Ponting rues failure to score a ton

Melbourne: With his place in the Australian team questioned like never before, Ricky Ponting responded strongly with back-to-back fifties in the ongoing first Test against India but the veteran is more disappointed than happy as he could not convert them into hundreds. "It`s nice to get a few runs. But when you get past 50 as a top-order batter, it`s your job to go on and make big scores," Ponting, who has scores of 62 and 60 in the evenly-poised match, said after the third day`s play here.

"I`m disappointed I haven`t probably been able to do that in either innings of this game, particularly in the second innings when we were fighting our way back into a pretty strong position". When I got out, we lost a couple of wickets on top of that. Tomorrow morning is going to be really crucial for us now. We need Mike Hussey (unbeaten on 79) now to go on and get a big score," he added.

Ponting conceded his side would need a few more runs in the kitty to nail India down. "We`re 230 runs ahead now which I think is a reasonable total for India to have to chase. Ideally, we`d like to make a few more runs than that," stated Ponting whose 60 in the second innings played a critical hand in Australia` revival.

On a bowlers` day, India lost their last seven wickets for 68 runs while Australia lost their eight for 179 runs. "There`s just enough assistance for the bowlers if you bowl in the right areas for long enough. There`s some thickish grass on the wicket. There`s more pace and bounce for bowlers operating from the press box end.

"Most of our batters found it tough to get through the first half an hour of the innings," he said. Ponting was all praise for his team`s bowlers who he felt performed better than what they had done on the second day of the match.