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Ponting not expecting miracles on India tour

cricket Updated: Sep 19, 2010 19:54 IST

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Minutes before leaving for the all-important India tour, Australia cricket captain Ricky Ponting on Sunday said he is not expecting miracles from his team but will demand a high level of performance from the players.

Australia are scheduled to play two Tests and three one-day internationals against the India.

Australia are fourth in the Test rankings behind India, South Africa and Sri Lanka and Ponting said winning in India will be one of the ways to climb up the ranking ladder.

"I don't expect miracles, but expect a very high level of performance over the next few weeks," Ponting was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

"It is an important tour for all of us.

"I would like to get the team back to number one again and this will be hopefully just one of those steps along the way."

"If we happen to play the cricket, I know what we are capable of in India and we can win that series. It will do great things for us to get back up near the number one ranking," Ponting said.

Ponting agreed with the likes of Shane Warne that the tour wasn't the perfect preparation for the Ashes series but said the schedule was better than the original one which featured only seven one-day matches.

"There has been a bit of talk in the last few weeks about our preparation going into the Ashes and I definitely could not be happier with playing Test cricket at this time of the year," he said.

"For us, I think it will be great to be challenged the way that we will be challenged over there, by a very good team and by the conditions.

"I think it will be great for us before the Ashes series comes around."

The punter is also keen to improve his batting average in India, where he has scored just one century in 12 Tests at an average of 20.8.

Uncapped young pacemen Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson were taken as reserves Saturday for the India tour following a back injury to young fast bowler Josh Hazlewood.

Australia had a tough time in India the last time around, losing the four match Test series 0-2 to the hosts.

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh, on his visit to Delhi last month, said it will be a fifty-fifty chance for both teams and India is always a tough side to beat at home.

The first Test starts Oct 1 at Mohali.