Kiwis cannot be taken lightly, says Ponting

Published: Tuesday, October 28, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Faridabad: Ahead of their clash with New Zealand on Wednesday, Australian skipper Ricky Ponting said on Tuesday that his side was "a little bit" under pressure after the thrashing at the hands of India in their first match of the cricket tri-series in Gwalior. Australia were well on course to victory when they suffered an uncharacteristic collapse to go down by 37-runs to India in the day-night match on Sunday.

Ponting said the manner in which the team crashed to defeat was disappointing. "Our bowling and fielding was good. Our batters got off to a great start but our middle order played some pretty ordinary cricket," the skipper said after nets at the Palam Cricket Ground in New Delhi. Australia would retain the same 12 that lost to India but a decision on the final eleven would be made after a look at the wicket, he said. Ponting said his side could not afford to take the Kiwis lightly as they had played well against them in recent past.

"They even had a chance during the World Cup (2003). But Brett Lee took the game away from them." Though the trend of results of matches played at the Nahar Singh Stadium, venue for the match on Wednesday, generally favours teams batting second, Ponting said he had not really given a thought to what he would opt for if he won the toss. "If the wicket looks like holding up, we will bat second but if it is slow and expected to turn later, we will bat first," Ponting said, expecting the conditions to be similar to those in Gwalior.

Ponting said the side was not placed at a disadvantage due to the scheduling of matches that will see them play day and day-night matches alternately. "We are used to playing like this in Australia," he said.

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