Series win more important than ICC Test Championship trophy: Ponting

February 17th, 2009 - 6:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Feb 17 (ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting on his arrival in South Africa said that the ICC Test Championship trophy is important, but the team will play to win matches for country.

Ponting faced a packed media conference at Johannesburg Airport, and was quickly on the front foot with the South African media, the Herald Sun reported.

Australia lost 2-1 at home to South Africa in January and must now avoid defeat in the three-Test return series to retain the ICC Test Championship trophy.

The trophy is important, but we play to win matches for our country. Winning this series would mean more to us than retaining the trophy, Ponting said.

He said vice captain Michael Clarke, who has a back injury, was the only player in doubt for the opening three-day tour match against South Africa A in Potchefstroom, west of Johannesburg starting on Friday.

The first Test starts in Johannesburg on February 26.

Ponting has urged his rookie pace attack to forge its own identity on the tour, as a young Glenn McGrath did on the 1995 tour of the West Indies.

Just as McGrath stamped his arrival on the international scene with 6-69 in the Caribbean, Ponting hopes inexperienced quartet Peter Siddle, Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson can all put their name in lights in South Africa. (ANI)

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