Australia Well Prepared For Bangalore Test - Ponting
Australian captain Ricky Ponting says his team is heading into the second and final Test against India in positive mood as he looks to lead his side to a series-levelling win in Bangalore.
Ahead of the game, which starts tomorrow (9th October), he told a media conference that side is ready for the challenge.
"We're well geared up, we're well prepared - as we were for the first Test match but it goes to show that unless you are ready to play cricket very very well for five days, sometimes you don't achieve the result that you're after," he said.
"I was very proud of the boys and the way they played their cricket in that first game. Unfortunately we didn't quite get over the line but there are lot of positives which we have been talking about focussing on this week.
"Hopefully we can go out and play a very similar game and hopefully the result will be slightly different."
VVS Laxman, so often Australia's nemesis, produced an inspired unbeaten half-century to help India claim a one-wicket win in Mohali, and although much of the spotlight in India surrounds Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, Ponting pointed out that Australia focus on all of the Indian batsmen.
"I expect him to play," he said when asked about Laxman. "I guess when you have a batting line-up like the Indians have got, it's hard to talk about every one of them. When we come to India the talk is always about Sachin, and then Sehwag, for the year he's had but believe me, we pay total respect to all of their batters because we know how dangerous they can be.
"VVS, the other day, just showed how good a player he is in these conditions. We've just got to make sure we've got out plans right for him when he comes into bat in this game."
Australia ended that match unable to call on the services of left-arm quick bowler Doug Bollinger and they look set to make a late decision on whether he will be able to play in Bangalore.
"The physio will assess Doug when he gets to the ground to see if he can actually do some bowling today," Ponting confirmed.
"He didn't do any bowling yesterday so we'll just wait and see how the training session progresses there."
Perhaps remarkable, given Australia's strength in Test cricket under his command, Ponting is yet to win a Test as captain in India and although that is a record he is keen to put right in Bangalore, he doesn't believe this will be his final Test tour of the country, as suggested in some quarters.
"I haven't thought about that - if it's going to be my last Test in India or not," he affirmed. "I've always enjoyed playing cricket here although I haven't had the success I've had in a lot of other countries.
"Hopefully it's not my last tour. I still believe I've got a few more years of international cricket in me, and hopefully that means I'll be back to India for another Test tour."
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