Mohali, Oct.21 : Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting on Tuesday hailed India's victory against his team in the second Test that was played here.
Describing India as nice and aggressive right from the start of the match Ponting said that his opponents were deserving winners.
He was speaking after Australia crashed to its heaviest defeat in terms of runs in a decade. Australia lost the match by 320 runs. It was its greatest losing margin in terms of runs since Mark Taylor's side succumbed to India by an innings and 219 in Calcutta in 1997-98.
Right from the first morning India were nice and aggressive. they took the momentum away from us early in the game. They thoroughly deserve their victory and congratulations to them," said Ponting.
"They have thoroughly outplayed us in every aspect I think. We'll probably have a couple of days off after this, back to back matches are always hard. We'll fine-tune our skills before the next Test. The are a very good bowling attack, their two seamers were terrific and they used the reverse swing well," he added.
Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan led his side's charge against the Australians with the ball, taking three of the five wickets to fall on the fifth morning. he sent off wicket keeper Brad Haddin, leg-spinner Cameron White and fast bowler Brett Lee.
However, Khan earned an appointment with the match referee for his send-off of Matthew Hayden in the second innings. Zaheer was charged for engaging in conduct contary to the spirit of the game, for sending off Matthew Hayden when he fell to Harbhajan Singh in the over before tea on Monday.
Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke played a lone hand in trying to keep his team in the game till the end of the match. His struggle ended when he pulled leg-spinner Amit Mishra to mid-wicket where he was caught by Virender Sehwag for a well made 69 in four hours at the crease.
Sehwag lifted Tendulkar off the ground in delight at seizing a 1-0 series lead ahead of the remaining Tests in New Delhi and Nagpur.
In the end the Australians lasted 28.4 overs on the fifth day.
Hayden has endured a dreadful tour, with scores of 0,13, 0 and 29 in the first two Tests, and has fallen to Zaheer on three occasions. Having made a blazing start on Monday, he gestured to umpire Rudi Koertzen as Zaheer and his teammates sent him on his way.
Zaheer will face match referee Chris Broad in a post-match hearing, and if found guilty of the level two offence can be fined between 50 and 100 per cent of his match fee or banned for a Test.
Story first published: Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 13:22 [IST]
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