Ponting - win 'very satisfying'

Indian skipper Kumble left to lament batting display

Last Updated: 29/12/07 4:23pm

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Excellent cricket: Ponting and Adam Gilchrist

Excellent cricket: Ponting and Adam Gilchrist

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Australia captain Ricky Ponting understandably pronounced himself delighted after his side wrapped up a comprehensive victory in the first Test against India in Melbourne with one day to spare.

"To walk off the field at the end of day four with a 337-run win against a very good Indian team is obviously very satisfying. It's a very pleasing win, because the wicket we played on was more suited to the sub-continental style of play and we've adapted really well."
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With India needing a daunting 493 runs for victory, they instead fell to 161 all-out in their second innings as Australia's attack exploited a wearing pitch to restrict the tourists' scoring.

All Australia's bowlers contributed to their victory, with Mitchell Johnson taking 3-21 off 15 overs, while Stuart Clark took two wickets, bowled nine maidens and conceded just 20 runs off his 15 overs.

Ponting also expressed contentment with the way his players adapted to conditions at the MCG, saying: "We played excellent cricket all the way through.

"To walk off the field at the end of day four with a 337-run win against a very good Indian team is obviously very satisfying.

"It's a very pleasing win, because the wicket we played on was more suited to the sub-continental style of play and we've adapted really well."

Tough going

Ponting added that, while he never thought his side would lose the match when he declared late on Friday, he was mindful that India's batsmen might make the going tough.

"I expected it to be really hard work," he continued.

"I felt thinking about it last night that with (Rahul) Dravid, (VVS) Laxman and those sorts of guys have been known to bat for long periods of time and particularly on wickets like this one, so I felt it might have been a tough day for us.

"But the way we bowled and fielded was outstanding and we took nearly every chance that came our way."

Laxman top-scored for India with 42 and Sourav Gangly added 40 but the tourists never looked like getting anywhere near their intended target, a situation which left captain Anil Kumble lamenting: "I wish I knew what went wrong.

"It was important that we batted sessions (on Saturday) and our batting didn't stand up.

"It was a difficult wicket to bat on but once you got in it was difficult to get out as well so it was important that we hung in there.

"It was a matter of adjusting, which we didn't do enough. Credit to the way Australia bowled and the pressure they built.

"It was a collective failure on the batting... and it's not just about one person getting 100, it's about the team getting to 350-400 regularly."

Control

Such was the control Australia's bowlers had over proceedings that India's run rate that barely peaked above two throughout the match, with Kumble adding: "If you are looking to win Test matches you need a positive and healthy run rate.

"Obviously the conditions... the way the Aussies bowled and losing wickets at regular intervals did not help.

"(But) whenever we had a partnership we were scoring at a healthy rate so it was just needing one batter going on to get a big score.

"I'm sure the run rate will pick up and we have the batting to do that."

The next match in the four-Test series, where the Australians will be seeking a world record-equalling 16th successive victory, begins on January 2nd in Sydney.

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