Monday, October 6, 2008

Team up to Kumble-Bhajji challenge, says Ponting

It is obvious that the Australians are helpless against spin bowling, but skipper Ricky Ponting refuses to panic. In fact, he asserts that his team is up to the challenge of facing Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh in the upcoming Test series.
Nine Australian batsmen surrendered to either Piyush Chawla , Pragyan Ojha or Yuvraj Singh in the first innings of the warm-up match in Hyderabad. In the second, only two wickets fell and that included Matthew Hayden -- perceived as one of the better players against spin bowling -- who was trapped by Chawla.
Ponting said it is not a case of surrendering before the opponent's spin might.
"When spinners bowl 75 per cent of the total overs, chances are more that you would lose wickets to them," he said, as matter of fact.
"No doubt they (Chawla and Ojha) bowled well and we disappointed in the first innings. But I think it was a good opportunity for all players to get some good practice (against spin bowling) before we reach Bangalore (for the first Test)," Ponting explained.
"Not everyone can be among runs in every game," he added.
Ponting, however, admitted that facing Kumble and Harbhajan would be the real challenge for the batsmen.
"Look both Kumble and Harbhajan are world class spinners, especially Kumble. He has been around for quite a long time and that's talking about the challenge that lies ahead. We have to play well against these guys," he said.
Australia's thin spin resource was also exposed in the four-day warm-up match, with lone specialist spinner Jason Krejza taking quite a battering, especially by Yuvraj.
Ponting, however, sees it as the learning curve for the rookie offie.
"I think he started well, used angles and tried things. But Yuvraj was very aggressive this morning and was in a hurry top pile up before declaring.
"Anyway, it's all part of learning. He is young, has the skill and talent. He would have to work hard on field placement and other things. He did not have much exposure as well," Ponting said in defence of the youngster.
With Victorian all-rounder Cameron White set to join the team in Bangalore as replacement for injured spinner Bryce McGain, the Australian skipper believes it would lend balance to the side.
"He's an all-rounder who can come as a batter as well. He has toured with Australia A and have done well on ODIs. McGain's return is definitely a setback for the team but I think it's also an opportunity for these guys (White and Krejza) to put their hands up and be counted," Ponting said

No comments: