Ponting warns other teams to be wary of his pace trio

Kushan Sarkar

Nagpur, Feb 25 (PTI) Soon after recording an emphaticseven-wicket win over New Zealand, Australian captain RickyPonting sounded a stern warning to other teams to be wary ofhis pace trio of Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait and Brett Lee.

"It was a good game for us today. New Zealand are a verygood one day side but if our three guys can bowl as well aswhat they did today, it will be hard work for any team to beatus," Ponting lavished praise on the pace trio.

While Man of the Match Johnson has raced his way to eightwickets from two matches (two four-wicket hauls), Tait''s fierypace and Lee''s controlled aggression knocked the stuffing outof the Black Caps here today.

"The fact that they took wickets early meant I didn''thave to fall back on Watson through the day," Ponting said.

Johnson said he revels in the role of a first-changebowler.

"I have always enjoyed coming in as the first change. Iam not so worried about my economy rate. Whenever I am outthere, I just try to bowl my best ball as many times as I can.

It''s working for me now but this is a long tournament and weneed to keep working on it," Johnson said.

Johnson also gave credit to Tait and Watson as they hadalready picked up a couple of wickets before he came into theattack.

"In the first game, we hadn''t had a wicket when I cameon. Today, we had a couple of breakthroughs and the situationwas pretty exciting for me."

The left-arm speed merchant felt that his "hit the deck"ability works for him when he is bowling in sub-continentconditions.

"Probably, the conditions here suit my bowling. I havereally enjoyed the challenges here over the years in theseconditions. I watched the game England played against theNetherlands here and it looked like a pretty good wicket. Ijust wanted to bang the ball into the wicket.

"That''s what I did against Zimbabwe but I am not probablythinking about too much. I always want to get down there andenjoy myself," Johnson said.

Asked about how he sorted out Ryder, Johnson said, "Twoballs before he got out, I told Ricky that I am going to nickhim (Ryder) out. I bowled a good length ball and it worked."

Ponting also praised his openers who showed a lot ofpositive intent going after the bowling during the powerplays.

"Our openers played their spinners well particularlyVettori. They gave a lot of boundary balls which also helped."

Australia will play their next match against Sri Lanka onMarch 5 and Ponting believes that after a couple of days rest,they can get on with training.

"The Sri Lankan team is heavily reliant on their batting.

They depend mainly on Dilshan, Sangakkara and Jayawardene. Allthree have scored in the last match. We will have to work thatout," he said. .

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