India tour blessing for Australian team preparing for Ashes: Ponting

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Sydney, June 3(ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has said that the September and November tour of India would be a blessing for his team preparing for the Ashes.

"If you look at the squad that we could probably put out for the first Test in Brisbane compared with the squad you'd think about playing on a spinning wicket in India, they're probably two completely different squads," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting, as saying.

"It'd be nice to get some match hardness into the guys, having not played a lot of Test cricket at that stage, but we'll come home then and be back into one day cricket in Australia anyway so we'll just have to manage that as well as we can," he added.

He believes that the tour will be a good platform to test couple of young talents including off-spinner Steven Smith.

"You'd look at that for sure, about playing two spinners, most teams who go there look at a couple of spin options in Tests in India," Ponting said.

"He's [Smith] done everything right, he's impressed everyone and his attitude is outstanding. He's a work in progress as far as his bowling is concerned, as all young spin bowlers are," he added.

The 35-year-old further snubbed claims of England fast bowler Steven Finn being the "new McGrath", but said he has been monitoring the progress of the English attack and believes that it is likely to be better tailored than the group, which came in 2006-07.

"Someone said this morning that he's 'the new Glenn McGrath' or something so one Test match in and he's got some pretty big raps on him already," Ponting said.(ANI)

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