Put aside Pak security fears, focus on Sydney Test, Ponting tells his boys

January 1st, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, Jan.1 (ANI): Australian captain Ricky Ponting has urged members of his team to focus on the second Test against India to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground here from tomorrow, and stop worrying about security fears they may encounter on their March-April tour of Pakistan.
Ponting said Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association will make an inspection of the strife-torn nation next month.
ACA president Paul Marsh is expected to address the Australia players this week during the second Test against India.
“With the tour being so far away, to the players’ credit so far, there hasn’t been a great deal of talk about it around the rooms. No doubt sitting back and watching the events of last week in the change rooms probably did create some grave concerns. We are always going to be guided by the experts on the ground here in Australia and on the ground in Pakistan to let us know how the safety and security issues are in Pakistan.With the tour being so far away, we really just have to be thinking about what we’ve got on now,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting, as saying.
It maybe recalled that Australia’s most recent Test tour of Pakistan in 2002-2003 was shifted to neutral venues in Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates because of security issues.
Ponting said it was his understanding Pakistan wouldn’t be prepared to transfer the Australia series to neutral venues.
Ponting said that while India had enjoyed playing at the SCG in the past, including the drawn Test there four years ago in Steve Waugh’s farewell match, the pressure would be on India’s batsmen after their below-par scores in the Melbourne Test.
Australia’s new-look attack, rated by team bowling coach Troy Cooley as the equal of the England foursome he mentored to Ashes success over Australia in 2005, all played their part.
Lee took six wickets in Melbourne, Stuart Clark five, Brad Hogg four, Mitchell Johnson three and Andrew Symonds one. (ANI)

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