Ponting calls for attacking cricket
Ricky Ponting has challenged the rest of the world to adopt a more attacking attitude in a bid to get more people interested in Tests. Television audiences for the first game in Brisbane were down and barely 1200 people watched the final day of Australia's success, but Ponting believes his players are making the game entertaining.
"That is one thing we've done particularly well over a long period of time," he said before Friday's second game in Hobart. "If you look at the way we score our runs, the way we have been able to bowl in Test cricket, we have made the overall game a lot more attractive than other countries have."
The emergence of Twenty20 has shifted the focus from the longer forms of the game, but Ponting, who considers Tests the pinnacle, did not believe the problem was Australia's domination. In Hobart, Australia will aim for their 14th win in a row and they have not lost a Test since 2005.
"Maybe it's not so much us," he said. "Maybe the other countries have to start looking at maybe not playing as many drawn games, maybe challenging themselves a bit more to start winning and having results in Test matches. If you do that I think you will see people come back to the game."
The Australian team meetings have not contained talk of their assault on the 16-match winning streak achieved by Steve Waugh's side in 2001, but it is on the players' minds. However, they are not motivated by trying to achieve rule changes as a mark of their reign, which was a goal raised by Waugh and John Buchanan when they working together.
"That sort of stuff is a fair way off yet," Ponting said. "Let's not forget that it was one win up in Brisbane and this game can change really quickly. It's up to us to keep a reasonable-sized step ahead of the pack, but you only do that with hard work and performances when it matters. We've got that ahead of us yet."