by the nature of the pitch. "I had a quick look at the wicket yesterday," he said. "We haven't been out on the ground just yet but as soon as the rest of the boys arrive, we'll go out and have a look at the conditions and see what we're confronted with. A few of the guys talked to the groundsman yesterday and he felt there was probably a little bit more moisture in the wicket than usual. That's had a lot to do with the weather last week, obviously.

"Our preparation since we've been here has been very good. I've been really impressed with the work the boys have done, coming off a long break. Everyone's keen, fit and fresh and we're looking forward to getting out there and getting the Test match underway tomorrow. This is a great challenge for the Australian cricket team, to take on the No.1-ranked side in the world."

Strong performances with bat and ball in the lone warm-up game have enhanced the good vibes in the Australian camp. "I think the big thing we got out of that was our partnerships," Ponting said. "Our batting partnerships in the first innings of the game were very good. The guys having come off no cricket for such a long period of execute our skills as well as we did was very satisfying. We've been very specific with the way we've played as well. We focussed on fewer areas that we have to do very well and the things we had talked about going into the tour game were the things we did very well. I also thought our bowling partnerships late on day two were outstanding."

If there's one thing that's left a few creases on his forehead, it's the late arrival from South Africa of Michael Hussey and Doug Bollinger. "They arrived Tuesday afternoon, so when you're looking at Test-match preparation that's not ideal." said Ponting of the two men who won the Champions League T20 with the Chennai Super Kings. "They were flying for close to 24 hours. That meant that yesterday was a lighter day than they would normally have had. Doug bowled maybe two overs in the nets, and Hussey had quite a short hit.

"We were just trying to freshen them up as much as we can. Huss got through very well. We're going to wait on Dougie and he should have a good solid workout in the nets today. We'll see how he gets through that and how he pulls up tonight as far as his fitness goes for tomorrow.

The positive for us is that they've been playing good competitive cricket for the last two-and-a-half weeks. They should be in pretty good shape with their cricket skills."

With India also affected - MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Rahul Dravid were also part of the final stages of the competition in South Africa - we'll soon find out which team bounces back best from the disrupted preparation.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (October 3, 2010, 11:22 GMT)

@NightFox, you compare Watson's 126 with Laxman's 281 in Kolkata? Are you a stupid or what? Laxman played that innings with strike rate of 58, and Watson played this 126 runs with strike rate of 37 and did not make even half of the run as Laxman made in Kolkata. So, Laxman's 281 runs a way greater then Watson's 126 runs. And there is nothing wrong in the pitch of Mohali. India don't have any difficulties to make runs.

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (October 3, 2010, 10:44 GMT)

Hey NightFox, there is nothing wrong in the pitch of Mohali. India did not show any problem making runs today. So, it is your turn to say what I had said in my first comment that "Australia played unnecessarily slower on the first day of the first test."

Posted by Runster1 on (October 2, 2010, 9:49 GMT)

Cmon dhoni. I am a CSK fan so u are currently my favourite wicket-keeper but how u have played so far in the first test is below par: AKMALism. Cmon India, let us not inherit pakistan's poor fielding!!!

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (October 2, 2010, 3:48 GMT)

@ NightFox, you Australians are not passionate about cricket playing slower and then arguing the pitch is slower and spinning or whatever. If your arms are stronger and if you have gut, you can make runs on any ground or even on any beaches. Everything is depend on the intention of playing. For players like A. Gilchrist, V. Sehwag, S.Jayasuriya, S. Afridi, there is no slower pitch in the world. Why?? If Australia's 4 or 5 wickets down for few runs and they play slower we can understand, but at this point they play are playing like Zimbabwe is playing against S. Africa. Australians are only and only interested to draw this series so they can earn some points. If they would draw this series, India are gonna loose some points, but Australia will grow.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2010, 17:00 GMT)

Iam glad Ponting didn't repeat the comments of playing 'new age cricket' which was made during the last Indian tour.Scoring 70 runs in 50 overs isn't even decent cricket.Had Sachin played a Watson like innings he would would have been called a selfish player by his regular critics.Even though it is a slow pitch but not many balls threatened to take the edge for the spinners.Watson should have taken the initiative and another 80 runs would have made the difference.I think the fear of losing has made them play such defensive cricket.And about Indian performance I think Dhoni has made it a point to grass 1-2 catches in every innings.Zak rocked!

