Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Security arrangements are impressive:Ponting

Australian captain Ricky Ponting today said he is impressed with the security arrangements put in place for his side.

"We have been very impressed about the level of security we have had since we arrived. From the moment we stepped off the plane yesterday we have had excellent security," Ponting told a media conference in Mumbai today.

Praising the Indian Cricket Board for providing a tight security cordon, Ponting said this seemed to be part and parcel of international sporting events all over the world.

"You travel to different places in the world these days, security is quite heavy. The BCCI has so far done a terrific job looking after us well and hopefully that will continue right through the tour," said the 34-year-old cricketer.

Mumbai police personnel were present inside the team hotel when Ponting addressed the media conference ahead of the series that commences in Vadodara on October 25.

"The policemen were particularly on the look-out for media persons wearing slippers and one of them explained they (Australians) are our guests and we don't want any untoward incident to take place," he said.

There was also an outer ring of gun-toting policemen to guard the conference rooms entrance and all public vehicles like buses and autos were stopped well outside the Taj Lands End hotel's premises in Bandra.

The BCCI has also made arrangements with private guards to beef up the security at the Mumbai Cricket Association's Bandra-Kurla Complex ground where the visiting and Indian teams would be practising.

Both the teams are set to leave for Vadodara on October 23.

"Seven ODIs is probably too many"

Meanwhile, Ponting feels the seven ODIs against India are a case of one too many and the series should have been a best-of-five affair to keep the players motivated.

"It (seven-match ODI bilateral series) is probably too many. Five is enough head-to-head in any one series. We all know the reasons we are playing these seven-game series," the Australian captain said on Wednesday, hinting that money made by the cricket boards was the sole criteria for having such a long series.

Australia played a best-of-seven contest against England in August-September and would be competing in the lengthy ODI rubber against India from October 25.

Ponting said long-drawn-out contests result in inconsequential matches and players lose focus once the result becomes clear.

"When we play a seven-match series against one side in a matter of a couple of weeks its really hard to focus, especially if the series is over (result decided in one teams favour), to maintain focus throughout, especially if there's another big series coming up," he explained.

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