India v Australia 2008-09 / Features

India v Australia, 4th Test, Nagpur, 5th day

Not feeling the love

If he had to sit in the Gabba stands for next week's first Test against New Zealand for doing everything in his power to win here, he would have been celebrated

Ali Cook

November 10, 2008

Comments: 38 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting has now slipped below Steve Waugh as the game's most successful captain - his winning percentage is 68.75 next to Waugh's 71.92 © AFP

Winning at all costs no longer seems to be the Australian way, but it doesn't feel like supporters have gained a team to love instead of an uncompromising steamroller. The tourists still walk on the confident-arrogant border, sledge in times of strength and weakness, insist there is only one way to play the game, and mention "the spirit of cricket" as a defence when their behaviour or tactics are challenged.

It was one of the reasons Ponting gave for calling on his part-time bowlers instead of looking to his fast men when the over-rate became more of a concern than winning the fourth Test and retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Bowling 90 overs in a day, something the Australians hardly managed over the past five weeks, suddenly came under the banner of a "spirit of cricket" issue. It's not the sort of response that makes you feel all warm and cuddly for the players' commitment.

There were many stages that cost Australia this game, from India's strong opening partnerships to the visitors' failure to attempt to disrupt India's negative line, to the inability of the fast men to strike regular blows and the illnesses experienced by Brett Lee and Michael Clarke. But no point was harder to understand than Ponting using his spinners on Sunday - and then watching them ease the pressure on India - instead of looking for a quick kill and thinking "stuff the consequences".

If he had to sit in the Gabba stands for next week's first Test against New Zealand for doing everything in his power to win here, he would have been celebrated. That's the sort of attacking outlook that would charm people. Ponting chose the defensive option instead and his side suffered and he has been heavily criticised.

Ponting has now lost two of the major Test trophies for similar reasons. In England in 2005 Australia was slow to catch on and unable to innovate. That happened again in India, unless picking Cameron White as a specialist spinner for three matches is creative. Old tactics were used with defensive field settings and bowling plans, but new trends were missed, especially with reverse-swing.

The home-and-away battle against South Africa over the next six months will determine whether Australia head to England for the 2009 Ashes as a world leader or a challenger. Despite a 13-point lead over second-placed India, Australia's No. 1 spot is no longer undisputed
When Mahendra Singh Dhoni was in charge of India the side looked vibrant and in control compared to the outfits of Ponting and Anil Kumble. It can't be a fluke that the two games Dhoni led, India won in dominating fashion. Dhoni was helped by a firing unit, but he provided the energy.

Ponting can manage that only when a team is in front, which is probably a product of him not being behind too often. That is changing. Ponting has now slipped below Steve Waugh as the game's most successful captain - his winning percentage is 68.75 next to Waugh's 71.92 - and it looks like it will drop further.

This is not a side that will dominate all-comers any more and the home-and-away battle against South Africa over the next six months will determine whether Australia head to England for the 2009 Ashes as a world leader or a challenger. Despite a 13-point lead over second-placed India, Australia's No. 1 spot is no longer undisputed.

For the past three Tests, Australia have been behind as soon as they have lost the toss. The fast bowlers have not had regular impact and Jason Krejza showed how much a specialist spinner could achieve with his 12 wickets on debut.

Krejza's performance was the only significant bright spot in another difficult game for the tourists, but he must now wait until the series against New Zealand to discover whether he can make it at home. Without Krejza's performance here, Australia would have been humiliated. Instead they were beaten badly.

"This tour we've just been totally outplayed," Ponting said. "With the exception of the first Test, where we pretty much dominated that game, in any other game we've got back to level, but never really got in front. Losing three tosses in a row, if you don't actually get yourself back in front after the first innings, it's very hard to win here."

It can't be a fluke that the two games Dhoni led, India won in dominating fashion. Dhoni was helped by a firing unit, but he provided the energy © Getty Images

On the third day in Nagpur, with Australia resuming at 189 for 2, Ponting hoped his side could draw alongside India's first-innings 441, but they were unable to innovate against the negative bowling of the morning session and the hope of parity was soon extinguished. "Coming here on the third morning I was really positive about how the game was going," he said.

