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Ponting calls for ODI rethink

cricket Updated: Oct 21, 2009 00:28 IST

Agencies
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Ricky Ponting's world champion Australian side flew into India on Tuesday to play a seven-match one-day series against the hosts.

Ponting's men go into the series fresh from a 6-1 drubbing of England in September and victory in the Champions Trophy one-day tournament in South Africa earlier this month.

India, ranked number two behind Australia, crashed out in the first round of the Champions Trophy.

Ponting urges one-day rethink

Ponting called for a rethink of one-day cricket to end meaningless dead rubbers as he left for the series in India.

Ponting said a points system was needed to give all one-dayers "significant meaning", citing Australia's lop-sided 6-1 win against England last month.

"The way that one-day cricket is played at the moment with one-off series like this --- until there is a... points system in place then it might get to the same sort of situation as it did in the UK," he said late on Monday.

"We were 4-0 up after four games and all of a sudden there is talk of teams rotating players in and out and doing all sorts of things.

"So the important thing is we make sure that every game of 50-over cricket has some significant meaning."

With one-day cricket under growing threat from Twenty20, fast bowler Mitchell Johnson backed the 50-over format and said he hoped it "doesn't die".

"Test cricket is number one for me but then it's followed by 50-over cricket," he said. "I prefer 50-over cricket (over Twenty20). I hope it doesn't die, because I love the game."

Australia embarked on the series with an undecided batting line-up after Michael Clarke delayed his departure to deal with recurring back problems.

"He's not an old man, so we've got to be very careful that we don't flog him to death as a 27- or 28-year-old as he is now," coach Tim Nielsen said.

"Having just been named as the Twenty20 captain he'll be playing all forms of the game and taking on a really important role for us in Twenty20 cricket moving forward.

"So when it does come to a head and does flare up pretty badly we've just got to make sure we get him 100 percent right," he said.

Ponting said Australia had much to ponder with Callum Ferguson also sidelined with a serious knee injury.

Former opener Shaun Marsh returns from a hamstring problem but rookie Tim Paine has also been in excellent form.

"The selectors and myself are going to have a bit of thinking to do over the next few days regarding what we ought to do with the batting line-up," Ponting said.

"Paine coming in has had a fair bit of success at the top of the order and (he's) given himself every opportunity to remain there. "But we know we've got very good depth in our batting,” he added.