Perth: Australian captain Ricky Ponting admitted the prospect of a suspension affected his tactics after he was fined 20 per cent of his match fee for a slow over rate during the 72-run loss to India in the third Test.
Ponting's Australian teammates have also been fined 10 per cent of their match fees after the home side's decision to go with four fast bowlers for the first time in 16 years backfired.
Under International Cricket Council regulations, captains can be suspended for slow over rates and Australia slipped eight behind at one stage on the third day, forcing Ponting to throw the ball to part-time spinner Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke for an extended period when the game was in the balance.
"I was forced to bowl part-timers at times when otherwise I may not have, just because of the over rate," he said.
"It would have been up to the referee to decide if I was suspended but, as it states in the code of conduct, if you are six or move overs behind you face the chance of a suspension.
"Eight overs down, I had to be able to claw quite a few back to get back under six, we got a few more allowances as the day went on and with the spinners we dragged a lot of the overs back.
"It was definitely a concern, with a Test match on the line like it was, I wouldn't have been doing it as I was if it wasn't a legitimate concern."
Ponting noted that recalled fast bowler Shaun Tait, who was playing just his third Test, was a victim of the problem.
Tait is notoriously slow and bowled just 21 overs in the match -- including eight in the second innings -- and failed to take a wicket.
Tait now faces a battle to hold his spot in the team for the fourth Test in Adelaide and Ponting said he felt for him.
"Yesterday (Friday) I would have loved to have bowled him in a nice long spell in the afternoon, but being eight overs down I would have been out for two or three Test matches probably if I had bowled him at that stage," Ponting said.
"I guess it's hard for someone like him to come in having not played a Test match for a while and trying to do the right thing and trying to impress.
"He probably didn't get the bowling he would have liked but that's the way it worked out."