Ponting for ODI points
Australia captain Ricky Ponting called for a rethink of one-day cricket to end meaningless dead rubbers as he left for a seven-game series in India.
Ponting said a points system was needed to give all one-dayers "significant meaning," citing Australia's lop-sided 6-1 win against England last month.
"The way that one-day cricket is played at the moment with one-off series like this -- until there is a... points system in place then it might get to the same sort of situation as it did in the UK," he said late on Monday.
"We were 4-0 up after four games and all of a sudden there is talk of teams rotating players in and out and doing all sorts of things.
"So the important thing I think is we make sure that every game of 50-over cricket has some significant meaning."
With one-day cricket under growing threat from Twenty20, fast bowler Mitchell Johnson backed the 50-over format and said he hoped it "doesn't die."
"Test cricket is number one for me but then it's followed by 50-over cricket," he said. "I prefer 50-over cricket [over Twenty20]. I hope it doesn't die, because I love the game."
Australia embark on the series, starting on Sunday in Vadodara, with an undecided batting line-up after Michael Clarke delayed his departure to deal with recurring back problems.
"He's not an old man, so we've got to be very careful that we don't flog him to death as a 27- or 28-year-old as he is now," coach Tim Nielsen told AAP news agency.
"Having just been named as the Twenty20 captain he'll be playing all forms of the game and taking on a really important role for us in Twenty20 cricket moving forward.
"So when it does come to a head and does flare up pretty badly we've just got to make sure we get him 100 per cent right."
Ponting said Australia had much to ponder with Callum Ferguson also sidelined with a serious knee injury. Former opener Shaun Marsh returns from a hamstring problem but rookie Tim Paine has also been in excellent form.
"The selectors and myself are going to have a bit of thinking to do over the next few days as to what we do with the batting line-up," Ponting said.
"Paine coming in has had a fair bit of success at the top of the order and (he's) given himself every opportunity to remain there."
"But whichever way we go there we know we've got very good depth in our batting with someone like Shaun coming back in, so hopefully we get it right on the morning of the first game," he added.
Australia hold a narrow, four-point lead at the top of the one-day rankings over India, who surprisingly slumped out of this month's Champions Trophy in the group stages.
"They will be particularly hard to beat in India, they always are," Ponting said. "They definitely play a lot better at home than they do when they travel."