Ponting sounds warning bell to India, Sri Lanka

February 17th, 2008 - 8:34 pm ICT by admin  

Adelaide, Feb 17 (IANS) Australia captain Ricky Ponting sounded a warning for the opposition teams, saying that the World Champions, despite being not at their best, are winning matches comfortably and it reflects on the strength of the side. After Australia notched up a comprehensive 50-run victory against India to be perched at the top of the table in the three nation tournament, Ponting lauded the efforts of his bowlers for packing off India for just 153 after a top-order collapse put them in spot of bother.

“We are not playing our best so we had to back each other and I am happy with the efforts today. We are winning matches comfortably despite not being at out best,” Ponting said after the match.

“We have played better cricket and I told the boys to back ourselves and back each other as a team and it was a great effort,” he said.

Despite a lowly score of 203 to defend, Ponting said he knew India would crack under pressure if, things were kept tight in the middle overs.

“The bowlers did a good job. The idea was to get early wickets and keep things tight in the mid overs. They came under pressure in the middle of the innings and gave away the wickets,” Ponting said.

The Australian skipper had a word of praise for Michael Clarke who rescued the innings with a gritty 79 after Indian bowlers ripped through the top order.

He said James Hopes turned the match on their favour with his twin strike in the mid overs.

“That (Hopes’ dismissal) turned the tide in our favour and got us the momentum back. He is bowling well.”

Man-of-the-match Michael Clarke said he was disappointed to miss out on the century.

“Ricky has told us that if you get in there, make the most of it. My job was to go on and get the runs once I was set. It was unfortunate that I did not get a century,” said Clarke who is pitted as Ponting’s future successor.

“220 plus would have been a good total to defend but unfortunately we did not reach there but our bowlers did a great job.”

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