Australia v South Africa 2008-09 / News

Australia v South Africa, CB Series

Batting Powerplays confuse captains

Cricinfo staff

January 19, 2009

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Ricky Ponting is still trying to work out how to use the new tactic most effectively © Getty Images
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Ricky Ponting and Johan Botha are still coming to terms with when to employ the batting Powerplay in a critical decision that could turn a match. The new regulation allows the captain to choose the five-over block when the fielding team can have only three men outside the circle, with Australia using it in the 40th over in the second ODI in Hobart and South Africa calling for it late in their desperate chase.

The visitors eventually fell five runs short after taking 43 in the Powerplay. Australia managed only 23 and lost Michael Hussey and Cameron White in theirs and Ponting wished he had asked for it sooner. "I think probably in hindsight it would have been the right decision to take it earlier," Ponting said in the Age. "Statistics probably say the longer you hold it off in your innings, you're probably going to lose more wickets towards the end of your innings."

Botha expected more to happen when his team took the Powerplay, like it had when they won the opening match by three wickets in Melbourne. "Australia played really well in the first 30 overs and we probably should have looked a bit more at that and scored a bit quicker in the first 30," he said. "Because once the ball got quite a bit older and the wicket got a bit slower, it got more and more difficult."

A member of the crowd at Bellerive Oval was charged with racially vilifying a South African player, believed to be the 12th man Morne Morkel, when they fielded. "We have briefed the South African team management and they have confirmed that they were not aware of the incident and the player didn't hear any comment himself, but the police officer did,'' Cricket Australia's Peter Young said in the Mercury.

"Our advice from South African team management is that they believe we have taken the appropriate steps and we have also apologised to Cricket South Africa in South Africa that this issue has occurred while they are being hosted in our country." On the team's previous tour to Australia there were a number of complaints about racist behaviour from spectators, which led to an ICC report finding the abuse was premeditated, co-ordinated and calculated.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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