We treat Vadodara clash as final, says Ponting

Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Vadodara: Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting today sent out a threat to the Indian team saying that they were treating the fifth ODI of the seven match series for the Future Cup as a final.

Speaking to reporters after net session at the Reliance Cricket ground here, Ponting said, ''This is the biggest game of this series, like a final of any tournament and we are preparing accordingly.'' On the team composition of this very important match, Ponting said they have retained the same 12 which did duty at Chandigarh and they will take a decision on the final playing 11 tomorrow before the match.

He said the wicket looks good, though he has no experience of this track. ''However, records suggest that scores of 300 plus are gettable on this ground and we will be looking to do the same.'' On the role of the Indian spinners, Ponting agreed that Harbhajan and Murali Kartik had them in some trouble in Chandigarh, but added that they have enough experience and know what to do against them.

''In the last game we lost wickets at crucial junctures which held us back. We have to build partnerships and we are concentrating on doing that,'' he added.

Ponting also said that the extras given in the last game were not acceptable and they were working to rectify it. Hopefully tomorrow you will see us conceding less extras. On the performance of left arm seamer Nathan Bracken, who was taken for a lot of runs in the last game, Ponting said, ''Nathan has been one who has not let us down too much in the last two years.

The last match was also Nathan's first match in a while and hopefully he will settle down tomorrow.'' Ponting added that he was not that perturbed about the performance of Adam Gilchrist. The Aussie captain said that 'Gilly' is such a player it just requires one innings for him to come into form and he might just slam a brilliant 100 tomorrow.

The Australian captain also paid tribute to Sachin Tendulkar for whom tomorrow's match will be his 400th. ''Playing so many matches over such a long period of time shows the longevity of him and his class. It is a great achievement and I read the other day that he plans to play the 2011 World Cup, he might just end up playing 500 matches.

''For me just to think about it is mind boggling and I do not think I will be able to survive the way Sachin has done.'' Ponting also said that a bit of chat and banter was acceptable between players, but it should be in the right spirit. The second match I thought was a bit over the top with the talk and banter, but the match referee spoke to both the captains after that match and since then it has been fine. ''I hope it stays the same way for the remainder of the series.''


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