Ponting pleased with all-round performance

Australian stand-in skipper Ricky Ponting lavished praise on his team for coming up with an all-round effort to score a thumping 110-run win over India at the Gabba on Sunday.

“I wouldn’t say particularly with the ball, our batting was pretty good as well. We felt it was a good total, and just a little bit over par. We were a bit patient, and gave ourselves a chance to establish partnerships. Batting aside, it’s been long while since I have seen an Australian team bowl as well as they did tonight in ODIs.

“The way they were able to be aggressive early on, but at the same time be able to restrict India from scoring boundaries was absolutely first-class. So full credit to Brett (Lee) and Ben (Hilfenhaus) as their new-ball spells were outstanding. For Ben to come away with a five-for in his first game in a long time was great reward,” Ponting told reporters.

Ponting patted Ben Hilfenhaus for producing an outstanding innings. “The selectors have had this game plan for Hilf for quite a while. We knew the conditions would suit him. But I thought his control early on, the lines and lengths he bowled early, along with his aggression, was the reason he bowled as well as he did,” he said.

Hilfenhaus too was delighted. “It’s nice to be back in coloured clothing. It was a pretty good performance from the whole team. We knew we had to address a few things. Obviously, to be part of a pretty good win is a good feeling.”

Ponting’s poor form with the bat has been the subject of talk here, but the Tasmanian said he was available for selection for the next round of matches. “It hasn’t been that long a summer. I haven’t spent that much time in the middle. But look, there are a few of the guys who have started to feel the pinch a little bit.

“At the end of the day, I am available for selection for the Hobart game. I think the selectors are talking about the squad tomorrow, so I am not going to put my hand up and say I want a break, because when you are going through a lean trot like I have in the last couple of games, you want to be able to turn that around.”

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