ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v Australia, World Cup 2011 warm-up match

Ponting wants batsmen to improve against spin

Sriram Veera

February 14, 2011

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting returned from injury in good touch with a half-century, India v Australia, World Cup warm-up match, Bangalore, February 13, 2011
Ricky Ponting wants to carry his form from the warm-up game in to the World Cup © AFP
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Players/Officials: Ricky Ponting | Cameron White
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: Australia

Ricky Ponting has said that Australia's batsmen will have to step up their game if they are to win the World Cup after their dramatic collapse in the warm-up match against India in Bangalore. Chasing 215 to win, Australia were 118 for 1 at one stage, but the middle order disintegrated in stunning fashion to be shot out for 176 on a turning track.

Ponting blamed the "under-prepared" pitch for the batting debacle. "It was an unusual ODI wicket, I don't remember the last one-day wicket I've played on that spun that much," Ponting said after the 38-run loss. "You have to find a way sometimes to combat good spin bowling on tough conditions like that. Who knows as the tournament goes on, we could face conditions like that somewhere else, and I would like to think that we can play a lot better. Otherwise, we can't win. Hopefully some of the younger guys in the middle order can learn a little bit about starting in tough conditions."

Australia lost their last nine wickets for 58 runs but Ponting said he wasn't overly concerned as he felt the pitch made batting an arduous task. "Yes, we were disappointing and should have played better, but by the same token even the Indian batsmen would have found it difficult to bat in those conditions. I have played a lot of one-day cricket here in India and Sri Lanka, but I don't think I have ever played in an ODI game with so much spin. We only arrived here two days back and will get more practice as things move on."

Though Australia's batsmen wilted, their seamers, led by the impressive Brett Lee, turned in a good show to restrict India. They also conceded 25 wides but Ponting said that the bowlers know their job. "It's unacceptable to bowl that many wides in one-dayers but the bowlers know that, we know that. Lee and Mitchell Johnson were terrific, John Hastings bowled very well and we still should have chased that many runs. We were 1 for 100 when Tim [Paine] and I were in ..."

Ponting also spoke about his spinners and how he plans to use them in the World Cup. They rested Steve Smith and played Jason Krejza yesterday, but Ponting assured that Smith will be one of the key players for Australia in the tournament. "Smith will definitely bowl a lot of overs in the tournament. Jason Krejza will learn from his outing today, [Michael] Clarke can bowl when needed but Smith will play a lot." Cameron White, the other batsman who can bowl some spin, has already admitted he is no longer an allrounder and will play as a pure batsman. "Just lost a bit of confidence as a bowler to be honest," White said. "I am just concentrating on my batting and enjoying that role."

Ponting's batting was one of the major positives to emerge for Australia. He made 57 before becoming the seventh wicket to fall, stumped after missing a slog sweep against Harbhajan Singh. Ponting had suffered a finger injury during the Ashes and didn't play in the seven-match ODI series against England. In the absence of Michael Hussey, there will be immense pressure on Ponting to deliver and he was happy that he could spend some time in the middle. "My fingers are ok. It was nice to spend 80-odd minutes in the middle. It was my first game in six weeks. I certainly wasn't at my best but it was difficult out there and I should be better for the outing.

"I have to be a consistent run-scorer. I certainly wasn't that in the summer. It was nice to get some runs but it doesn't count for much. The runs I score in the bigger games will be important. I am feeling good; I have worked as hard as I can since my finger surgery. I feel good with my body and felt good with my batting tonight. Hopefully I can get some more runs in the next warm-up game and carry that form through the tournament."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by MS on (February 15, 2011, 12:47 GMT)

Yes, yes we know. If Australia lose in India on a turning wicket, the pitch is underprepared. If Australia win in Austrlaia on a bouncy wicket, the wicket is perfect. Yawn.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 15, 2011, 12:00 GMT)

not taking mike hussey to the world cup, even if he doesnt play first two games. might cost aus the world cup when they most need him,. poor decision CA

Posted by Rajeev on (February 15, 2011, 9:06 GMT)

While Australia are indeed likely to give other teams a hard time when it comes to a good fight, I personally do not see them making the last four in these conditions. My pick would be Srilanka, South Africa, England/Pakistan and India. ODI's have traditionally been won by teams that have the batting line-up and a decent bowling line up that can restrict other teams from making a big total. This worldcup will have spin playing a big part and that is where teams that have good leg-spinners will come to the fore. Tait has a long way to go before getting the control that Malinga exhibits, similarly the aussie spinners are an apology compared to Murali or Harbhajan.