"India adopted a certain style of play that made it very difficult for us, they chipped in with a few wickets and the scoreboard was going nowhere. Being behind on first innings again wasn't ideal and chasing 380 today was exceptionally difficult."

Australia needed a miracle and it was not possible for this team. Waugh's side only collected a chase around that size once. How Ponting and his men recover will determine how far they fall. Spirit will have to be shown in stomachs and hearts rather than being something that is talked about in times of trouble.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by aadirag on (November 11, 2008, 13:24 GMT)

Australia is better than South Africa.South Africa have a good pace attack but the only reason for a drawn series against india in india was the absence of key players like tendulkar & mainly sharma.Don't think Zaheer was playing either.Kumble might have been injured.Its a good team but a stratosphere apart from the indian or australian teams.

Posted by StJohn on (November 11, 2008, 11:58 GMT)

Losing a series in India is no disgrace: a stronger Australian team lost there from a position of strength in 2000-01. The pending series against SA will provide a better measure of Australia's current strength. But the margin of Australia's defeat (the first series Australia has lost by a margin of at least 2 Tests in 20 years) signifies that the tide has turned and a new era in world cricket is beginning; it is reminiscent of the first time WI lost a series for 14 years, to Australia in 1994-5. Sure, there were other factors in play: Lee was off the boil; Symonds wasn't there; losing the toss 3 times; Hayden's belated return to form, etc. But other recent Australian sides managed to steamroll opponents and overcome minor setbacks. This side really seemed to lack the killer instinct and ruthlessness of its predecessors. Australia are still very good, but the aura of invincibility has gone, and dominance with it. Other teams will no longer fear Australia the way they did before.

Posted by Diwakar on (November 11, 2008, 11:35 GMT)

Fines and suspensions will not work to solve the slow over rate issue. The players are pretty wealthy and the fine is just a token penalty which is not going to burn a hole in the pocket. Suspension is another joke. The player will just take it as an opportunity to rest legally.

The ICC should modify the rules to award a sizeable number of runs per over NOT bowled to the batting team. Further, the team is automatically disqualified from any of the match awards, however well the players have performed. If the players feel strongly that their captain is the one who is slowing things down, in time, they will revolt. The players should not forget that TV time, spectators at the stadium and listeners on the radio which all adds up to a lot of money.

The ICC itself is a bit of a joke, though. Think they will do something? Nah!

Posted by popcorn on (November 11, 2008, 10:37 GMT)

Dear Ricky,you are my hero because you are the ONLY modern day Australian captain who ruthlessly pulverised the Poms 5 nil in the Ashes 2006 -07. So I cannot believe for a moment that you would not go for the jugular when India was down 6 for 166 at Tea.Something must have happened during the Tea Break which made you change your tactics to focus on over rates rather than finish off the Indians.Perhaps this will come out confidentially when you meet James Sutherland.To combat the slow over rate,I thought you could have used the effective Shane Watson and Jason Krejza for 12 overs(1hour).If wickets did not fall by then,you had enough time to make up the over rate,using Clarke,Katich,Krejza,Hussey.If India were bowled out in the first 12 overs after Tea, you would have become a hero.If wickets did not fall,nobody could have faulted you.Even if you were docked one match for over,your critics,especially that Pom who is still licking his wounds-Peter Roebuck-could not have faulted you.

Posted by Spotnaga on (November 11, 2008, 10:26 GMT)

No we are still not number one. Well the days of Australia's dominance might be numbered but, that does not mean India is number one. Yes, we are still one of those dominant sides but, number 1 means something else. See when Ajintha Mendis came into the picture we were surprised. Similarly initially when Bret Lee came into the attack we were no where. Similarly whenever a team has chosen a new strategy there's been a defeat. Now, am sure Dhoni is a different captain and probably those days of defeat might slowly sink into the sand but still, there is a lot that Dhoni and his men have to work on. Yes, rightly said we have seen what all have changed after MSD took over. All of these cannot simply be fluke. There has to be a difference. 20/20, Asia cup(marginally lost), Sri Lanka Series, Australia series, etc. Probably the journey towards being number 1 team in the world has just begun .

