Melbourne: His place in the Australian team questioned like never before, Ricky Ponting responded strongly with back-to-back fifties in the ongoing first Test against India but the veteran is more disappointed than happy as he could not convert them into hundreds.

"It`s nice to get a few runs. But when you get past 50 as a top-order batter, it`s your job to go on and make big scores," Ponting, who has scores of 62 and 60 in the evenly-poised match, said after the third day`s play here.

"I`m disappointed I haven`t probably been able to do that in either innings of this game, particularly in the second innings when we were fighting our way back into a pretty strong position.”

"When I got out, we lost a couple of wickets on top of that. Tomorrow morning is going to be really crucial for us now. We need Mike Hussey (unbeaten on 79) now to go on and get a big score," he added.

Ponting conceded his side would need a few more runs in the kitty to nail India down.

"We`re 230 runs ahead now which I think is a reasonable total for India to have to chase. Ideally, we`d like to make a few more runs than that," stated Ponting whose 60 in the second innings played a critical hand in Australia` revival.

On a bowlers' day, India lost their last seven wickets for 68 runs while Australia lost their eight for 179 runs.

"There`s just enough assistance for the bowlers if you bowl in the right areas for long enough. There`s some thickish grass on the wicket. There`s more pace and bounce for bowlers operating from the press box end.”

"Most of our batters found it tough to get through the first half an hour of the innings," he said.

Ponting was all praise for his team`s bowlers who he felt performed better than what they had done on the second day of the match.

"Australia bowled better line and length on day three compared to day two. We bowled exceptionally well this morning. Tomorrow, if we can start that way again with a newer ball, I`m sure we`ll create some chances again," Ponting said.

The former Australian captain didn`t believe all the criticism in the press had actually fired him up to do well in this particular Test.

"I don`t care what people from outside the dressing room are saying. If I feel like I`ve got some support inside the dressing room then that`s all that really matters to me.”

"There`s plenty of motivation out there for me but first and foremost it`s for me to be a succesful player in a successful team," he said.

"Right through the last few months, when things haven`t been going the way I would have wanted, the support from the public has been outstanding.”

"As far as staying away from negativity, I don`t think I have to do that. I am prepared to read articles if they can help me become a better player," he added.

Ponting didn`t feel the dismissal of Australian top order in the second innings was due to any technical flaws in the players.

"A couple of guys were probably a little bit unlucky. I think we have three chop-ons in our first four or fve dismissals," he said.

The right-hander conceded his team was having problems in batting well in the second innings. He also admitted Nathan Lyon needed to learn from Indian spinner R Ashwin on how to bowl on this kind of a wicket.

"There`s not a lot of assistance for spinners yet on the pitch. Ashwin has good change of pace and variation. Nathan can learn a little bit from that on just how he can apply his skills on that wicket in the second innings.”

"With a bit more wear in that pitch, hopefully Nathan can contribute for us in the second innings."