Ponting gets vote of support from administrators
Under-seige Australia captain Ricky Ponting has received the backing of the country's cricket administrators amid accusations he encouraged his team to be overly aggressive.
The Australian team have been accused of unsportsmanlike, "boorish" behaviour in its second test victory over India, while India captain Anil Kumble said he felt that only one team had played the match "in the spirit of the game".
One media commentator has called for Ponting's sacking, while leaders from other sports have questioned the team's attitude.
Cricket Australia (CA), however, said Ponting and the team had their full support.
"The Australian team plays the game tough and uncompromising," CA Chief Executive James Sutherland told reporters.
"Test cricket is what is being played, it is not tiddlywinks.
"I have spoken to Ricky Ponting and made it absolutely clear to him on behalf of the board of Cricket Australia that we do not support that criticism and the support of him as team captain is absolute." The series descended into acrimony after the second test when India spinner Harbhajan Singh was found guilty of calling Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds a "monkey" and banned for three tests. He has appealed the ban.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) temporarily suspended the tour because of the ban and pressured the International Cricket Council (ICC) to drop West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor from standing in the third test in Perth.
The ICC have also appointed their chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle to act as a mediator between the two sides before the match in Perth begins on Jan. 16.
Sutherland said he had spoken to Ponting, who was more than willing to meet with India captain Kumble to discuss any problems the two sides might have.
"Ricky is very willing and a number of days ago made an offer to Anil Kumble to get together and talk through their differences of opinion," said Sutherland.
"I'm very confident that will happen."