Kiwis in India - Dravid, Ponting happy with Mumbai wicket

Published: Friday, October 31, 2003, 0:00 [IST]
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Mumbai: The rival captains, Rahul Dravid of India and Ricky Ponting of Australia expressed satisfaction over the state of wicket at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday before they clash in the crucial TVS Cup Tri-Nation One-day match on Saturday. Dravid told reporters before the Indian team's net practice that the wicket looked pretty good and there were signs that it would take a little bit of turn as the game progresses. "I hope it will be a good wicket though there will be a bit of dew as it's a day-night match. In Gwalior our spinners found it hard to grip the ball but the conditions over here might not be that bad", he added. Ponting on the other hand said there is a bit of bounce on the wicket and "I think it will help the batsmen to go for their shots as the bounce looks to be even. It looks like a batting track". "We know that beating India on their own back yard is difficult but if we continue to play the way we did against the Kiwis at Faridabad I think we can win the tournament", he added. Speaking highly of the Indian spinners, Ponting, said the Indian spinners bowled well under difficult conditions with a wet ball at Gwalior and they (spinners) still had a big role to play in the tournament. "It is a great challenge for us to come to India and play well in these conditions (heat, dust, humidity and noise) and I hope we can do well in this tournament even without our main bowlers, who nursing injuries", he added. The rival captains however differed on Tendulkar might be under pressure to deliver in front of his home crowd. Ponting said, "When I play in front of my home crowd back in Australia, I will be under some sort of pressure and I suppose the same might be the case with Tendulkar, which might work out to our advantage". However, Dravid said, "I don't think Tendulkar will be under any kind of pressure playing here as he has got lot of runs in the past on the same wicket. A player of his class will not be bogged down by any kind of pressure as he has proved it repeatedly before", he added. Speaking about the composition of the team for Saturday's match, Dravid said, "We will assess the final eleven on the day of the match". The Aussie skipper said, "It is hard to make any changes after the way the boys played in Faridabad and it is bad luck that new ball bowler Michael Kasprowicz is yet to recover from his injury and will miss the next two games as well (Mumbai and Pune tie on November three)". When asked whether any replacement would be flown in for Kasprowicz, Ponting, said, "The format of this tournament is such that we can't fly in the replacements and hence we may not be asking for any and hope that Kasprowicz will be fit for the last part of the tournament". Dravid, praising the Aussies for their fine come back at Faridabad, said, "The Australians have lot of talent. They bowled the ball in the right area and forced Kiwis to make mistakes. Their only spinner Brad Hogg too bowled well in the previous ties and we have to be very alert on Saturday. PTI

Keen contest on the cards at Wankhede
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