Zaheer’s remark a ploy to unsettle us: Ponting

October 16th, 2008 - 6:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Oct 16 (IANS) Australia captain Ricky Ponting rubbished the remark that his side was defensive in the Bangalore Test, saying it is the India’s way of psyching themselves up. India pacer Zaheer Khan, the man of the match in the first Test, had dubbed the the visiting team as “the most defensive Australian team” to tour India in recent times.

Skipper Anil Kumble , too, reiterated it in his column, pointing to Australia’s inability to wipe out India in 83 overs on the last day of the first Test.

But Ponting dismissed the comments as a perennial ploy of the Indians to unsettle his team’s game plan.

“I think they always try and talk themselves up,” Ponting was quoted as saying in The Australian.

“If you look back to the one-day series here last year they were saying they were going to be ultra-aggressive against us and all that sort of thing.

“It’s just the sort of bravado and front that they’re trying to put on.”

Ponting also attacked Zaheer saying the bowler got carried away with his one-off performance in Bangalore and will have to back it up in the Mohali Test that begins Friday.

“He’s just happened to have a good game as well, which is pretty unusual for him,” Ponting said.

“He’s had a good game. It’s up to him to back it up again.

“I think a lot of his comments might have been to try and get us to play a different style and different brand of cricket.

“He was saying we were a bit defensive and I think they’re trying to provoke us to being more aggressive by having a bit more to say on the field.

“I think they believe they can use that sort of stuff against us.”

Australia failed to make an impact with the new ball during the first Test, with opening bowlers Brett Lee and Stuart Clark, who is battling a right elbow injury, taking just three wickets between them in the match.

India’s opening bowlers, Zaheer and Ishant Sharma, claimed 13 of the 16 Australian wickets to fall.

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