10 Oct 2008

Ponting opens India series with century

8:32 am on 10 October 2008

An inspired Ricky Ponting led the Australian cricketers to the first day honours in their opening Test against India, with a brilliant century in Bangalore.

Ponting didn't have to wait long for his innings as Mathew Hayden was dismissed for a third-ball duck.

The captain made 123 and Australia went to stumps at 254 for four after Michael Clarke was dismissed on the final ball of the day.

Ponting, who'd averaged less than 13 in India until now, described his 123 as the equal of any of his 35 previous Test centuries, putting it down to good preparation.

The Australians are thrilled with the firm, bouncy pitch prepared by Bangalore's New Zealand curator Phil Stoyanoff, the former groundsman in Napier.