Posted by Srinivasan on (February 15, 2011, 8:46 GMT)

@Marcio: Your 9 of the batsmen were humiliated for 50 runs.. What a shame.We didnt even have Zaheer in our line up. Look how ponting slogged at harbhajan loopy delivery.This shows he is clueless against harbhajan, which of course he is as he was dismissed million times if my memory serves right.

Posted by M on (February 15, 2011, 8:32 GMT)

Nothing much has changed since the last WC. Australia are the number one ranked team and they are expected to win the cup. The better bowling side usually wins whatever the form (ODI or test). Australia have the best bowling attack in the world and their batting averages through 2010 shows that all batsmen carried a share of the burden. This is unlike India and SL who depend on a few key players to carry them through. SA and England come a close second and third. The raving and ranting by fans makes this site interesting but doesn't change a thing (about the outcome).

Posted by wen sern on (February 15, 2011, 8:25 GMT)

Well, Aussie teams lost at the opening warm-up match however, hope them to grow stronger on their next match....against South Africa. They'll be playing like Hercules Vs Goliath when they meet.

SA still have Smith, Kallis, McCullum, & also Steyl however, of all cases Aussie rules with Aussie having Ponting, Watson, Wright, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, & Brett Lee. Also, hardworking bowlers - Swann, Taits, & Johnson. Remember Australia not play Swann, Taits, & Johnson. Wright also didn't play. Hussey & Clarke just not ready to play yet..... well, when actual games starts ;;; they'll surely shine.

Posted by timothy on (February 15, 2011, 7:17 GMT)

Ponting is blaming the pitch when the blame should be on the batsmen. The pitch was not impossible to bat on, and it was actually a good batting track. Krajza was getting lots of turn, but he only got 1 wckt and went for over 6 an over. Ponting still does not want to admit that the Aussies cant play spin. They were also done in by irresponsible shots such as Tim Paine's (which started the collapse), white, and even Ponting

Posted by pramathesh on (February 15, 2011, 6:34 GMT)

Ricky once again got out to the bowling of Harbhajan. Pitch is called as underprepared to justify the loss. If scores of 214 for 10 and 176 for 10 make Ricky feel that the pitch was underprepared then Ricky should know that Australia had failed to chase 184 runs vs WI in Adelaide test of 1992-93, failed to chase 143 runs in Melbourne test of 1981 and even failed to chase 116 runs vs SA in Sydney test of 1994-95 . So as per Ricky's logic, Austraila has been using underprepared pitches for test matches many times and should think twice before calling bangalore wicket as underprepared. But a good performance from the Indian side that has yet to settle down following injuries to many of its players and it felt good to see the bowlers able to get 20 wickets in the Bangalore onedayer.

Posted by Wiqar on (February 15, 2011, 4:58 GMT)

India's strength is batting and they must not be carried away by this victory in which bowlers saved them. It's a one-off occasion. If India has to win their strong side should do well. Wake up call for their batsmen.

Posted by M on (February 15, 2011, 4:02 GMT)

I laugh at these that knock Ponting for his poor form and captaincy whilst at the same time hold on high Tendulkar (whom I rate as probably the greatest in the modern era) a man who himself couldn't handle the three fold burdens of scoring runs, captaining a side and the unrelenting expectations of the home population. This is something Ponting has continued to do for over half his playing career and never shied away from. Fair is fair, Ponting did all he could here on a tricky wicket... and it would be hard to say if it played consistent as Aus never really had a spin combo to test it out although krejza got some surprising turn from the deck... the difference between this and most pitches around the globe (not just Aus) is that in most places in a one day match, both sides play in much the same conditions... at the WACA it bounces on day one and still on day 5 of a test... as this short game wore on, it got harder to bat on... no excuses here, the batsmen got themselves out mostly.

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