Sunday, October 25, 2009

"We need to bowl better at the death"

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said his bowlers will have to pull up their socks at death in the remaining games of the series against India.
The Aussies narrowly escaped a defeat in the opener of the seven-match series in Vadodara.

The visitors had India on the racks at 201 for seven before Harbhajan Singh (49) and Praveen Kumar (40 not out) came up with a mesmerising 84-run stand for the eighth wicket off just 54 deliveries to bring the match agonisingly close for Australia's comfort.

Ponting singled out Shane Watson, who had a torrid time in the later stages of India innings, saying the burly all-rounder has to go back to the drawing board before the second ODI at Nagpur on Wednesday.

"We had bowled very well in the first 45 overs. We need to do better in our death bowling. There are lessons to be learned. (Peter) Siddle bowled a splendid last over. He has done it before for Australia," Ponting said at the post-match press conference.

"Shane (Watson) is one of our better, no one of our best, bowlers in the end. He did not bowl well today at the death.

He has some work to do," he said.

Ponting was also full of praise for senior batsman Michael Hussey, who scored of 73 off just 54 balls that helped Australia reach the imposing total.

"Hussey was excellent. He made it look easy. Tim Paine also played very well," Ponting said.

Asked why he did not finish pace spearhead Brett Lee's full quota of overs, Ponting said, "He complained of a sore elbow and went in to rest before coming on to the field."

The Australia captain also complimented Harbhajan for his his gutsy innings, saying, "He played well, but not well enough."

With India needing nine runs off six deliveries, Harbhajan fell in the second ball of the last over from Siddle as the hosts finished at 288 for 8 after Australia set a mammoth 293 for victory.

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