Sunday, November 01, 2009

Ponting has to win more than mere tosses

By John Cheeran
Despite Australia's apparent lack of bowling resources what made things easier for India in the third one-dayer at Feroze Shah Kotla was Ricky Ponting's too careful an approach while batting.
Now with the tide in the series turning in favour of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's India 2-1, Ponting has to do more than merely win the toss at Mohali. With former foe Sourav Ganguly offering unsolicited advice to bat first, things are not looking pretty for the Aussie.
Yes, the wicket at Kotla did not encourage shot-making, but Australians could have taken their chances against Indian spinners to put on at least another 50-odd runs. That, they failed to do so, handing over the advantage to the Indians. But, then, though they had five wickets in hand Australia was handicapped by the absence of wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine.
That wicket did not turn treacherous was evident when Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni were batting together. A missed opportunity, especially for Michael Hussey, Shane Watson and Ponting. As things stand, Aussies are far from winning the game in the mind.

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