Ponting plays down record streak

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/r/ricky_ponting.jpg' class='caption'> Captain Ricky Ponting is playing down prospects of a world record his team is approaching.

Updated: January 02, 2008 08:45 IST
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While wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist is relishing an Australian record earned during the first Test against India, captain Ricky Ponting is playing down prospects of a world record his team is approaching.

Australia earned its 15th consecutive Test victory on Saturday when its bowlers dismantled the Indian batting lineup to win the first Test by 337 runs and is now one win short of its record streak set between October 1999 and February 2001.

But Ponting is reluctant to give voice to his team's chances ahead of the second Test against India in Sydney next week.

"It's getting closer by the game, but we didn't mention it at all going into this game and that's the way I prefer it as well," he said of equaling the record.

"I think if we just go about our normal business, getting well prepared for games and playing good cricket, then those sort of things will look after themselves."

Australia's previous record streak - which surpassed the 11 consecutive wins set by Clive Lloyd's great West Indies side in 1984 - was ended by India at Calcutta in the second Test of the 2001 series, when the hosts produced an amazing comeback to snatch the win after being forced to follow-on.

There was no sign of similar comebacks in Melbourne, where India needed to produce an unprecedented last innings chase of 499 to win but instead was bundled out for 161 on the fourth day.

Adam Gilchrist took four catches in the second innings, the first of which earned him the record as Australia's most prolific wicketkeeper, eclipsing his predecessor Ian Healy's total of 395 dismissals.

"I'm just thrilled, really thrilled," Gilchrist said of the milestone.

"It's not something I thought would happen," he added. "You don't naturally feel your name sits alongside those of (Rod) Marsh and Healy.

"You just reflect back on everyone who's supported you along the way, and if there's been detractors or knockers, it's even more satisfying - and there's been a few of those."

Gilchrist's tenure as Australia wicketkeeper coincided with the dominance of such bowlers as now-retired leg spinner Shane Warne and paceman Glen McGrath.

"To have done it in 93 Tests is a testament to the quality of fast bowling and spin bowling that I've had," he said. "I've had both bases covered there with the world's best."

But Gilchrist was also full of praise for the efforts of Australia's current crop of bowlers after the first Test against India.

"It's of the highest quality that bowling," he said. "Allowing (Ponting) to set the fields he wants given the conditions, and then suffocation is the word. As a batsman if you don't have runs flowing, you're under the pump, so they (bowlers) were brilliant."

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