Posted by Analytical_Sathya on (October 1, 2010, 14:25 GMT)

It's time for Munaf Patel to step in as Zaheer's partner. These 2 are India's best 2 pace bowlers, in fact I would rate Munaf a notch higher for his skills and ability in addition to his magnificent control. This cricketer is extremely under utilised and unjustifiably ignored in place of very ordinary and underserving palyers like Ishanth and Sreeshanth.

Posted by DD_f0rever on (October 1, 2010, 14:23 GMT)

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr ! Being an Indian, I admit that Zaheer made sarcastic comment first. His chose wrong player (Ponting) , he should have done it against someone like Watson or Katich or Johnson so that Aussies could understand how it feels when you get the taste of your own medicine. :)

Posted by Apache_Indian on (October 1, 2010, 14:00 GMT)

@ Australians ..... I accept that it was Zaheer who passed some sarcastic comment to Ponting first. Shouldn't have done it ! But then Ponting too retaliated and did the needful. Anyway, it was a good day for India. Zaheer bowled superbly, Bhajji &Ojha too didn't allow Aussie batsmen to score freely. Ishant's absence is a blow, for sure. 3 bowlers can't win matches for any team. Also, I think Aussies played very slow, something that we don't expect from Punter and party. Good innings from watson, too. Looking forward to Day-2 and it will be interesting to see how Dhoni manages his resources if Ishant doesn't come on field.

Posted by Apache_Indian on (October 1, 2010, 13:57 GMT)

@ Australians ..... I accept that it was Zaheer who passed some sarcastic comment to Ponting first. Shouldn't have done it ! But then Ponting too retaliated and did the needful. Anyway, it was a good day for India. Zaheer bowled superbly, Bhajji &Ojha too didn't allow Aussie batsmen to score freely. Ishant's absence is a blow, for sure. 3 bowlers can't win matches for any team. Also, I think Aussies played very slow, something that we don't expect from Punter and party. Good innings from watson, too. Looking forward to Day-2 and it will be interesting to see how Dhoni manages his resources if Ishant doesn't come on field.

Posted by Apache_Indian on (October 1, 2010, 13:55 GMT)

@ Australians ..... I accept that it was Zaheer who passed some sarcastic comment to Ponting first. Shouldn't have done it ! But then Ponting too retaliated and did the needful. Anyway, it was a good day for India. Zaheer bowled superbly, Bhajji &Ojha too didn't allow Aussie batsmen to score freely. Ishant's absence is a blow, for sure. 3 bowlers can't win matches for any team. Also, I think Aussies played very slow, something that we don't expect from Punter and party. Good innings from watson, too. Looking forward to Day-2 and it will be interesting to see how Dhoni manages his resources if Ishant doesn't come on field.

Posted by cricket_for_all on (October 1, 2010, 13:50 GMT)

I didn't get chance to watch the Ponting Vs Zahir controversy. But AUS's are masters in sledding and even they try win the matches with the sledding. Mr. Ponting!! You are now getting back what you have been doing years.

Posted by sweetspot on (October 1, 2010, 13:47 GMT)

This time round, I do believe the Aussies will focus on the cricket. Zaheer did have a go at Ponting today, for whatever reason, and neither backed off, but Zaheer also put India on top by the end of the day. India 1. Aus 0? Who knows? But the reason Australia will respect India is because they could well be humbled by a full strength, keen Indian side that is not even angry. If this Indian team gets really mad at the Aussies, that too while playing at home, then Australia have no chance of salvaging even some pride. Ponting knows that. He is right when he said India are ranked #1 for a reason. Playing dirty is not that reason.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2010, 13:44 GMT)

i feel aussies wont even win let alone setting records

Posted by Nightfox on (October 1, 2010, 13:35 GMT)

@Joseph Mcgahan & Rooboy

Zaheer is always so rude

Posted by   on (October 1, 2010, 13:35 GMT)

In today's rift,i will not say that it was Ponting's fault...ZAK started it all and provoked PONTING otherwise ponting was calmly heading back 2 the pavilion.Ithink that ZAK was guilty.

Posted by Nightfox on (October 1, 2010, 13:25 GMT)

@ JigneshPatel_007 Jignesh, you indians are always so passionate about cricket that most of the time without understanding the cricket you guys make huge comments. slow, spinning tracks are not a pitch where you can score runs quickly. to score fast you need the ball coming towards you fast that when you play tha ball goes fast outta ground. on a slow track if you got patience then you can get big scores like Laxman did in Kolkata and Watson did today. you can't blame the aussies that they didn't scored fast after putting a slow spinning track under their feet, can you?

