New Delhi:Far from his belligerent self, Australia captain Ricky Ponting was grace personified after his team went down to India by six wickets in the third ODI here on Saturday.
Ponting admitted his side had been out-batted by the Indians, praised the match-winning 148-run stand between captain M S Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh and also refused to blame the track -- one of the lowest he has come across -- for the loss.
"India batted very well today and batted in slightly tougher conditions. I think a score around 250 would have been good but we fell a little short with the bat," Ponting said.
"They had an excellent partnership and they got those boundaries just when they needed them. We tried a lot of bowling changes and tactical things but could not break the stand. That probably made the difference," he added.
On the Kotla pitch, Ponting said, "It's one of the slowest tracks I have played ODIs on but then it was same for both the sides." .
Thinness of resource forced Ponting to open the innings and the Australian said he had to shoulder the responsibility.
"Obviously being the most experienced batsman, I had to open. It would have been a bigger challenge for anybody else.
Besides, I have often come to bat in the second or third over, so nothing new about that," he explained.
Ponting was seen often consulting the umpires. Asked for reason, he said, "I went asking for changing the ball since we could not grip it. There was lot of dew there and it got very wet."
Looking ahead, he said spate of injuries had laid low the side but the visitors would put their best foot forward in the next matches.
"Injury has hit us hard. Lot of guys are in and out of the side. Brett (Lee) could play just one game before returning. Mitchell Johnson is only coming up now and James Hopes is not playing yet. But we have to try to get on with it and play the best game we can. We have to give 100 per cent," Ponting said.
"Today was not a bad day for us even though we did not win. First match we lost, the second they won and today was close. Maybe conditions in Mohali would suit us more," he added.