Ponting expects Australia to bounce back

Nov 30, -0001
SYDNEY: Heavy criticism of his captaincy in the fourth
test and series loss to India has stung Ricky Ponting, and he's vowing to
take out his frustrations on New Zealand and South Africa.
Ponting returned to Sydney on Tuesday and faced the domestic media a day
after his Australian lineup was beaten by 172 runs in the fourth test at
Nagpur and went down 2-0 to India in the series.
The top-ranked Australians need to rebound quickly, with a two-test series
against New Zealand starting next week in Brisbane and three home tests
against South Africa starting next month before a return three-test series in
South Africa.
"I've got total confidence that we can bounce back and that we can win
every test we play in Australia this year," Ponting said. "Just seeing the
look on some of the guys faces on the plane, there is genuine excitement
about moving on from the Indian series.
"It's important we put that series behind us as quickly as we can."
It was Australia's first test series loss since 2005 in England, when
Ponting's squad surrendered the Ashes for the first time in almost two
None of the batsmen hit top form and the bowling attack lacked penetration
in India, the absences of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath more obvious than any
time since the veteran pair retired from international cricket.
"We have to play at a higher level than we did through the India tour,
there's no doubt about that, and there's no excuses and there's no reason why
we can't," Ponting said.
Former Australia captain Allan Border and India allrounder Ravi Shastri
were among the critics of Ponting's decision to try and boost the flagging
over-rate on the penultime day when Australia had gained the upper hand
rather than push for quick wickets. India regained control while Australia's
strike bowlers were idle.
Many commentators suggested Ponting put himself above the team by trying
to avoid a one-test ban for the slow over-rate rather than push harder for a
series-equaling win.
"I still feel the decisions I made weren't negative at all," Ponting
said. "Even talking to other players, I'm very comfortable with the decision
that I made."
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said Ponting was usually ruthless when
it came to exploiting any weakness in an opposition team and he was expecting
the Australians would come back harder after the loss.
Ponting said there was a great desire within the Australian team to make
amends for the losses in India.
"I will continue to be a ruthless captain and a ruthless player and I
expect all my other teammates are in exactly the same boat," he said. "And
if they're not now, having lost a test series in India 2-0, we have to look
around for some other guys."


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