Exactly eight seasons ago, Australia drew stumps on Day One at 400-5 against India here at the Adelaide Oval. Ricky Ponting was unbeaten on 176. And yet, India won that Test match. Yesterday, Australia went into stumps on 335-3 after Ponting struck his fourth consecutive hundred against India at this ground. In 1999-00, he scored 125. In 2003-04, he scored 242. In 2007-08, he scored 140. This time around, Ponting, unbeaten on 137, is threatening another double hundred.
Ponting said that India, although an aging side, had the ability to do what they did in 2003-04. "There's no doubt that they are capable (of a repeat act). They are an exceptional batting side. They will have to fire at some stage in the series. And we are expecting them to. We have learnt some lessons, especially from this venue over the last 10 years. That's why we can't take anything for granted. We need to capitalise on the good start tomorrow," Ponting said.
Ponting admitted that Australia's bowlers were in for a tough time. "You have to be careful not to bat too long. It will be a tough wicket to take India wickets if you want to win this game. We need to make sure we're not killing too much time, and give our bowlers enough time to bowl India out twice," he said.
Meanwhile, Michael Clarke scored his fifth century in 11 Tests as official skipper. He added an unbeaten 251 runs with Ponting after Australia were restricted to 84-3 by R Ashwin's twin strikes. Ponting reflected on how well the duo had worked together since the captaincy handover.
"I just think we're both grown-ups, and I know my place in the team, Michael's the leader now and I've stepped back from all that responsibility. I said when I first did it that I'm used to sitting back in the corner and being told what to do anyway, and it's been no different over the last few months.
"I know there was some negativity around from people on the outside, but I don't think anyone in Australian cricket or the team had any doubts about the way we'd work together at all. I'm around to try to help the younger guys at the moment and any advice if Michael needs it, but I don't ever go and impress myself upon him, he's the leader and I'm the No 4 batsman and second slip fielder and I'm quite enjoying that role," Ponting added.
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