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February 14, 2009
Ricky Ponting, who has waved goodbye to his most difficult home summer, has demanded more consistency from his bowlers after yelling in frustration during his side's rain-assisted escape in the washed-out Chappell-Hadlee Series decider. In an outward display of emotion, Ponting was heard to bellow "what's going on?" after a sloppy James Hopes over that helped Martin Guptill and Brendon Diamanti push New Zealand within sight of victory.
"I was a little bit disappointed in some of the boundaries we let in, particularly late in overs," Ponting said. "I felt that we bowled three or four good balls at the start of the over and then just gave them that boundary they needed in the back-end of our overs. And a lot of them weren't miraculous shots either, they were bad balls.
"That's where a lot of my frustration comes, you set fields and want things to be done in a certain way. Sometimes it does and sometimes my emotions boil over. I've always been a person that wears my heart on my sleeve and in a must-win game for us it was no different."
New Zealand needed 33 from 36 balls when the rain came to end the match and Ponting held on to the trophy after the 2-2 result. He will rest from Sunday's Twenty20 in Sydney and needs the break after a long campaign that has included Test defeats to India and South Africa and a one-day loss to South Africa. The squad will depart on Monday to meet Graeme Smith's men during an intense itinerary that is virtually non-stop for the rest of the year.
Ponting was so desperate to get home early that he was one of a small group of players who left the ground during the five-hour rain delay and picked up their travel gear in the hope they could get a flight on Friday night. "We were trying to get things organised if the game happened to be called off," he said. "It looked unlikely that a game was going to get underway, our manager told us earlier in the day that if the game didn't get underway a few of us might be able to go back to Sydney early.
"In order to do that we had to get things organised back at the hotel so we went back for 20 minutes. I had enough time, I knew that I'd be back for the toss and a quick warm-up, I didn't miss anything."
Brad Haddin will lead the side in Sydney with Ponting, Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke taking a break. "He brings a lot of experience, he brings a lot of good leadership qualities, and he thinks about the game very well," Ponting said. "As a wicketkeeper you get a good view of the game and get a good feel for where the game's at."
Haddin top scored for Australia with a muscular 88 not out from 65 balls that pushed Australia to 4 for 168, while Callum Ferguson impressed with his 55 off 35. "[Brad is] obviously in very good touch at the moment, he batted very well," Ponting said. "I thought he played very well and led our batting from the front at the top of the innings. That was pleasing, and we know he's captained New South Wales in the past, I'm sure he'll do a good job for us."
Also, best post-war win/loss record, most runs in two calendar years, most ducks in a Test, and brothers with similar numbers
It's close to inexplicable how India's best spinner is being left out in favour of bits-and-pieces players