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Ponting determined to end dismal run in India

Australia captain Ricky Ponting vowed Tuesday to make amends for his own past failures in India during the upcoming Test series.

Ponting, one of the seven batsmen to have completed 10,000 Tests runs, has averaged a dismal 12.28 in eight matches in India since his maiden visit with Mark Taylor's side in 1996.

"I'll work really hard for the next week to make sure I am as good as I can be. Hopefully, I can turn things around there. It's all in my hands and I know what I have to do to have success here."

Ponting has managed just 172 in 14 innings in India, with his worst performance in 2001 when he scored 17 in three Tests, falling five times to off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.

"There is a bit of a void in my international career here in India. There's no doubt about that," the Australian skipper said at his first press conference since arriving in India on September 22.

"Even on the last tour (in 2004) when we managed to win the Test series, I missed the first three Tests with a broken thumb and came back for the last one and we managed to lose that Test match."

"So there's hopefully a lot of runs ahead for me here," said Ponting, who has made 10,099 runs in 119 Tests with 35 hundreds during his career.

Ponting made 11 and 12 in his only Test in India four years ago when his side lost by 13 runs on a turning Mumbai track.

The Australian captain is one of the four players in the current squad to have played a Test in India, the others being batsmen Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke and Simon Katich.

But Ponting said his side were capable of putting in a winning performance if they played to their potential. "We are confident the younger faces are going to be good enough and their skills good enough to stand up in Test cricket in India," said Ponting.

"I think even over the last 12 months when we have been missing some of our more experienced players we have still managed to show our best cricket is good enough to beat everybody."

Ponting also urged the teams to play in the right spirit to avoid a repeat of the ill-tempered series between the two teams in Australia early this year. "The important thing is that the captains are responsible for what happens on the field. We are responsible for our teams and the way we play our cricket," said Ponting.

Australia clinched the four-Test series earlier this year 2-1 amid deteriorating relations between the two sides.

The Indians, unhappy with umpiring decisions in the second Test in Sydney, almost abandoned the tour when off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was accused of making racist comments against Andrew Symonds.

"We have addressed it a number of times, particularly after the Sydney Test. We all understand what is acceptable and what is not," said Ponting. "Both teams have a responsibility in this series to make sure everybody is playing the game in the right way."

Australia, who trained for a week in Jaipur, open the tour with a four-day fixture starting in Hyderabad on Thursday..The opening Test begins in Bangalore on October 9, followed by back-to-back matches in Mohali, New Delhi and Nagpur.

Australia clinched the four-Test series on their previous tour in 2004, their first success in India in 35 years.


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