22nd May: Sunrisers v Rajasthan Royals, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
Australian captain Ricky Ponting will be urging his side to focus on the positive aspects of the one-wicket defeat suffered at the hands of India in the first Test in Mohali.
Ponting maintains that his team of relatively inexperienced international cricketers played well and on another day the honors could have gone to his side.
“I think it is important that we don’t dwell on the negative side of not winning the game, I think it is important that we look at the positives that we have created over this four and a half days," he said in a press conference following the match.
"We need to remain positive over the next couple of days,” he added.
The Australian skipper hailed VVS Laxman and the Indian tail for winning the game from the unlikely position of 124 for eight. The Australian bowlers put their side into a phenomenal position in the final session of the fourth day, claiming four prized Indian scalps inside 14 overs and Ponting feels that the last couple of hours of the match was the only point in which the number one ranked team, India edged ahead and took the victory.
“He (Laxman) showed the class player that he is today, I thought he played very well and they got the tail enders to stick in there for him. Any boundaries that needed to be hit he had a bit of a knack of finding the boundary latter on in the innings today. He has done a good job to stand up the way he has done over the five days with a back spasm. He has been a bit of a thorn in our side - there is no doubt about that.
“The way we approached our first bowling session last night was exactly the way it needed to be. There was great aggression and great hostility from our fast bowlers and we really set India back on the back foot last night but I think they showed a lot of good qualities today to be eight wickets down with 82 to get and to win. They have probably just outplayed us in the last couple of hours of the game and that is probably about it.”
Pressure was applied to umpires, Billy Bowden and Ian Gould throughout the five days, with numerous appeals being made at crucial stages in the game. Perhaps the most prominent was that of Pragyan Ojha adjudged not out in error by Bowden off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson; had Bowden made the right call Ponting would have been celebrating his first win as captain on Indian soil. Therefore it is no wonder that Ponting is in favour of the decision review system being in place in all international fixtures.
“I am a big believer in the ‘DRS’ system, I actually queried the ICC referee before the series started about the reason we were not using the system," he said.
"One thing I know about the system so far is you definitely get more correct decisions in a game of cricket than you do without it. We understand how difficult it is for the umpires out there, it is hard enough for the players but when you have got to make decisions like they have to throughout the course of five days, it is hard work. In this Test match alone with the use of the system here I think we would have had a lot more right decisions in the game.
“We just have to bounce back now and make sure that we take it pretty easy tomorrow, the guys are pretty exhasusted aswell, then we will start to get out preparation right and make sure that when we hit the ground at Bangalore that we present and play the way we have this week. The first day or the first session of the Bangalore game is going to be very important for us now.”
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