Posted by Prats6 on (November 11, 2008, 10:05 GMT)

God, life is unfair! Ponting is usually the toast of the media and critics but now its the opposite. I dont think there is much shame in loosing to a side which has consistently challenged you wherever they played. Yes India won but I dint think we are still the No.1 side in tests, yes we are very good though. And I cannot understand the ex cricketers going after Ricky, in India it is a common practise but I am well and truly taken aback by the criticism. People need to understand that this was a depleted Australian side and an improved Indian side playing at home, which made it even tougher for Aussies to win. Yes there were some bizzare selections, most of which was playing Craig White, instead of a spinner or a quickie, which hardly anyone is questioning ! For me that showed Aussies were never quite sure of themselves. While Indian selections were more aggressive and made sense. Ricky is still a great player and a very good skipper and its quite unfair to get after him.

Posted by Satyakatha on (November 11, 2008, 8:43 GMT)

This is most certianly a win to cherish for a long long time. But, we still are miles away from being No.1 in the world. Yes, we have sighted the door, but we have to play hard and win all games hereon to be No.1 in the world.

I quite fail to understand the Aussie fan's reaction. IT IS SO UN AUSTRALIAN !!!!

To blame Ricky Ponting alone for the 4th day fiasco is being a bit too harsh on him. If I understand this stuff, it is the job of the back room boys to advice the Captain on such issues. So what was Aussie team management doin in Nagpur? The Manager,Statiscian should have worked a way out by lunch anticipating a warning from the match refree for the slow over rate?????

I would go in for Nielsen's head instead of Punter.

Australia is still the No.1, test team in the world and have no doubts about it. However, is the Aussie arrogance which lets them down.

India beating the hell out of Aussies :) I am not complaining....


Posted by Hoshearpuri on (November 11, 2008, 7:38 GMT)

I think being a cricket enthusiast from Pakistan i got to watch excellent cricket during the series and i think this series will go a long way in establishing Test Cricket as the purest form of the game. Australia has ruled the roost for well over a decade and losing a series does not make them a bad team they still are the world champions in Tests and ODI's and the benchmark for all test playing nations. India are coming into their own with the right blend of youth and experience which will be tested both home and away during the next few years. All i see is great times for Test Cricket and maybe during those great times someone would like to come over to Pakistan so that we can get some part of the action. Hard Luck to the aussies and Cheers to India for a job well done!!!!

Posted by masterblaster666 on (November 11, 2008, 6:47 GMT)

andy_clo, I hope for your sake that Australia would beat SA as easily as you would like to believe. India had to dish out a rank dustbowl of the sort that would have had Ponting writing a newsy complaint to Broad in no time, to level the home series.. and yet, god knows, there were moments even in that Test match on day 1 and 2 when they came close to shutting India out of the match and winning the series. It's a much improved SA side and while Krejza's debut was promising, Aus really need that leggie back if they want to scare SA. :P And at the mention of dustbowl, I would like to mention that this Australian defeat is all the more remarkable for the fact that the pitches were placid throughout. Whatever Ponting might have said about the Mohali pitch, it was a batting beauty and not the sort of pitch where you lose by what 200-300 runs. More than defeat, the sheer magnitude of that Mohali loss should give Ponting a lot to worry about.

Posted by Dadagiri2011 on (November 11, 2008, 6:32 GMT)

The only time in the series where one could sense the Aussie team of the old was when hayden went on the rampage. They were really going for it. Other wise this team was a pale shadow of the Aussie teams of the years before. One could summarize the reasons for Aussie loss in the series as below

1. The wicket keeper was haddin and not a certain Gilchrist. This meant that after the 5th wicket was down, the opposition could attack more. 2. krezja was dominated during the tour match which lead to him being not considered till the last test. 3. hayden's wicket was captured early in all the innings except the last one. 4.Brett Lee could not impress.



