Slump not due to off-field distractions : Ponting

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Adelaide, Feb 17 (UNI) After a thumping 50-run win over India in their CB series match here today, Australia captain Ricky Ponting brushed aside suggestions that off-field distractions centering on participation in the IPL led to his current slump in form.

''I am in a little bit of a bad run at the moment but it's not because I've got other things on my mind,'' Ponting said.

''You have your ups and downs and I'm in a bit of a rut, but I'm working hard so hopefully the runs will start to come in the next couple of games.'' Ponting, while separating money matters from batting business said, ''That's been one of my strengths over the years. When it's cricket time, it's cricket time.'' However, Ponting has been vocally urging Cricket Australia (CA) to allows its contracted players to appear in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament, but he does not believe that such matters, which also include the in-doubt tour of Pakistan, are impacting his performance.

Meanwhile, Ponting's bad run continued when he was dismissed on 10. He averages only 10.60 in five matches of the ongoing tri-series.

Australia may not be playing their best cricket but Ponting finds it satisfying that they are still winning games. What also pleases him is their four days of to rest and recover - Brett Lee included after he missed todays game to recharge - before their next match against Sri Lanka on February 22.

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