Ponting elated at rain affecting India-Victoria tour match

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Melbourne, Dec 21 (UNI) Australia skipper Ricky Ponting is overjoyed at rain playing spoilsport in India's three-day tour match against Victoria here.

''The Melbourne wicket, from what I can gather over the last few weeks, has been very, very flat. But hopefully the wicket down there for the Test match will have a bit more on offer for the bowlers, a bit more pace and bounce, hopefully.

''If that is the case and India don't get on (in the tour game), they might find themselves a bit underdone,'' Ponting said.

The Men in Blue, who arrived in Australia earlier this week, are facing an acute shortage of practice. They could only play 48 overs in two days against Victoria in their only tour game before the first Test, with more rain predicted during the next couple of days.

In contrast, the Aussies are on a high with their batsmen and bowlers coming good in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand which the Aussies winning 2-0 with the third ODI being washed out.

''Looking at Boxing Day, I think most of our guys have had really good hit-out in this series,'' Ponting said.

''For me to spend some time in the middle; (Shaun) Tait has got some good overs under his belt; Brett (Lee) has looked good again; (Andrew) Symonds got some time in the middle -- it has all worked out pretty well for us, to tell you the truth.'' India commence their tour Down Under with the first Test starting in Melbourne on December 26.

UNI

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