Ponting says pressure will be on ProteasFebruary 16th, 2009 - 2:42 pm ICT by ANI
Sydney, Feb.16 (ANI): The Australian cricket team flew to South Africa today with captain Ricky Ponting claiming that the South Africans would be under more pressure than his side.
Ponting wasted no time in trying to turn pressure on to the hosts before the three-Test series that will determine the official No.1 team in the Test rankings.
“There won”t be any added pressure on us, maybe on South Africa with that at the back of their minds,” he said at Sydney airport.
“They have probably been striving for a long time to be the No.1, or recognized as the No.1 Test team in the world.
“So maybe that will weigh on their minds more than ours.”
Ponting said he was looking to young fast bowlers Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus to stand up and forge an “identity” for themselves like Glenn McGrath did in the West Indies in the mid-1990s.
And he believed he and his players could put a lot of doubts to rest about the team.
“There has been a lot of doom and gloom around in Australia this year with our cricket and the way we”ve played because our results probably haven”t been what we expected or certainly what the public expected,” said Ponting.
“But there are a lot of positives around our group at the moment, things that I”m looking forward to being able to work with and players I”m looking forward to working with.”
He expected vice-captain Michael Clarke to recover from back spasms in time for the three-day tour match against South Africa A in Potchefstroom starting on Friday before the first Test in Johannesburg on February 26.
Ponting said he was looking forward to getting to know new opening batsman Phillip Hughes better on the flight over to South Africa.
Hughes, 20, from NSW, will have a key role on tour as he is expected to take over the Test opening role made vacant by Matthew Hayden’’s retirement. (ANI)
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