Ahmedabad, Feb 22 (PTI) Emphasising on the importance ofkeeping wickets intact, Australia captain Ricky Ponting saidpreserving wickets till the middle overs and negotiating thespinners will be key to their strategy in the remainder of theWorld Cup matches.
After commencing their title defence in style with anemphatic 91-run victory over Zimbabwe here yesterday, Pontingadded that keeping wickets in hand will also help them duringthe batting powerplays.
"Preserving wickets is going to be our strategy throughthe tournament. We will be looking to preserve wickets tillthe middle overs. That will help in negotiating spinners andaccelerate during powerplays," said Ponting.
Stating that the track played good, he said, "The wicketplayed real good. Luckily, we kept wickets in hand and got usto a good total."
He, however, added that the Motera strip was slow and wasdifficult to bat on.
"The wicket was slow. It was tough to get any pace on theball. The Zimbabwean spinners bowled well and it was difficultto get going. They bowled and fielded really well."
Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said the side missed afifth bowler.
"The fifth bowler is something we have to work on aswell. But overall our bowling and fielding were superb. Wejust lost too many wickets up front," he said.
However, praising his bowlers for not giving Australiansa chance to score big, the skipper said, "I thought werestricted them to the score we wanted to chase. But we haveto work on our batting."
Man of the Match Shane Watson said this game will helpthem combat spin as the tournament progresses.
"There will be a lot of spinners used against us. Theball did not spin as much on this wicket. This game was goodpractice to combat spin as the tournament progresses."
He although admitted that it took him some time to getused to the conditions, but said, "it''s nice to get used todifferent conditions and find a way ... a good time to get abit of practice in." PTI CM