Australia captain Ricky Ponting goes into the crucial fourth and final Test against India here on Thursday praying his fast bowlers return to their wicket-taking ways.

Ponting’s main worry is that he has yet to find bowlers capable of taking 20 wickets in a Test, essential for a victory. His team has so far failed to dismiss a strong Indian batting line-up twice in a match.

He now expects a vastly-improved performance from his bowlers in a bid to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. His team trails 1-0 following a 320-run defeat in the second Test. The other two matches were drawn.

Australia clinched their first Test series in India after 35 years here in 2004, but it will hardly be an inspiration for the tourists who then played on a pacy track with a different bowling attack.

Adam Gilchrist, leading then in the absence of the injured Ponting, had proven match-winners in paceman Glenn McGrath and spinner Shane Warne at his disposal. The bowling duo were superbly backed by Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz.

“I think we have proved (in the last Test in Delhi) that our batting is certainly up to scratch in these conditions, there’s no doubt about that,” Ponting said ahead of Thursday’s match, to be played at a new stadium.

“The challenge ahead is to take 20 wickets in Nagpur.” Key paceman Brett Lee looked sharp in patches in the last three Tests, but it was just not good enough to rattle the Indian batting on slow pitches. He has bagged only seven wickets in six innings.

Fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark and Shane Watson also failed to keep constant pressure on the Indian batsmen, while lone spinner Cameron White could not provide much support.

Ponting hinted at changes in the side.

“We’ve got to look long and hard at the guys on the sidelines and see if they can add anything to our bowling group,” he said after the last Test.

The match will also provide answers as to whether Australia have ceased to be a dominant bowling force in the world after the retirement of McGrath and Warne, whose replacements have yet to learn about winning matches in different conditions.

Australia have reasons to be satisfied with their batting, especially after their commendable performance in the last Test when they held their nerve facing India’s mammoth first-innings total of 613-7 declared.

The tourists replied with 577 as Michael Clarke showed the way with a hundred. Matthew Hayden, Simon Katich, Ponting and Michael Hussey chipped in with half-centuries.

India will have a new captain in Mahendra Dhoni after the recent retirement of Anil Kumble, but he has the experience of leading the side in one-day and Twenty20 formats.

Dhoni has given a good account of himself in the two Tests he captained this year in the absence of the injured Kumble, leading his side to victory against South Africa in April and then against Australia in the Mohali Test.

India have been well-served by veterans Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Venkatsai Laxman and Rahul Dravid who were under pressure before the series.

All of them have been performing as if they have a point to prove, which is a good sign for the hosts.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is expected to return to the side after missing the previous Test due to a toe injury, but the hosts are still sweating over the fate of in-form opener Gautam Gambhir.

Gambhir was banned for one Test for elbowing Watson during his maiden double-century in the last match and the decision on his appeal against the suspension is yet to be announced.

The match will be the 100th for Laxman, but the last for Ganguly who has already announced he will quit international cricket after the ongoing series.