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Despite loss, Ponting showed good leadership

As I have said before, playing cricket in India is about meeting new challenges. Right now, the Aussie team is facing the challenges in the form of different conditions at each new venue they move to. From Vadodara to Nagpur to Delhi, we have come across three different types of wickets, writes Michael Kasprowicz.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2009 23:21 IST

As I have said before, playing cricket in India is about meeting new challenges. Right now, the Aussie team is facing the challenges in the form of different conditions at each new venue they move to. From Vadodara to Nagpur to Delhi, we have come across three different types of wickets.

On Saturday though, Ricky Ponting and his boys did well to put up a pretty good score. Opting to bat first bat, they did well by adapting quickly to the slow nature of the track. I thought 230 was a very good score.

Also, the decision of captain Ponting to open the batting --- only the second time in his 327-ODI career — was not only brave but a positive one. Considering that he has a young and inexperienced team that is in transition, Ponting is leading by example, which is a sign of good leadership.

While defending 230, the Aussies began in right earnest. They bowled well and struck early removing Virender Sehwag and running Sachin Tendulkar out. Both Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson bowled really well giving nothing away, which also set the platform for the Aussies.

There was also a good backup from Doug Bollinger. For someone who has had to sit on the sidelines a lot of time, Bollinger did particularly well.

But even as the Aussies tried hard, unfortunately for them, Dhoni chose to follow-on on his spectacular Nagpur show. He once again used the rotation of strike method to great effect. While Dhoni's natural graft proved that the longer you stay at the crease the easier it's going to get, the knock from Yuvraj Singh turned the tide.

We have seen Yuvraj blast the ball before too but what we saw in Delhi was a very mature and measured innings where he took his time.

At the moment, the Indian team is just on fire, but the series in intriguingly placed at 2-1 in favour of the hosts. The Australians will surely look to come back and make it all the more exciting on the morrow.

In the meantime, I'm looking ahead to relish the kulchas and some fresh palak paneer at Mohali.