Posted by notasbiasedascricinfo on (November 11, 2008, 6:22 GMT)

"The tourists still walk on the confident-arrogant border" and the Indians are now the spoilt little rich kids (take your bat and ball etc).

Posted by muk0le on (November 11, 2008, 5:04 GMT)

reality check 1: no warne no mcgrath no australia reality check 2: australia's conduct on the cricket field for the last 15 years has been a blight on the game. there is no-one in the world who is not australian who experiences anything but intense joy at their demise. warne mcgrath waugh et al caused great damage to our beautiful game. it is good that they have gone. the last vicious wicket to fall is hayden. when he is gone, perhaps australia will learn what cricket is again. reality check 3: ponting is not the brightest man ever to lead a cricket team.

Posted by trenta01 on (November 11, 2008, 4:54 GMT)

Congrats on a good solid home win against a weakened number one side India, but before you start calling yourselves the number one side you may want to start winning series away from home, away series losses in Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka show very little for your ability to travel.

Posted by cricket_wins on (November 11, 2008, 4:21 GMT)

Moral of the story - Shut up, get on with the game, and don't talk through your hat. How does defeat taste, Ricky? Sweet, huh?

Posted by Sanj747 on (November 11, 2008, 3:36 GMT)

All credit to India. They played well and Australia were well short of the mark. However if Australia's No.1 spot is undisputed, Indai by winning defeating Australia at home and losing previously to Sri Lanka away from home and drawing against South Africa at home does not make them the No 1 test side. To be No 1 you win consistently at home and away. India are yet to show that.

Posted by sashi94 on (November 11, 2008, 3:35 GMT)

Honestly i think Australia's dominance in Test cricket is over. far too long did guys like ponting and hayden enjoy and rely on great attacks(warne, mcgrath, gillepie). They never batted under pressure, thinking that their bowlers might not get the 20 wickets or contain the opposition. It is something Tendulkar, ganguly, dravid and laxman had to deal with all their careers until now. They had to deal with bowlers bowling at mediocre pace giving hundreads to batsman(srinath, raju, venkatesh prasad). Now there is a well balanced attack for India and they ARE the world champions. This is not based on the 4 tests in India, but also the way Australia "won" the series back home. It was very well pointed out that ponting talks of spirit of the game ever so often even though they never follow through during the game. to be unbiased what gambhir did was also not in the spirit, but atleast he dosent preach about it every day.

Posted by lakx on (November 11, 2008, 3:16 GMT)

A fine for a slow over rate is not a deal offered by the match referee. It is meant to deter the player from making such mistakes. If all the cricket greats and the board thinks 'stuff the consequences', no wonder Australian team relies on non-cricketing skills to win a cricket match.

When Gambhir was suspended the same people commented that the ban will teach him not to repeat it again. But now its 'stuff the consequences'. This double standard from certain countries is a throw back to the colonial times.

When will these people realize that the rules are the same for all the countries. You can not break it and say 'stuff the consequences' while at the same time expecting others to follow the rules. I read in a Australian news site a headline that "India makes its own rules". I remember a phrase from "Pirates of the Caribbean" "bloody Pirates" but it is the pirates who were calling the good people pirates. It was meant to be a joke in the movie.Now cricket has really become a joke

Posted by IPLisdull on (November 11, 2008, 3:12 GMT)

The fact that in the game Australia dominated Australia won the toss and batted first was ignored. A far greater coincidence than Dhoni's captaincy in my view. Indian conditions have proved time after time that if you bat first you win (or at least dominate) a much higher percentage of tests. Maybe Ponting's greatest mistake was spotting the difference between heads and tails? Granted Ricky Ponting would dearly love to have back the last session on day 4, but he would dearly have loved a back up spinner for Kresja that wasnt bowling long hops too, but given the side that Australia took to India i think Ricky has done a serviceable job. Lets not forget that this Indian side with the addition of Ishant Sharma now has all the pieces in place to be the best side in the world. Although if i was a journalist and had nothing to write but superlatives about this Australian side and Ricky Ponting for the past 10 years, i might need to find a change of pace also.

