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India will be under pressure: Ponting

Written by: Staff
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Mohali, Oct 28 (UNI) Australia skipper Ricky Ponting today asserted that more than the Oz, India will be under pressure in tomorrow's crucial Champions Trophy match because of the ''expectations from the home crowd''.

Talking to newspersons here on eve of the match, Ponting admitted that his team was desperate to win the Champions Trophy because as it was the second most important one-day tournament (after the world cup).

Pointing was of the view that tomorrow's match was going to be a good contest between the bat and the ball, saying, ''Though India has beaten us only once in last ten matches but that is past and has no relevance to Sunday's tie.'' The Australian skipper admitted that he was not happy with his form.

''My batting is a cause of concern not because I am the captain but also because I am a top-order batsman.'' He said the pitch here was likely to have pace and bounce which would give them an edge over India.

''I don't think tomorrow wicket will be that much bouncy (compared to the track on which South Africa-Pakistan match was played). But it shall help our bowlers better than India.'' ''So much one-day cricket is played all over around the year that pitches are more or less same, they do not make much difference, if there haven't been big scoring matches, wickets are not to be blamed. We get pretty much the wickets which we expect.'' He said the one week gap after the last match has helped his team.

''Players have got time to recover. There will be no excuses for us if we perform poorly.'' He had word of praise for Harbhajan Singh and said, ''The spinner is going to be dangerous. We have to keep an eye on him.'' The Australian skipper said India will feel the absence of Yuvraj Singh and Ajit Agarkar.

''Yuvraj is a good bat, he has been nominated for the ICC player of the year award, he is a good fielder too.

''Agarkar will be missed too because he is experienced one day bowler and can contribute runs to the team but still India has some very good quality bowlers.'' Asked about the much talked about contest between his fast bowler Glenn McGrath and Indian opener Sachin Tendulkar, Ponting replied, ''McGrath loves to bowl the best batsmen. It brings out best of him, At present he is nose ahead of Sachin Tendulkar but tomorrow is another game.'' He said final decision whether to play Michael Clarke or not would be taken tomorrow but his progress was being monitored.

UNI HSB DH HS1747

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