Plenty to ponder for Ponting
Ricky Ponting was left to rue a "couple of costly moments" after his side crashed to a 2-0 series defeat at the hands of India.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 13/10/10 1:52pm
Australia captain Ricky Ponting was left to rue a "couple of costly moments" after his side crashed to a 2-0 series defeat at the hands of India.
After losing narrowly at Mohali in the series opener, Australia were brushed aside in convincing fashion in Bangalore as India collected a clean sweep with an emphatic seven-wicket triumph.
The win leaves Ponting still searching for his first win in India as captain, while Australia have now lost three Test matches in a row for the first time since 1988.
Speaking after the defeat, which leaves the Aussies with plenty to think about ahead of a crunch Ashes series with England, Ponting admitted his team could have no excuses after being thoroughly outplayed in the final Test.
He said: "It has been a great series to be a part of again as a player. Once again we just had a couple of moments in this game that have cost us.
"Our inability not to be able to break the (Murali) Vijay-(Sachin) Tendulkar partnership on day three and then our second innings batting wasn't at the standard it needed to be if we are going to win a Test match.
"We've played some reasonable Test cricket over the last couple of weeks but we've been outplayed in this game."
After posting 478 in the first innings, Australia were dismissed for just 223 second time around as India's potent bowling attack exploited a wearing surface expertly.
That left India chasing 207 for victory on the final day, and although that feat had never previously been achieved at the venue, India cruised past the total thanks to half-centuries from debutant Cheteshwar Pujara (72) and Sachin Tendulkar (53 not out).
"Deep down I felt we needed a few more runs, it would have been nice if we had the chance to dig clear in the second innings - that would have been a good result but that wasn't to be," Ponting added.
"Saying that, we needed to take a few early wickets today, we got one reasonably early but Pujara and Vijay played very well and the game started to slip away from there.
"We just needed to have a bit more impact today if we were going to win."
Speaking on the overall contribution of his team throughout the series, Ponting believes only pace duo Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson and opening batsman Shane Watson can come away from the matches with their heads held high.
"I thought Hilfenhaus and Johnson have been exceptional, Shane Watson at the top of the order has been very, very good for us too," he said.
"The rest of us have been a bit inconsistent but we will learn from the experience. It's a hard place to win Test matches here and that was the disappointing thing about not being able to cross the line in the first Test.
"When those opportunities present themselves you really have to make sure you take them because they don't come around very often."