Ahmedabad, Feb 21 (PTI) Australia captain Ricky Pontingtoday said that preserving wickets till the middle overs andnegotiating the spinners will be key to their strategy in theremainder of the World Cup matches.
After commencing their title defence in style with anemphatic 91-run victory over Zimbabwe here today, Ponting saidkeeping wickets in hand will also help them during the battingpowerplays.
"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. The wicket today played realgood. Luckily, we kept wickets in hand and got us to a goodtotal," Ponting said.
Ponting said that the Motera strip was slow and difficultto 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," he said.
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.
The skipper praised his bowlers for not givingAustralians the chance to score big.
"I thought we restricted them to the score we wanted tochase. But we have to work on our batting," he said.
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," hesaid.
He admitted that it took him some time to get used to theconditions.
"But it''s nice to get used to different conditions andfind a way ... a good time to get a bit of practice in," hesaid.