I think we are still No.1, says Ponting

December 30th, 2008 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Dec 30 (IANS) As Australia face whitewash for the first time in more than 120 years, captain Ricky Ponting looked confused Tuesday as South Africa took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Test series. Ponting said he did not know what to feel after becoming the first Australian captain since Allan Border 16 years ago to be beaten in a series in his own backyard.

“It’s not as if we have just played ordinary sides. We know that they are very strong sides and we have been competitive at lots of different times in series with them and we just haven’t been able to nail them, so hopefully we do nail them in Sydney when we get that chance,” Ponting told reporters at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

“We’ve lost two of the last three series that we’ve played. That’s something that I guess I’m not accustomed to. A lot of players in the team aren’t accustomed to losing Test matches, let alone Test series,” he added.

Ponting said that his team has dominated world cricket for a long period of time and hoped that once the team goes through the re-building process the new guys can get back the team as a dominating force in world cricket one gain.

The dethroning od the Aussies will be complete if the Proteas make it a 3-0 series victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from Saturday.

But a brave Ponting said: “Right at the moment I think we are still No.1. They have to beat us in Sydney to take the mantle from us. That’s the way that ranking system works. But I’m pretty sure if you went and knocked on their door next door, they’d be saying that they are the number one team.”

If the South Africans achieve their ambition to win 3-0 and seal the right to be regarded as the world’s best Test side, they will also inflict Australia’s first clean-sweep defeat at home in a series of three matches or more and the first in a shorter series since 1887-88.

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