Ricky Ponting wants to forget Australia's 10-run loss to West Indies and escape any further "slip-ups" when his team faces a must-win scenario against England on Saturday. Australia's batting failed to overcome the tight West Indian attack at Mumbai on Wednesday night and the bowling lacked regular pentetration.
The pitch has also been criticised but Ponting refused to blame the conditions. "There was a game there to be won and we weren't good enough," Ponting said in The Australian. "Chasing 230-odd, we knew it was going to be hard work, but thought that total was pretty gettable if we applied ourselves. But there were only a couple of guys with our batting that actually did that, and we still got pretty close. So it was a disappointing day for us."
Ponting did not think Australia's situation - they need to win to stay in contention for the finals - would be difficult to turn around. "You have to look at every game in this series as a knockout game anyway," Ponting told the paper. "As we've found out in the last couple of Champions Trophy tournaments, one little slip-up and you're gone. We've got to forget about it [Wednesday night] as quickly as we can, talk about the areas we didn't play well in and improve them come Saturday."
England lost their opening match against India and both sides will use the game at Jaipur to score early points ahead of the Ashes. Australia's loss in the semi-finals of the previous Champions Trophy gave England an early edge for their 2005 success and Ponting has already spoken of his plans to go hard at his opponents. "England's one-day form hasn't been great, but they will probably lift a bit against us," he said. "I'd like to think we can improve."
Ponting is also struggling with the bat and has posted only one half-century in his past seven innings. He made a single on Wednesday and was dismissed playing on to Jerome Taylor. "I haven't made a lot of runs in the last few one-day games that I've played," Ponting said in The Courier-Mail. "I'll be okay, I'll bounce back on Saturday."