Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sydney January 2, 2010

Ponting braced for Pakistan backlash

Ricky Ponting has warned his side to be prepared for a Pakistan backlash in the second Test at the SCG following the one-sided result in the opening match. Ponting rated Australia's bowling at the MCG during the 170-run win as the best of the past couple of years and has told his men to maintain the standard over the rest of the three-match series.

"Teams are probably at their most dangerous when they've come off a heavy loss like last week," Ponting said. "The challenge for us is to not get carried away with what we've done."

West Indies stood up to Australia in the final two games of the opening series of the local summer, but there were fewer concerns created by Pakistan at the MCG. However, Ponting is wary of their unpredictability as he plots a 2-0 series win before the final game in Hobart.

"Pakistan, for as long as I can remember, can be as good as anybody going around and then an over, or a couple of overs, later, look as ordinary as anybody," he aid. "That's the nature of the way they play their cricket. That's the unpredictability about them, we can't afford to think that things will happen well for us again this week.

"They're already talking up the fact they think they can bounce back quickly. We know what to expect from them, we know they have some very talented players. Last week we had their measure, it's up to us to make sure we start well again."

Ponting is still being hampered by an elbow problem suffered in the final Test against West Indies when he was hit by a Kemar Roach bouncer. When Chris Gayle said his side had unearthed a weakness against Ponting, the Australian captain basically challenged opposition bowlers to come after him.

"I said that going into the last game and I got out playing a pull shot," he said, having been caught at deep square leg in the second innings. "I'm more than happy for anybody to bowl there to me. I just need to play the shot a bit better than I did last week."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo