Hauritz’ duel with Ponting in Sheffield Shield match could decide his Ashes fate

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian skipper Ricky Ponting will be in better condition to decide on spinner Nathan Hauritz’s fate when the two face each other in New South Wales’ Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania, starting on Wednesday at the SCG.

Ponting’s bat could bring an end Hauritz’s Ashes hopes should the spinner, who is in a duel with Xavier Doherty for the berth, reproduce the performance that saw him being battered by Victoria seven days ago.

“I’m a top-order batsman and, if I happen to do well, you can set up results in games. It’s not about practice for me, it’s about playing and playing the way I want to play with a Test match around the corner,” said Ponting.

Hauritz will have Ponting to deal with, as the Australian captain is the only frontline batsman in the Tasmanian side with Test experience, whereas left-arm off-spinner Doherty, must deal with Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Brad Haddin and former opener Phil Jaques.

However the team management and both spinners have stressed the game will not be a bowl-off between Hauritz and Doherty.

“I hope they can just go out there and enjoy the game and, more importantly, both bowl well. And if they bowl well, there’ll be a tough decision to be made,” Ponting said.

The toss could also be a major factor in the Hauritz-Doherty match-up, with the wicket likely to be more conducive to spin as the game wears on.

Hauritz stressed on Tuesday that he was the better bowler but it will be his actions, which the selectors assess rather than his words. (ANI)

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