Fit and firing Oz pace attack holds key to winning 2011 WC: Ponting

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

AHMEDABAD - Australian captain Ricky Ponting believes that his team’s pace bowlers hold the key to the side winning its fourth successive World Cup title.

“If we get those three (Lee, Johnson and Tait) up and running and bowling as well as they can, then I don’t care what team we’re playing against or what conditions we’re playing in, that intimidation is going to be there,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting, as saying after Australia beat Zimbabwe by 91 runs in their 2011 World Cup opener on Monday.

“Those three guys are pushing 150 kilometres an hour. If we’ve got those three guys bowling well in reverse-swinging conditions then it’s going to be difficult. They can intimidate because they can use their short balls well. If they’re all bowling well, we’ll go a long way in the tournament,” he added.

Ponting knows his team needs to show improvement, especially with the bat against slow bowling, if they are to extend their World Cup unbeaten streak to 31 matches.

He warned that Tait, who had a huge World Cup in 2007 with 23 wickets, was yet to hit his peak fitness and form after an injury-interrupted summer.

Tait is likely to be used in two-over blasts, Ponting said.

Australia also handed Jason Krejza his World Cup debut and only his second ODI game ahead of all-rounder John Hastings. The off-spinner returned the tidy figures of 2-28 from eight overs.

“We’ve had a good solid performance and we know we’ll have to improve and play better against New Zealand. We need to have our games and our own game plans sorted out for better spin attacks. But I think the more we play and the more we become accustomed to these conditions then the better we’ll be,” Ponting said. (ANI)

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