Posted by bddhika_harindat on (October 1, 2010, 13:05 GMT)

Having looked at the way this pitch behave it's quite understandable what the result India wants at the end. What could you expect in a pitch where the ball doesn't come at leat to your knee roll level. Is there any liveliness in this pitch? Irrespective of the wet weather conditions that have been prevailing prior to match as per Curator, could that be an execuse to say that this pitch was underprepared? In my view this was done intentionally to stop Aussie pace attack.

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (October 1, 2010, 13:03 GMT)

North failed again. Why does Oz keep this guy around? He scores when it doesn't matter (like in a practice game), but he doesn't deliver when it actually counts!

Posted by shaantanu on (October 1, 2010, 12:48 GMT)

everytime india and australia play this sachin n ponting debate starts doing the round to the point of ennui......lets just enjoy the game fellow indians n aussies.ponting may not be my fav aussie player(there were quite a few i liked:steve waugh,gllchrist to name a few)but you have to give the man his due......being an indian i do luv sachin more than any other but lets just shove this SRT/Ponting debate under the carpet,unlike the match fixing scandal.In few years time we wont have the privilege of seeing either of these two in action whenever ind n aus play each peace i wud say......n we also do other capable players like dravid /laxman/hussey etc no favour with this debate

Posted by Hindh on (October 1, 2010, 12:35 GMT)

What a performance india even with a bowler short. Zaheer superb pacer proved it again.

Posted by mahanthesh1737 on (October 1, 2010, 12:21 GMT)

Ponting is a gr8 player....

Posted by mahanthesh1737 on (October 1, 2010, 12:19 GMT)

Ponting should be warned and fined for unexpectable behaviour, if require should be banned for a match and Zaheer should be warned and let off.....This is what Indian players used to get in past for reacting to provocation....

Posted by mahanthesh1737 on (October 1, 2010, 12:16 GMT)

Ponting should be warned and should be fined by match refree for involving in verbal spat and ugly behaviour and zaheer should be warned and let off.... This is the punishment given to Indian players in past when Australian player provoked and Indian players reacted....I felt bad when Indian player was fined for reacting and the provoked person was let off without any punishment...In the same way if this case is treated Aussies will understand Indians feelings when more Indian players were punished for reacting to provocation....

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (October 1, 2010, 11:34 GMT)

Australia show negative attitude playing unnecessarily slow on the first day of this test match. I know they are trying to draw the series, so they can grow their points and go ahead on the ICC table. What a culprit!!!!!!

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 1, 2010, 11:23 GMT)

@ Dougtheroug : "considered the fifth greatest all time batsman after Sir Don, Sir Viv, Sir Garfield, and Sachin".

And to think that Ponting couldn't even make it to the alltime Aus-11. The sacrilege!

Posted by Fan84 on (October 1, 2010, 11:18 GMT)

i was watching the game, this So called pacer ZAHEER KHAN,, provoked the gentleman and the beloved captain RICKY PONTING ,, now this makes me think that SYMONDS must have been innocent unless that TURBAN bowler provoked him,, iam and INDIAN and ashamed of these two playesr ,, RICKY Don't wory.. u have done a great JOB,, Wish you great luck ,, MAY U SCORE 100Ss in every innings ..

Posted by ganne on (October 1, 2010, 11:05 GMT)

Come on want a "controversy-free series" when Australia tours 'India' and you don't stand by the same when 'India' tours (for that matter any team) Australia?

Nice policy Ponty.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2010, 10:15 GMT)

Oh well after his dimsissal ponting did get into a mini-tiff with zaheer. Close to a controversy?

Posted by Runster1 on (October 1, 2010, 9:49 GMT)

I loved the aussie side until the infamous Sydney test! I hate the Aussie "win at all costs" attitude. Their is a reason why cricket is known as the gentlemen game. I remember when in Australia after the harbajan symonds incident: english, pakistanis kiwis all accused Australians of being hypocrites and cry babies. I hope the aussies dont show this attitude in the border gavaskar trophy!! I still admire Australia but that sydney test and literally that whole series was a sour pill.

Posted by PhilGoorha on (October 1, 2010, 9:45 GMT)

It is good to hear from Ponting that he would want a controversy-free series in India. It is music to my ears, and am waiting to watch this born-again Ponting. I have to agree Indians are no saints any more when one talks about a kerfuffle here and there. Indians were rather coy (if not saintly) till some years ago. However, Aussies have played excellent cricket till, say, year 2005. We emulated them in matters cricket including the peripherals. The nub of the matter is that Indians would perhaps find it hard to put the genie back in the bottle.

