Not spectacular but a solid performance: Ponting

Written by: Pti
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Ahmedabad, Feb 22 (PTI) Hailing his team''s performance inthe inaugural World Cup match against Zimbabwe, Australiaskipper Ricky Ponting termed defending champions'' 91-runvictory as a ''solid'' show, even if not that spectacular.

"It was not a spectacular performance, but a solid one.

We know we need to play better as we go along," said Ponting,who appeared in the mega-event for a record 40th time,yesterday.

Admitting that the batsmen needed to play better againstslow bowling on the sub-continental tracks, Ponting, however,pointed out that Australia have done well in the past in theseconditions.

"We were getting used to the conditions. I think they(Zimbabwe spin bowlers) did a reasonable job. We know theseconditions and know how to play here in India or Sri Lanka.

"We know the spin factor is going to be a big one in thistournament. We need to play better as the tournament goes on.

We are not quite there yet," said the 36-year-old Tasmanian,who is keen to lead Australia to their fifth Cup crown andfourth on the trot.

Ponting warned that his fast bowlers will trouble all theteams in the tournament as they have variety as well as pace.

"All the three bowlers we had today are different. Brett(Lee) is accurate, (Shaun) Tait bowls with a sling-arm action,moving the ball away with the new ball and then reversing theold. Mitchell Johnson swings the ball both ways. It was one ofthe best one-day performances by Mitchell," he said.

For Australia, Johnson grabbed 4-19 in 9.2 overs, whichincluded two of the first four Zimbabwe wickets, and openerShane Watson scored a solid 79.

Watson said he and Brad Haddin didn''t start in a fashionthey normally do, as the Zimbabweans were bowling well.

"They bowled well and at one end was spin. We knew if oneof us bats long we could get to a good total," he said.

Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura, after being outplayedby the Aussies, said his team needed to improve batting as itlost too many wickets, too soon in the match.

"Batting was a problem for our side as we lost manywickets early. It would have been better to keep wickets inhand," said Chigumbura after the match.

The skipper, however, was quick to praise his bowlers andsaid that bowling and fielding were the two positives from thematch, and they would like to carry that forward.

Even coach Allan Butcher expressed his happiness over theteam''s bowling and fielding but said, "We needed to batbetter."

Butcher said the spinners did an excellent job and hadthe Australians thinking.

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