No rift between me and Lee: Ponting

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Ricky Ponting dismissed media reports suggesting a rift between him and Brett Lee.

Updated: October 21, 2008 08:41 IST
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Australia captain Ricky Ponting on Tuesday dismissed media reports suggesting a rift between him and Brett Lee and said his decision not to bowl the pace spearhead in Monday's morning session was purely a part of the team strategy.

Much to everyone's surprise, Lee was cooling his heels the entire morning session on Monday when even a part-time bowler like Michael Hussey also go the chance to roll his arm over.

Subsequently, both Ponting and Lee were engaged in an animated discussion, triggering speculation about the relation between the pacer and his captain.

Even the Australian media claimed relation has soured between the two after the incident, even though Ponting came up with a different version of it.

"I want to clarify something. Certain people are trying to make more than what it was and I can tell you that there is nothing between me and Brett," Ponting said.

"The Indians were scoring freely and we wanted to take the pace off the ball to make it difficult for them. Besides, we were down by five overs in the over-rate. So Hussey was bowled, something you don't see too often in Test cricket," Ponting explained.

The Australian captain, however, admitted there was some communication gap between him and Lee.

"The things is we didn't communicated to Lee till 11 am and he could not understand why he was not being bowled. That's exactly what happened and there is just nothing between me and Brett," Ponting asserted.

Lee, leading Australia's inexperience attack, had a pretty ordinary outing here, managing just two wickets in the match.

Ponting said he expected the speedster to bounce back in the next two Test matches.

"It's not Lee alone, a lot of players have not achieved what they set out to achieve. They wanted to go and make an impact in the match. It was okay of sort with Brett. But guys like Brett and Matthew Hayden are champion players and you don't write off champions.

"Lee was little bit off indeed. But technically he is in good order and his body is also in good shape. Little bit finetuning and I think he would do well in the next two Tests," Ponting said.

A domineering India notched up their biggest win against Australia today and Ponting reckoned it was the worst defeat of his career. "Possibly so," Ponting said.

"I didn't have enough time to reflect on it but we were on the backfoot right from the first morning. We didn't get the start we needed and they took away the momentum. We were always under pressure and could not bat our way back into the game".

"When opponents score 460-plus in their first innings, you have to match that score. After that, we had to do everything absolutely perfectly in order to win the match. But we just could not do that with our fast bowling, spinner and batting," Ponting said.

On India's complete domination in the match, Ponting said, "They had a great game and were very aggressive. We have to analyse why we were so poor in this game."

Ponting admitted trailing a series 0-1 is not something his team was very familiar with and said the challenge is now to bounce back.

"We are not accustomed to be 0-1 behind in a Test series and we are not accustomed to get beaten like this. I think that's the challenge for all of us to learn the lessons frot his game and bounce back.

"Back-to-back Test is always tough. We would take a couple of days' back and think as individuals, what we did and what we didn't and then return as a team. I have full confidence in the group and we are capable of bouncing back," Ponting said.

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