Posted by JimDavis on (October 1, 2010, 9:36 GMT)

Ponting wants no controversy - but once he crosses the white line he just cannot help himself.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2010, 9:23 GMT)

@Ramesh-IT, I did enjoy that less than 3 hours into the series it is the Indians who have started the verbal side of the series, not the Aussies, but im sure you will try turn that around so that it's Pontings fault....

Posted by Rooboy on (October 1, 2010, 8:11 GMT)

The only way for a series involving India to be controversy free is to roll over and let India win. Any time India's oppostion win, a section of their fans always try to find, or make up, some controversy to deflect from their own team's poor play and to deny credit to the victors. Comment from live scorecard after Pontings dismissal 'Zaheer initiated a verbal joust as Ponting went back' What's all this about only Aussies sledging? How many Indian fans are going to get their knickers in a bunch about Zaheer mouthing off? Why is it terrible when Aus do it but ok, or ignored, when India does it?? Some indian fans really need to grow up, get the chip of their shoulders, and deal with reality. Like the reality that more Indian players have been cited and suspended for bad behaviour than Australians. But then we get comments about the 'racist' match referees etc, comments that make Ijaz Butt look credible. Disappointing I have to make these points again since my first post hasn't been shown

Posted by soorajiyer on (October 1, 2010, 6:30 GMT)

Come on guys, lets put a full stop to these aussie vs indian bashings.. Believe me Sachin and ponting care less than we care about who is better! Lets watch four champions in Sachin, Rahul, VVS and RP play. You never know whether all four of them play again together. Celebrate but not at the cost of somebody else pls.. For sachin to be great, Ricky doesnt have to be bashed and vice versa..

Meanwhile Haydos, Hussey and dougie - I love them as they have their second home at CSK Chennai :) Enjoy the hard fought series guys!

Posted by Chris_P on (October 1, 2010, 6:04 GMT)

@Ramesh-IT, So in your opinion, Ponting isn't a champion. I guess considering the facts his performances in India are very ordinary probably sums it up. Let's see what else implies he isn't a champion, He won 3 world cups, captaining the last 2 undefeated. He has scored a big century in a WC final. He averages well over 50 for a long time. His average in South Africa, that other powerful cricket mecca is nearly 20 above STR's (who btw doesn't even average 40 over there and under all the Aussie batsmen who have played over there), he averages close to 50against EVERY country with his lowest at 47 vs India. SRT has an average of 42 vs. Pakistan & 38 vs South Africa. Now I am not saying he is better, I consider SRT the better player, but come on, get serious and have a real look Ponting's record and try, for once, to look at them with BOTH eyes open. If SRT really wants a challenge then he should try to succeed against Sth Africa over there to satisfy his undoubted thirst for success.

Posted by tmorison80 on (October 1, 2010, 6:02 GMT)

Ramesh-IT if you know your cricket stats so well, you'll know that Mr Ponting, as you refer to him so subserviantly, has a batting average that ranks him probably in the top 5 of his era, has the title of the highest ever run scorer for Australia (which of course is the most successful cricket nation of all time in terms of matches won, percentage of matches won; and has equally the longest test history of any nation), is probably considered the fifth greatest all time batsman after Sir Don, Sir Viv, Sir Garfield, and Sachin. He was the heart and soul of a domineering side that conquered all and conquered everywhere. He must be considered probably top 10 infielders of all time Jonty being No1. What's your problem you ass? Pull your head in, he has failed a couple of times in India and suddenly he's hopeless? Indian fans are the most one eyed in the world bar none. You love to chop down anyone that shows any kind of promise from anywhere but the subcontinent. It's just like the ICC.

Posted by sonjjay on (October 1, 2010, 5:16 GMT)

Finally an article where fans from both the sides arent rubbishing each other, lets sit back and enjoy some absorbing cricket and hopefully the same continues even after either side wins...

Posted by Umamahesh_Srigiriraju on (October 1, 2010, 3:30 GMT)

With due respect to Ponting, IMHO, Ashes is no match to the quality of test match cricket between India and Australia, at least over the last decade. But, having said that, Ashes is just too close to the hearts of Aussies and the English, understandably. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the quality of Ashes is better than the best of test match cricket we get to see between India and Australia. Kudos to VVS, Dravid, Waugh, Kumble, McGrath, Harbhajan Singh, Hayden, Warne, Gillespie, Ganguly, Ponting and Sachin for making this such an intense contest of the highest quality. I can't wait for the series to get underway. How badly I wish it was at least a 3 test series!

