Ponting will bounce back: Hussey

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Brisbane, Nov 16 (UNI) Michael Hussey is confident that under-fire Australian skipper Ricky Ponting will bounce back from the nightmare of the India tour with some superb performances during the upcoming home Test series against trans Tasmanian rivals New Zealand.

Australia were totally outplayed by a resurgent Indian team, losing the four-Test series 2-0. They were whipped by a whopping 320-run margin in the second Test at Mohali and also lost the final encounter at Nagpur.

Ponting was hounded by the critics for his poor captaincy skills during the tour, especially the Nagpur Test, when he used part time bowlers to get ahead of the slow over rate during the Indian second innings. Hussey, however, reposed faith in his captain and expressed confidence that Ponting will let his bat do the talking during the first Test at Brisbane.

''I certainly hope so,'' Hussey said. ''Ricky loves playing up here. I think this is one of his favourite venues. The ball comes on to the bat, a very true pitch. It really suits his game.'' The Gabba holds some happy memories for Ponting. He has scored 1120 runs in 12 Tests with four centuries and seven half-centuries.

His average in Brisbane is a whopping 74.67, the second best at Australian venues - the SCG is his most fruitful ground with an average of 75.41. Hussey hoped that 'Punter' will regain his touch here and give a stinging reply to the critics.

''His record up here is outstanding. It is a bit of an ominous sign. He is he sort of guy that likes to prove a point, as well,'' Hussey was quoted as saying by 'The Australian'.

Meanwhile, Hussey welcomed troubled all-rounder Andrew Symonds back into the side. Symonds impressed in his return to Australian colours yesterday night, when he played the T20 game between Australia and the ACA All Stars at the Gabba.

''It was good to have him (Symonds) back around the team,'' Hussey said. ''(There was) very good humour in the dressing room (and he) contributed obviously with the bat and the ball and in the field.'' ''He is in the (Test) squad of 13, so he is every chance (of playing),'' he added.


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