Aussies suffer double blow
Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee for a slow over rate in the third Test match against India.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 19/01/08 12:39pm
Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee for a slow over rate in the third test match against India in Perth.
The fine comes as a double blow for Ponting as he could only watch his side's 16 consecutive Test match winning streak brought to an abrupt end by Anil Kumble's men.
All of Ponting's team-mates have been fined 10 per cent of their match fees - with the Australian skipper struggling to successfully keep his four fast bowlers up to the required rate.
It was the first time in 16 years that Australia had selected a side without a recognised spin bowler, and the hosts paid the price after failing to abide by the ICC regulations.
The regulations state that a captain can be suspended for slow over rates and Australia slipped eight behind at one stage on the third day.
In an effort to rectify the over rate Ponting brought on part-time spinners Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke - and the Tasmanian admits the rate affected his tactics in crucial stages of the match.
"I was forced to bowl part-timers at times when otherwise I may not have just because of the over rate," he said.
"It would have been up to the referee to decide if I was suspended, but as it states in the code of conduct, if you are six or more overs behind you face the chance of suspension.
"Eight overs down I had to be able to claw quite a few back to get back under six, we got a few more allowances as the day went on and with the spinners we dragged a lot of overs back.
"It was definitely a concern with a Test match on the line like it was, I wouldn't have been doing it as I was if it wasn't a legitimate concern."
One of the problems for Pointing was the notoriously slow rate of quick bowler Shaun Tait.
Playing in just his third Test - Tait only managed 21 overs in the match and failed to take a wicket.
"I would have loved to have bowled him in a nice long spell in the afternoon, but being eight overs down I would have been out for two or three Test matches if I had bowled him at that stage," Ponting said.
"I guess it's hard for someone like him to come in having not played a Test match for a while and trying to do the right thing to impress.
"He probably didn't get the bowling he would have liked but that's the way it worked out."