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Peter English at the SCG
March 2, 2008
Ricky Ponting gave his team a "kick in the backside" during a team meeting after the six-wicket loss in the first final and asked the players to pinpoint areas to improve for Tuesday's sudden-death encounter at the Gabba. Ponting expected the side to lift after their loss against Sri Lanka on Friday, but the batting was poor again as they struggled to 239 at the SCG.
While Sachin Tendulkar was basking in his match-winning 117, Ponting was delivering a dressing-room lecture. "It was a bit of a kick in the backside," he said. "It wasn't all nice stuff.
"I thought we were a bit off the pace down there in Melbourne. I thought that was because we were excited and looking ahead to this game. I let them know you can't switch things on and off."
Australia will not train in Brisbane on Monday but they will have another meeting to try and solve the deficiencies. "We're going to have to lift ourselves even more than we did for this game," Ponting said. "That's our big challenge. We've got a short turnaround and whichever team is switched on the most will come out the winner."
Ponting said the team prided itself on its performance in finals and big games and their below-par effort added to his disappointment. "The bottom line was we didn't get enough runs, we didn't bowl well enough or field well enough," he said. "India out-played us in most areas, so well done to them.
"All of us have to go away and think about areas we can improve. So I'd expect a better performance on Tuesday."
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