Australian cricket team’s captain Ricky Ponting believes his side have yet to peak despite winning the DLF Cup tri-series One-day International (ODI) tournament, and warns they will be hard to beat at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy.
Australia taught the West Indies a cricketing lesson on Sunday with a crushing 127-run victory in the final of the DLF Cup here at the Kinrara Oval. Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Nathan Bracken and Shane Watson proved unstoppable and are expected to spearhead their attempt to win the Champions Trophy for the first time next month.
“It’s obviously one we want to win. It is the second biggest ODI tournament in the world and it is one that has eluded Australia,” said Ponting. “We have been knocked out in the semifinal in the last two Champions Trophies, but we definitely have the squad and the players to challenge seriously this year. We’ve played some good cricket in Indian conditions before so we can go there now with confidence,” he added.
Before coming to Malaysia, Australia had not played competitive cricket for four months but were good enough, with an experimental side, to tame not only the West Indies but also India. Such is the depth of their squad that they were able to rotate players and take a look at some promising youngsters — such as Mitchell Johnson and Dan Cullen — yet still emerge victorious. “Looking back over the last few weeks, I think it has been very successful with the experimentation that we have had, trying different guys in different roles,” said Ponting.
“It’s been a really good exercise. Having had a look at a few extra players in different roles, we have lots of different bases covered for the Champions Trophy.” Aussies were heading to Australia on Monday to immerse themselves in training routines with their state and club sides.
Ponting said the best is yet to come. “After not playing for four months, I think it’s fair to say none of us are yet at the level required to play our best cricket,” he said. “But we knew that and we have given ourselves a bit of time to get used to the tempo and to have some time in the middle.
“We’ve got a pretty good structure in place and if each guy looks after themselves and keeps trying to make themselves better day in and day out, then we will go a long way in the Champions Trophy,” Ponting added.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, September 26th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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