Ponting unhappy with critic Border

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Sydney, Nov 11 (UNI) Skipper Ricky Ponting last night took aim at Test legend Allan Border after weathering accusations that he had been 'selfish' during the fourth Test in Nagpur, which India won by 172-run.

Ponting was under fire yesterday for his inexplicable decision to turn to his part-time bowlers in the final session on Sunday just when Australia had momentum and was suddenly in a position to push for a victory to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

But nine overs behind on the overs rate and facing suspension from next week's first Test against New Zealand, Ponting turned to Cameron White, Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke to help hurry through the overs.

While this move had the desired result where Australia finished only two overs down and Ponting escaped with a 2700 dollar fine, it allowed Indian batsmen M S Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh to forge a match-swinging century-stand, which almost certainly cost the World Champions the match.

Border, a former Australian captain turned Cricket Australia board member, was bewildered by the move and expressed this view while commentating on the series for the host television broadcaster.

Ponting was unimpressed by Border's appraisal, although he ruled out lodging an official complaint with the CA.

''To tell you the truth, I am a little bit disppointed with some of the criticism, probably particularly from the former Australian captains and Cricket Australia board members,'' Ponting was quoted as saying by 'The Advertiser'.

Clearly hurt by the stinging criticism from former Test stars, Ponting then felt the need to defend his own honour and commitment to the team.

''The thing that I am most disappointed about is there tends to be this inference out there that I put myself totally ahead of the team,'' he said.

''Anybody that knows me or knows the way I play my cricket or operate around the Australian cricket team or any team would hopefully not say that that's the case.

''I would like to think as far as team players go there haven't been many more that have played for Australia that would do things more than I would for the team.'' Ponting said he didn't feel turning to his part-timers at such a crucial stage of the game had been a negative move.

''At the end of the day, I had Jason Krejza bowling at one end who ended up taking 12 wickets in the game,'' he said.

''Cameron White had been our number one picked spinner in the first three Test matches operating at the other end for a couple of overs.

''That didn't work out the way I would have liked it to.

''Michael Clarke was obviously the next choice. He had been off the field ill and couldn't bowl until about 3.10pm and being nine overs down in the situation that we were, myself as captain of the Australian cricket team I feel I had a lot of responsibility to play the game in the right spirit.

''I had an obligation to try and play 90 overs in a day's play.

The way we were heading if the quicks had of kept continuing then we would have have been may be 12 overs down by the time the day ended,'' he added.


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