Ponting happy with rookies' performances
While Zaheer Khan does not rate Australia's spinners, Ricky Ponting believes Cameron White exceeded expectations in his debut Test. White's only wicket in 31 overs was the prize of Sachin Tendulkar, who drove to Michael Clarke at cover, but Ponting spotted plenty of promising signs.
"He's come along in leaps and bounds in his bowling," Ponting said. "He's probably exceeded my expectations with what he's done, although he didn't take the wickets.
"From what I've seen in this game, Cameron has got a lot more confidence in his bowling. Someone stepping up in a Test in his first game and being able to bowl as well as he did, is a real positive for us."
While he did not make regular breakthroughs, White showed he could contain Test batsmen. "To experience bowling against world-class players on foreign soil, it will do him the world of good," Ponting said. "He could be a really good player for us in years to come."
Ponting said White, who is the understudy to the injured Bryce McGain in Victoria, should now use himself more for his state to develop his bowling. And he said White was not the only one to benefit from the competitive contest against one of the world's best sides.
The allrounder Shane Watson had useful contributions with bat and ball while the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin struck 33 and 35 not out. "With players like Watson and Haddin, the more exposure they get at Test level the better they are going to be," Ponting said. "There's been a lot of talk about inexperienced guys coming here, but the inexperienced guys have done well in this game."
Haddin struggled with the gloves, giving away a total of 39 byes, but Ponting said he did not wish the retired Adam Gilchrist was still in the side. "On that wicket it was really difficult with so many balls bouncing in front of him," he said.