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7 great cricketers who struggled in Tests in India

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#6 Ricky Ponting

India v Aust X.jpg
Ricky Ponting

In that historical 2004 series against India, Ricky Ponting actually missed the first three games due to injury, only returning for the fourth Test which Australia lost.

This had seemed a huge loss for Australia, as the previous year Ponting's form had been Bradmanesque, as he scored 1503 runs at 100.20. Yet in a peculiar way, this actually benefited Australia.

This is for two reasons: Firstly, Ponting often struggled in India, averaging just 26.48 there, less than in any other country he played. But also because he was replaced by a young Michael Clarke, who not only scored 151 on debut in the first Test but also ended the series as Australia's second leading run-scorer, just behind Damien Martyn.

In his lone Test in that series, Ponting only managed scores of 11 and 12, which weren't an anomaly in comparison to his other performances in India, but were an anomaly in that Harbhajan Singh didn't dismiss Ponting.

This is because much of Ponting's struggles in India resulted from his struggles with Harbhajan, as the off-spinner dismissed Ponting more than any other bowler in Tests, claiming his wicket 10 times in just 27 innings.

This duel reached its peak during Harbhajan astonishing 2001 series, as he dismissed Ponting in all the five innings he batted in, with Ponting ending the series with just 17 runs at an average of 3.40.

Like Warne, Ponting got better at playing in India as his career went on. In his final series there, he averaged 56.00, having made his first and only century in India the series before.

Strangely, Ponting also has a good record against India overall, averaging 54.36 against the Indians, and having scored more runs against them than he did against any other country.

This is because his home performances against India were superb, as he made three double-centuries against India in Australia, including two in consecutive Tests in 2003.