Posted by PeteB on (November 11, 2008, 2:53 GMT)

Deserved series win to India who now need to prove this form over consecutive series, home and away. Best of luck to them.

I too think Ponting should be commended for trying to bowl his overs on day 4 but slated for ever getting into that position in the first place.

Dhoni exercised a whole panoply of cynical moves yesterday to slow the over rate. The sad thing is, he didn't need to do that, India were good enough to win the game without such tactics.

Is the cricketing world going to do any more about slow over rates? For one the 40 minutes lunch break should be eaten into by say 20 minutes if 30 overs aren't bowled in the 1st session of the day. Secondly the endless parade of drink deliveries should be stopped, surely that's what drink breaks are for. For every over short at the end of the day teams should be penalised say 15 runs an over. The deterrent needs to be serious enough, no exceptions allowed.

Posted by SDheeren on (November 11, 2008, 1:49 GMT)

world of cricket is 140 year old(for proof just visit in this grand old world we have seen so many great leaders(Captains)like Sir Don Bradman,Ian Chappell,Mike Breally,Kapil Dev,Imran Khan,Clive Lloyd & our own Sourav Ganguly & so on,they were all great cricketing captains but they have to work very hard to prove themselves great.almost all of them had great cricketing ability.They played so many test matches in different countries,against different countries and even after that they have to wait for years to to be called "great".But somhow Indian media have started calling M S Dhoni a great captain moment he won that T20 cup in South Africa.this is not good for Indian cricket.M S Dhoni has not got any extraordinary cricketing ability,he is just doing his duty.He is a sincere cricketer no doubt,but please do not give him tag of great captain in haste it could prove counter productive.

Posted by nirvana_1959 on (November 11, 2008, 1:34 GMT)

I am surprised at some of the comments made. Obviously they haven't seen the match which I have... all the 5 days in its entirety...

I couldn't agree with the author more!

Posted by D.V.C. on (November 11, 2008, 1:25 GMT)

When I played Junior cricket we ran to get in position between overs. The bowler went straight back to his mark and didn't have warm up deliveries. This allowed us to get our 30 overs in. We didn't bowl spinners to speed up the over rate! I'm the same age as most of the Aussie team. Why can't the Australian team do what they did in Junior cricket!?

Posted by JasonT on (November 11, 2008, 0:56 GMT)

I've been an emphatic Ponting supporter over the years, however his tactic on day 4 was extremely perplexing.

Ponting insists that by bowling part-timers on the 4th day, he was trying to ensure that they bowled the full 90 overs in the day. Despite employing this tactic, only 80 overs were bowled on day 4 so employing the part-timers doesn't really justify it does it?

Posted by paku11 on (November 11, 2008, 0:15 GMT)

Congratulations Team India. for me, the result was as expected except that it should have been 3-0. Everyone is talking about have aust failed. Nobody is appreciating how India won. I for one beleive that Ind won becos of their approach, their attitude their confidence and their self belief. the fact that Haydens and pontings and clarkes failed is because of the indians made sure they didnt succeed. you only have to see their approach against these players. Same goes for the aussie bowlers. Ind batsmen had a plan. Above all, the great mysterious (not so now) reverse swing. It is evident that Ind capitalised on it even with two pacers making sure that it gets them the result. Aussies with four pacers couldn't do it even after watching the indians do it. Of all the controversies, aussies clearly lost it with incidents like over rate, hadding throwing his glove to stop the ball, white peeling off the leather on the ball. except the over rate, if it was ind the hell would have broken loose

Posted by SmashingBaby on (November 11, 2008, 0:05 GMT)

Can someone tell me how many times Australia has won a test series in India in the last 40 years? I'll answer my own question: ONCE. And that feat required what was possibly the best team Australia have ever fielded, with greats like McGrath and Warne, and Ponting and Hayden at their best. So how is it that, because Australia have lost again like the other dozen times in living memory, that it's somehow all over for them? When you throw in Australia's very poor preparation for this series, it's no wonder they lost. I'd like to see this same Indian team come to Australia against this same Australian team - there's no way they would win. Let's let up on all the hysterical carry-on about how bad Australia have become and wait for the home series in a couple of weeks.

