'Two losses won't break our spirit' - Ponting
Ricky Ponting has pooh-poohed talks of an off colour Australian side and said that as far as they were concerned, their tour of England officially begins this weekend, with the two one-dayers against Bangladesh and England. Ponting admitted that their stunning collapse against England and dismal bowling effort against Somerset had proved to be stumbling blocks, but was quick to point out that two losses won't "break our spirit".
"I know Monday's Twenty20 game in Southampton was billed by some as the proper tour opener, but it wasn't really," Ponting wrote in his column for The Australian. "Tomorrow against Bangladesh and Sunday against England is where it really starts for us, and day by day it's getting more exciting."
Despite the losses, Ponting said that he was satisfied with the intensity that the Australians had shown in the early stages of the tour. "Despite a poor bowling effort at Taunton on Wednesday, the mood within the squad and the way the guys have tackled training since the start of the tour has been first-class," he said. "Even though it was only the batting that fired against Somerset, we had aimed to approach that match with the same intensity we would take into an international game. The question of intensity is also likely to arise before our games against Bangladesh, although if we play like we did in Southampton and Taunton they may be close-fought matches as well."
Ponting added that the two losses would only make his side "a bit keener next time" and felt there was no need for them to even contemplate any drastic measures yet. "One of the great strengths of our team is guys have so much pride in their performance that I generally don't need to lecture them after an off day like those of the past week," he said. "Obviously if that trend persisted for a few games in a row it would be time for me or coach John Buchanan to sit everyone down and have a bit of a chat. In the time I've been in the job, there hasn't been much of a need to do that, although I let the boys know what I thought about the Taunton effort in the rooms after the game."