Ricky Ponting has called on Australia's batsmen to lift their game ahead of Saturday's second ODI against New Zealand in Auckland. Ponting was unhappy with the way several players, including himself, failed to capitalise on promising starts in the first game in Napier, where Australia's 275 was overhauled by New Zealand.
It was the first one-day loss for Australia since October 31, when they went down in the third game of their tour of India. However, Ponting was in no mood to be generous after his men raced to 50 for 1 from six overs, only to finish with a sub-par total.
"After we got off to such a great start, we probably just took things for granted a little bit and expected that the run-rate was going to continue to go that way," Ponting said after the game. "Before we knew it we had lost two or three wickets and all of a sudden we were back under pressure again."
There were problems in the middle overs as Ponting fell for 44, Michael Clarke for 22 and Cameron White for 33. None of them were at their most fluent and the run-rate dropped until Michael Hussey and Mitchell Johnson moved things along a bit quicker in the later stages.
"I was out there at the time, I was feeling it as much as anybody," Ponting said. "At different times like that you have to change your game a little bit and adapt and get through and none of us did that today. A lot of our batsmen need to look at themselves long and hard to make sure they do better next time.
"Every game that we play has to be like it is your last. I didn't think we were necessarily playing with that sort of attitude tonight, especially with our bowling and our fielding. We've got a little bit of work to do before the next game."