Ricky Ponting is just about getting sick of answering questions about his record in India. He averages a shade over 12 in his visits to this country, but holds an otherwise unblemished Test record. In the last couple of years, he has batted with the kind of authority batsmen only show at the peak of their powers.
Ponting spoke about how he tried different things on each visit, but somehow or the other nothing worked. Excerpts
On why he has failed in India in the past
The reason for my poor performance was I didn't trust myself. I didn't trust my technique. That first dismissal in the first Test was where it all started for me. I was always trying to find a different way to play, fearing that one delivery, I guess. I ended up getting stumped, caught at bat-pad sweeping.
I almost tried everything and nothing worked. Every time I tried something, I got out pretty soon after.
They are the lessons to be learnt from coming here. I have spoken to a lot of guys this week about working out a style of playing that you think is going to work for you and making sure you stick to it. Even if you do get out a couple of times early, if you stick to those things that have worked for you in the past, you will end up scoring some runs.
That's what I will be endeavoring to do this time around. I actually feel I am a lot better equipped these days than I was back then with a number of tours to this part of the world. So it's all in my hands now. I have to be strong and stick to what I know is going to work.
On whether the problem in facing Harbhajan Singh is mental
I have never really thought it as being that much of a mental thing. He has obviously had a very good run against me.
He did it in the 2001 series and even back in Australia in the last series, he got me out thrice. It’s that first 10-15 minutes against spin. That’s the challenging period. Whenever I have got out to spin, it has been very early on. It's about getting through that initial period. My record everywhere else is great. Sri Lanka is probably the hardest spinning conditions to play in. I have got a record there as good as anybody, and against a set of bowlers a whole lot more skilled than Harbhajan might be.
On how important it is to do well in India
It means a lot to me to do well here. I haven't done well here in the past.
The team over the last ten years has found ways of winning games over here, be it Test matches or one-day cricket. So I guess it's my turn now, my time now to stand up and make sure I am scoring some runs.
On the absence of Andrew Symonds
There's no good talking about it, there's no good worrying about it. We have got a group of players here at the moment that doesn't include Symonds. It would have been great if he had been around, but he's not. We have got someone like Shane Watson coming back into the side.
It's a hypothetical thing about Symmo but there're a lot of positive signs coming out. Once he gets everything sorted out, I am pretty sure he will back in the team sooner rather than later.