Ponting asks players to be optimistic, says Oz pace trio best in WC

Monday, February 21, 2011

AHMEDABAD - Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has asked his players to be optimistic about their World Cup prospects because no other team possesses a bowling attack as potent as theirs.

Ponting was uncertain about the team’s exact bowling attack for the match against Zimbabwe beyond certainties of Lee, Tait and Jason Krejza, leaving open the possibility for one of John Hastings and Doug Bollinger to be included.

Australia is not favoured to reach the final by cricket experts and bookmakers despite its No. 1 ranking in ODIs.

owever, Ponting said his message at a team meeting was: “I don’t see another team around this tournament that has got the wicket-taking power that we’ve got.”

Ponting said veteran Brett Lee was a better defensive bowler now than at any time of his career, but conceded that Tait, the fastest of the trio, had the potential to be wayward.

e said that danger was inevitable for Tait. “That’s him, that’s what you get. At his best, he hopefully won’t bowl too many of those 10-ball overs in this tournament,” he said.

“The last World Cup he had for us he was outstanding, and I’ll look at using him pretty much the same way, in very short, sharp bursts. If he doesn’t get a wicket soon you get him off and bring him back when partnerships are developing and when you need a breakthrough. That’s the way we’ll use him again,” Ponting said.

Ponting said the subcontinent trend of dew appearing in the second innings of a day-night match, which makes the ball a lot harder to grip, is a problem particularly affecting spinners.

“As the stats will show you [in the Bangladesh-India match], it can be very hard to defend when you’re bowling second and it does get wet and dewy, so we’re aware of the dew,” Ponting said. (ANI)

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