Australia is still No.1, insists Ponting

November 12th, 2008 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Nov 12 (IANS) Australia’s cricket captain Ricky Ponting denied that the country had lost its crown as having the best team in the world, despite losing the Test series to India.Ponting, whose ability to lead the side is being questioned after the 0-2 loss, vowed that Australia would continue to be a positive and aggressive side and he would not change his “ruthless” approach to leadership.

“Becoming the number one team in the world doesn’t happen overnight. We built up a reputation and a style of play and had a number of series wins around the world that have given us that mantle. I think it would be a bit harsh or rich after one series loss to be not considered the number one side in the world,” Ponting was quoted as saying in The Australian.

Ponting has come under heavy fire from critics for being more concerned about saving himself from suspension for the slow over rate than winning back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

But asked if he had reconsidered his tactics on the flight home, Ponting said he still believed he had no other option but to use part-time bowlers on the fourth day of the fourth Test.

“Over rates have been an issue for our team for a long time and I have made it pretty clear to everybody that at some stage somewhere I’ve always felt it’s going to come back to bite us,” Ponting said.

Ponting said Australia would come back strongly in the next series against New Zealand.

“I will continue to be a ruthless captain and a ruthless player and I would expect that my team-mates would be in the same boat,” he said.

“And if they are not now, after having lost a Test series in India 0-2 then we’ll have to look around for some other guys, but I am confident that we can hit the ground running in Brisbane (against New Zealand) and play some of the best Test cricket that we have seen for a while.”

The captain admitted he was “flabbergasted” that Indian crowds had shunned the games and joked that maybe it was because of the 8:1 fields used by the home side at times during the fourth Test.

Ponting said that he was not sure if it was the advent of Twenty20, new stadiums built too far from towns, ticket prices or just the heat that kept crowds away, but claimed that captains have to be aware of playing attractive cricket.

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