Ponting misjudged India's potential

Blissfully unaware of the series bashing that awaited him in India, Ricky Ponting considered MS Dhoni and his men better-suited for Twenty20.

updated: November 18, 2008 09:30 IST
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Blissfully unaware of the series bashing that awaited him in India, Australian captain Ricky Ponting considered MS Dhoni and his men better-suited for Twenty20 cricket rather than Tests after their World Cup triumph in South Africa.

Recalling the success of Indian team in the Twenty20 World Cup, Ponting wrote in his book 'Captain's Diary 2008' that Dhoni was a "classic example" of a player who could damage the opposition in the shortest version, which offers little scope for a batsman to showcase his technique.

"Teams that are outclassed in five-day matches and even 50-over games are much more competitive in Twenty20. India offer a good example of this. The shorter the format of the game the more dangerous they become," Ponting said.

"Some of their batsmen -- Yuvraj Singh and M S Dhoni are classic examples -- can hurt you more in shorter games, because their is less opportunity to find ways of picking apart their techniques," he while adding that "Form in Twenty20 really doesn't count for all that much".

Having said so, Ponting also dismissed India's successful journey to the T20 world title, attributing it to more luck and little skills.

"I am not as cynical about the game as I once was, but some negatives still nag at me. There is so much luck involved in this shortened form of the game; it's not always going to be the best team that wins.

"I guess that's true of all sport but it seems to be accentuated here... Little wonder, then, that the tournament has been unpredictable, with many locals stunned that previously unbeaten South Africa was eliminated so comfortably by India," he said.

Dhoni, however, went on to prove Ponting wrong as he led India to a thumping 2-0 win in the recent four-Test series.

The Tasmanian right-hander said he wondered why Dhoni had complained against him about sledging during the a one-dayer in Kochi last year.

"After the game, at the captain's media conference, MS Dhoni revealed that he had complained to the umpires about what he called 'harsh' language that I and some other Australian players had reputedly used on the field.

"I really don't know where he was coming from. The umpires didn't have a problem, match referee Chris Broad didn't have a problem and I wonder whether Dhoni was trying to somehow square the ledger after the controversy that engulfed S Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh in Kochi."

Ponting said Dhoni's behaviour was rather strange as Broad had lauded his team's approach towards the game.

"I actually sat on the plane right behind Chris Broad, and he made a point of turning around and congratulating me for the way out team approached the game".