Posted by CustomKid on (October 1, 2010, 2:59 GMT)

Well I for one hope that the Aussies sledge and play hard because that was what made them 'almost' unbeatable for 15 year period under Border, Taylor, and Waugh. The great WI side were also hostile with both ball and tongue.

The gentleman's game ended when bodyline took place and if you still think this game is a gentleman's game then you're kidding yourself. These guys are playing for multimillion dollar contracts and endorsements. They're not saying 'cheerio jolly good shot' in some English back country friendly match when the opposition hits a boundary. Get a grip of reality people.

Indians are no saints either so please get off your high horse. Look back at Gavaska and his antics or more recently Dada. It's part of the game move on please. As an Aussie I'm hoping we can produce the goods but I just think India have a touch more quality in the batting department which will negate our bowlers who are better.

A ripping series with India winning 1 or 2 nil in a close battle.

Posted by lilrockstar on (October 1, 2010, 2:46 GMT)

sushant chathurvedi,dude im gonna bow my head to u..its rare to see an indian who doesnt degrade other teams and players.I really appreciate that.I do play for a saturday cricket club in victoria and there are many teams with majority of indian players.I gotta tell you that they are the best at sledging.

Posted by filizant on (October 1, 2010, 2:31 GMT)

Finally! I am so sick of 20-20. Time for some REAL purist cricket. Bring on the Border-Gavaskar series and The Ashes. Go aussies!

Posted by skkh on (October 1, 2010, 0:52 GMT)

Sushant Chaturvedi....I am happy to see saner comments. Yes most of the Indians seem to have the attitude "holier than thou". Aussies are no saints and neither are the Indians. Ponting is a world class player with few equals. Surely he is second to Tendulkar but not very far off. The Indians hate him but their hatred will do him no harm. Let us sit back and watch these greats play and enjoy for sooner than later these greats will not be gracing the cricket stadiums anymore.

Posted by LesGrossman on (September 30, 2010, 23:48 GMT)

Sledging annoys indians. over appealing annoys aussies. lets hope both are kept in check this series. also, @ Ramesh-IT, kumble did say something similar at the end of the sydney test, but in the very same game he appealed for an lbw that brad hogg cover drove for two, is that in the spirit of cricket??? you can't have it both ways!

Posted by SnowSnake on (September 30, 2010, 23:22 GMT)

I think this series will be slightly better than the previous SL-Ind. series. I think Aussies are much more mature than SL. When Aussies sledge at they do it to win, SL cries for no reason. Ponting is attempting to be modest, but if Aus. gets an upper hand in the innings then expect a 180 degree turn in his attitude. Right now he is running low on confidence, so his approach suits well his current situation.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (September 30, 2010, 23:09 GMT)

2 teams that are BOTH, OFTEN the center of controversy...highly unlikely there will be none.

Posted by Ramesh-IT on (September 30, 2010, 22:15 GMT)

@Sushant Chaturvedi: If indicating Ponting's below par average doesn't seem to that of a champion's average looks like a biased comment, then let it be. let's see who'll bite the dust at the end of the series.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2010, 19:41 GMT)

@Ramesh IT: Dude my name doesn't suggest that I am an aussie. And unlike you my writing doesn't suggest that I am biased. You not being able to appreciate your opponent is pure ego. Indian players are not saints and Sreesanth, Harbhajan, Gambhir are some very clear examples. Aussies do play a hard game but you cannot accuse them of unfair play. Its the Indians who used to appreciate Adam Gilchrist when he used to walk and when Brett Lee used to smile and congratulate batting milestones. Tendulkar, Dravid and Kumble are some of the players who have played the game with great dignity for a long period of time but the current generation of players are an utterly disrespectful lot. Consider Virat Kohli's antics after winning the under 19 world cup. You would know that if you know your cricket facts. And lastly nobody in the right mind would even question the Aussie supremacy at their home or Ponting's being in the top 3 of current world batters. Doing that was absolutely out of order.

Posted by bigwonder on (September 30, 2010, 17:51 GMT)

Only time will tell who is the best at game and who is good at sledging. Remember, you can teach an old dog any new tricks.

Posted by luks on (September 30, 2010, 17:35 GMT)

What's the big deal about sledging? huh?

