New Delhi, Nov 2 (UNI) Praising his batsmen for putting up a brave fight, Australian skipper Ricky Ponting today said now the bowlers will have to pull up their socks to ensure that the world champions drew level in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series.
The Australian bowling is struggling to find its feet after the retirements of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. The spin bowlers were ineffective in the three Tests played so far with the pacers - Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clarke - shouldering most of the workload.
''It's certainly a challenge for us. In this match, we proved that our batting is upto the scratch and we have played very well here. Now the challenge is to take 20 wickets,'' Ponting said.
''Almost every Indian batsman got big scores, which helped them post a 600-plus score,'' he added. ''We are looking at the next Test, where we have to make sure that Indians don't get the chance to make such a big score.'' Cameron White, one of the two speciallist spinners in the Aussie squad, has failed to make an impact on this tour, claiming just two wickets in three Tests. A clearly unimpressed Ponting indicated that rookie off-spinner Jason Krejza may be given a chance to prove his mettle at Nagpur.
''Guys in the sidelines would be looked in. In Nagpur, you have a brand new stadium and I don't expect the pitch not to be like the 2004 (grassy) pitch. We would definitely look at Jason (Krejza) there. He came very close to playing the Test here,'' Ponting told mediapersons at the post match conference.
The encounter at Kotla may have petered out to a tame draw but Ponting was determined to take some positives from the game.
However, he added that more needs to be done to draw level in the series.
''Lot of good things came out of the game for us. We played both the leg-spinners very well. Our batsmen tackled the spinners well. But more needs to be done to win a Test match,'' he asserted.
The captain also had words of encouragment for his main strike bowler Brett Lee.
''He has surely improved in the second innings, but he still has more to do before the next encounter.'' UNI AB PY BST2109