Posted by crazydesi on (November 10, 2008, 23:56 GMT)

Ali i think this is poor journalism because you seem to be writing more from personal disappointment with the result than from a more objective stance. Ponting didn't have too much choice in the matter and besides the spirit of the game which i for one believe was a factor in his decision no matter how tough and competitive he is, the more balls bowled, the more chances one has of taking wickets. I think the Australian batsmen did not rise to the occasion and that hurt them more than Ponting's handling of his bowlers. On another note, well done Dhoni but remember it was Kumble who led when India beat a better Aussie side in Perth of all places.

Posted by jetbizzle on (November 10, 2008, 23:48 GMT)

Hey Andy_clo ! I am glad you take comfort in the fact that Aussies are going to beat New Zealand (whopdish#t). Thats saying a whole lot about your team. And about the first test being dominated by the aussies, if they were so dominant how were they not able to win the game then? I will tell you why. cameron white is selected as a batsmen at number 8. Reverse swing is a new phenomenon in the australian team. (maybe they will hire a reverse swing coach now). Horrid team selection. Arrogant attitude. Too much talk about only one team playing to win. And by the way... South African is going to trounce australia.


Posted by Fredda on (November 10, 2008, 23:31 GMT)

Well, after over a decade of being No. #1 it looks like all Australians have to bite the bullet and finally accept we're on the way down. No one can stay at the top forever, though it was a lot of fun while it lasted. Beating India in India is ***the*** hardest thing to do in cricket, so there's no shame in losing. Congrats to the Indian side and all their loyal but crazy fans :) Play and win consistently and aim for number one .... well done !!!

Posted by SoftwareStar on (November 10, 2008, 23:18 GMT)

I think Aus going slow on day 3 was one of the main reasons for this series loss. Even if they had got 120 runs in 37 overs by hitting out rather than score 166 by batting out 87 overs, they would have had an extra 50 overs in the second innings to get their 381 (or 40 more which equals 421). They could have played with more caution. Also, for India, it would have been a do or die situation since they would have had no hopes of playing for a draw on day 5.

So, Mr. Katich, it looks like the journalist did indeed know his cricket. Maybe you need to think twice before making such statements again!!

Posted by deep0199 on (November 10, 2008, 17:24 GMT)

It is really unfair that Ponting has come under the scope for his defensive ploy on the 4th afternoon. It is a responsibility of the captain to make sure 90 overs are bowled, and it is commendable that he wanted to abide by it. What if Australia were set 200 to win, and MS Dhoni only allowed 20 overs to be bowled by slowing the over rate on the final day, saying 'stuff the consequences'. That would have been in the same vein as what Ricky Ponting is being asked to have done. =/

Posted by catalyst213 on (November 10, 2008, 17:03 GMT)

Well done India on a comprehensive series win against the world champions. Alot have been said about Ricky Ponting and most of it negative especially on him using the part-timers at a crucial time of the match. However we all need to understand the fact that he (ponting) don't have the same artilary and combined experience as he did not very long ago with likes of Glen Mcgrath, Warne, Gilchrist and Langer. Its a new side and also Andrew Symond's absence in all forms of the match didn't help Ponting's cause. It'll be very interesting to see how Australia performs against New Zealand and India against England in a few days.