Posted by Stevo_ on (September 30, 2010, 17:14 GMT)

Looking forward to the series and the banter from both teams ,Indian sledge as well. All teams sledge, some are better than others, Sri Lanka are some of the best actually. Just because you call me a #%&^ with a smile on your face, doesn't mean your not sledging.

Looking forward to Harbhajan abusing the crowd again if they lose..(he hasn't got Ganguly to protect him this time, so maybe he will be too scared)

Posted by   on (September 30, 2010, 16:46 GMT)

Well, well, well... What do we have here? Ponting saying that he hopes cricket is played in the right spirit? An Aussie talking about spirit, cricket and all, in the same breath? Ponting has also shown a sense of humor I never knew he possessed, when he said "Our batting group is a bit like India's". I was really in splits with this one. While ICC showed a few weeks back that they had a classic sense of humor by calling a test series between Australia and Pakistan as the "MCC Spirit of Cricket Series", Ponting has taken jokes to a new level altogether. What do we expect next? Maybe Symonds should be given a Nobel Prize for Peace. What say, Mr.Ponting?

Posted by Aussasinator on (September 30, 2010, 16:11 GMT)

If he wants a controversy free series he ought to tell Watson, Katich and a few others not to sledge or provoke Indian batsmen and then report their reactions to the match referee for action by ICC. This time the ICC will not be as biased as it was during their last trip. Things have changed. I think he realises it and hence Ponting is playing cool from the beginning.

Posted by Ramesh-IT on (September 30, 2010, 16:06 GMT)

@Sushant chaturvedi : come on mate, your name suggests you're not an Aussie, but i don't know what got into your brain. maybe you've got selective amnesia. before asking me to refer some crappy facts, just check out what Anil Kumble said in the post match presentation. "it's just one team which played the match, and it has won". what a shame to get a victory like this! and the whole world knows why your "champion" Ponting opted to bowl crappy part timers in 2008 series just to get the over-rate so that he'll not be banned for the next series against newzealand. i know more statistics than you. so just stop calling ponting a champion before his shameful average in india improves.

Posted by popcorn on (September 30, 2010, 15:28 GMT)

The Aussies are fitter than Indians, so huss and Dougie will get cracking fasrer than Dhoni,Raina,Dravid and Vijay.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2010, 15:22 GMT)

I hope this series is played in the right spirit but a little bit of banter from both sides will make it interesting. I'm expecting a cracker of a contest and especially hoping that champions like Tendulkar, Dravid and Ponting fire. That'll be a wonderful change after the t-20 overdose we have had to witness. @Ramesh IT: Chill out dude. Its a matter of perception. I feel your perception on Ponting is garbage just because you cannot digest the fact that he is a champion batsman and donot understand the way the Aussies play their cricket. Its crazy people like you who cause arguments happening between people who are on this website just to read on the build up to an exciting series. And you say Australia wins in Aus only because of crappy umpiring. Well thats the most outrageous thing I have heard including the stuff Ijaz Butt comes up with day in and day out. Go and check your facts before you come up with your comments.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2010, 15:20 GMT)

@kriketluva: If you go by what oz fans say about sledging, you will realize that playing the tapes wont make their families squirm! So this idea wont work :)

Posted by   on (September 30, 2010, 14:53 GMT)

@kriketluva i dont think Aussies can afford sledging since they are looking to gain some ground on India and most of the line up has not proven anything to sledge so i dont see any sledging from Aussies. I see team India trying get into Aussies players' skins to provoke them just like Aussies did to India young guns.............. and that again is just my opinion.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2010, 14:28 GMT)

Its Rahul Dravid to show his worth !

Posted by kriketluva on (September 30, 2010, 12:13 GMT)

The aussies will sledge. They will not just play the game. They will harass the opposition out of the corners of their mouths while walking past them with backs turned while saying the vilest things. They cannot just shut up and play. They will try to get Harbajan and Sreesanth riled up with their garbage. I want to know why they will shut up and just play. They admit they will always chirp and say they try so hard which is why they behave like fools. I say turn up the stump mikes and place tiny mikes on the opposition players so we can hear exactly what they have to say. These tapes should be played to the families of the aussies.

Posted by Ramesh-IT on (September 30, 2010, 11:53 GMT)

I knew he'll rate ashes a step above Border-Gavaskar trophy just because there's a chance of winning the ashes both home and away. But BG trophy? Only at home with the help of Sydney'ish umpiring.

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