Australian media slams Ponting and Co

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Sydney, Oct 22 (UNI) The Australian media took a dig at captain Ricky Ponting for the poor leadership in his team's humiliating 320-run loss against India in the second Test at Mohali as the 'Sydney Morning Herald' summed up the defeat in a three-word headline - 'Outplayed, Outbowled and Outcaptained'.

Another leading Australian newspaper, The Age, slammed Ponting's fading leadership and described the visitor's tale at Mohali as 'Australian Cricketer's and the Wearing of the Saggy Green'.

Renowned cricket author and columnist Peter Roebuck in his column in The Sydney Morning Herald wrote, ''Australian cricketers are highly regarded in these parts for never throwing in the towel. Everyone knew they could be beaten but not broken. No one expected them to be brushed away like dust off a table, not on this pitch, not Australians.'' Roebuck further went on to write, ''No one expected the visitors to cave in or to depart with their tails hanging between their legs.

''The Australians were humbled. Now comes the time to be humble. Ricky Ponting's team was outbatted, outbowled, outfielded, out-thought, outrun, outcaptained and outclassed,'' he added.

Although Ponting asserted that his team ''can not be written off'', the well known columnists and commentators do not expect a huge turnaround in the remaining two Tests.

''There was not one area of this match where Australia was India's equal... When Australia attempted to save the match, a combination of high-class bowling and illogical batting saw the tourists meekly surrender,'' Glenn Mitchell wrote on Australian Broadcasting Corporation Grandstand Online.

Stunned by the team's loss, the Australian media circled around Ponting, with 'The Daily Telegraph' even running a poll to send all-rounder Andrew Symonds to rescue the team in India.

The otherwise supportive Australian media was highly critical of Ponting and Company. The pressure is building on Ricky Ponting ahead of the third Test in Delhi which starts on October 29 and Ponting will be hoping to play his cards right to ensure a favourable result for Australia.

The local media also pointed out that the Australian team has become spineless after the retirements of cricketing greats Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath who are being missed in the series against India.

''England's cricket teams have false dawns, Australia's false Waterloos. Mostly, they are in and against India. This one, though, has a disturbingly Napoleonic feel about it,'' Greg Baum wrote in his column in 'The Age'.

While Roebuck wrote that since the retirement of McGrath, Warne and Gilchrist, especially, the Australians ''have been living on borrowed time.'' ''It is not possible to replace great cricketers with good cricketers and retain the same standard,'' he added.

The Australian team will now head to Delhi for the third Test and would look to settle scores. But the home team's exceptional track record at the Feroz Shah Kotla, where it has not lost a single Test in last 21 years, might be something that the Australian team would avoid to take notice of.

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