Ponting's poor record affecting his confidence, says Zaheer

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New Delhi, Sep 25 (UNI) Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan believes that Ricky Ponting's poor batting record in India has dented his confidence which is why the Australian skipper claims that his side will start under dogs in the upcoming four-match Test series that gets underway from October 9 in Bangalore.

''I was actually surprised by the statement made by him, for a captain who is leading the number one Test side to say something like that definitely shows that there is a lot of pressure on him getting into the series,'' Zaheer told NDTV today.

''The reason can be that he hasn't scored many runs in India.

That should definitely work to the advantage of us,'' the left-arm bowler added.

Last time when the Australian toured India in 2004, the visitors won the four-match series 2-1 to record their first series victory in India after 35 years.

Ponting could play only the last Test, which the hosts won, after a thumb injury ruled him out of the first three Tests.

Earlier this year, Australia defeated India 2-1 at home in a series which was marred by a number of controversies.

From the current squad only Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke and Simon Katich have a Test experience in India and the tourists are rebuilding following a series of high-profile retirements.

Australia have come to India with an inexperienced bowling attack which does include the likes of Brett Lee and Stuart Clark but the pacers are yet to gain Test experience in India.

However, Zaheer said Matthew Hayden's wicket would be the key for India as the opener has always performed well against his side.

The burly left-handed batsman averages an impressive 61 in India with 793 runs in seven Tests.

''The Australian team definitely relies quite a lot on Hayden, especially when they tour India. It will be good to get him out early,'' Zaheer said.

Australia will open its campaign against India in Bangalore on October 9 from where they will head towards Mohali to play the second Test. The third and fourth Test will be played in Delhi and Nagpur.


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