Posted by Prats6 on (November 10, 2008, 16:49 GMT)

I really feel that Australia did not have the team to win against India, whenever they prospered it happened because India played poor cricket and not because Australia was outstanding or brilliant. The failure of Hayden and Ricky did not help much either. Though all of us were surprised with what happened after tea on the 4th day, Ponting for starters should have had this base covered, which I think eventually cost them the series. Maybe the team will learn from this failure and be better in the future because we need a strong Australian team for World Cricket and its them who infused life into Test Cricket and it would be sad if Australia fail for a prolonged time.

My best wishes to Ponting and his men, you still are a great side.

Posted by andy_clo on (November 10, 2008, 16:09 GMT)

Wow, i feel like i am the only person with any perspective. Ok so i am an Australian and maybe am biased for my team but how bout cutting us a little slack. Yes India outplayed us...comprehensively in 1 of the tests, but can i remind everyone that this is the toughest series IN CRICKET! The only team to beat India at home recentley was arguably the best team ever in Waugh's team. We dominated the 1st test and matched India in the 3rd, lost the 4th maybe because of the over rate debacle, but overall it was a fairly competative series. Australia were not disgraced (especially with our depleated bowling attack), Ponting is still an exeptionally good captain (68.75% wins is still better than most captains) and to suggest that australia is no longer the best team in the world is ridiculous. India are extremely good, but can they win everywhere..? We will beat New Zealand, South Africa will be a challenge but we will beat them, and if we do what will you write? 4 tests does not define a team

Posted by unlucky on (November 10, 2008, 15:39 GMT)

Performing well or having records with a good team on hand is not a difficult job performing without your key players is important ponting is not the best australian captain and never will be, that too without the likes of warne and mcragth.

Posted by dhruv_25 on (November 10, 2008, 15:36 GMT)

the word 'lackluster' describes the Australian team pretty well(for this tour), with the exception of the first test, something was always missing. Whether it was Brett Lee not taking any wickets, whether it was the Krejza got during the warm up game, due to which the Aussies didn't select him until it was too late. Having another senior in the team would've made a world of a difference. Even though Symonds may not be the best behaved person around, he performs and thus should've been playing this tour.

Posted by CricketisMyPassion on (November 10, 2008, 15:11 GMT)

It is amazing that everyone of us thinks that Ponting 'should' have opted to sit out a Test and try to win this Test! Winning is everything! And not too many (if any) want to believe Ponting that what he did post-tea on day 4 was to play in the spirit of the game!

Had the same thing been done by Frank Worrel or Mark Taylor or GR Vishwanath, probably most of us would have accepted that as a plausible explanation.

Ponting had been shooting his mouth too often and thus suffers from a credibility gap which perhaps may be unfortunate.

Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting have created and sustained an 'ugly Australian' image which Mark Taylor had managed to change during his leadership.

Australia would need an image make over. Where is Mark (II) Taylor?

Posted by Revnq on (November 10, 2008, 14:39 GMT)

Ah, the most popular sport at the moment: bagging Ricky Ponting. It's funny how journalists feel fit to snipe at captains when their over-rates are tardy, and yet have the gall to do the same when they attempt to speed things up. Had Ponting taken his time, MS Dhoni would have been morally correct to do likewise, and possibly (though as we've seen otherwise) force a draw. And besides, it's not like he was overflowing with quick options was he? Watson looked decent, Johnson average, and Lee...well, let's not talk about him for a while until he gets his head back together.

Posted by Rajesh. on (November 10, 2008, 14:25 GMT)

This article would have looked better without this :- "When Mahendra Singh Dhoni was in charge of India the side looked vibrant and in control compared to the outfits of Ponting and Anil Kumble"

To sing the praise of one man don't try to make people believe the other person was a bad captain. Kumble was fantastic for India and give him his due........ At least now !

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Tour Results
India v Australia at Nagpur - Nov 6-10, 2008
India won by 172 runs
India v Australia at Delhi - Oct 29-Nov 2, 2008
Match drawn
India v Australia at Mohali - Oct 17-21, 2008
India won by 320 runs
India v Australia at Bangalore - Oct 9-13, 2008
Match drawn
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