Series win against England augurs well for World Cup: PontingBy IANS
Thursday, February 10, 2011
SYDNEY - Australian captain Ricky Ponting said the emphatic ODI series win against England has given them hope as the defending champions left for India Thursday morning, eyeing to win their fourth successive and fifth World Cup title.
Ponting has been sidelined since the Boxing Day Test against England due to a broken finger, but he said he was feeling good after his time away from the game and was pleased with the team’s 6-1 win over England in his absence.
Ponting said he is feeling fresh after the break and raring to lead the side, which is going through its most difficult time.
“I am feeling fresh after a month on the sidelines. I am obviously looking forward to getting back into proper training and more importantly back into international cricket,” Ponting told reporters before flying out of Sydney.
“It’s been a while between games for me and sitting back watching the guys play has been pretty difficult, but to see them play as well as they have has been very satisfying.”
The Australians have not lost a World Cup match since 1999. Ponting led the team to World Cup victories in the previous two editions. Australia are still the top ODI side though they are no longer counted among the favourties after their recent decline.
Ponting, however, said the team is in good shape after their win against England.
“I am very proud of what they did and we are in good shape at the moment.
“The last few results were really satisfying against a pretty good English team,” Ponting said.
“The most satisfying thing for me was that when we were down and out and looked like getting beaten we found a way to win games, which I think has been a trademark of good Australian teams for a long time now.”
“We’ve just got to keep improving in the next few weeks and make sure we are right at the big end of the tournament.”
Ponting hoped David Hussey could be the perfect replacement for his brother Michael, who has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury.
“I have been really happy to see David progress the way that he has,” he said.
“This time to me he looks better, more composed and a more confident player.”
Australia play their first warm-up match against India Sunday.