Melbourne : Australian captain Ricky Ponting Saturday attributed his team’s 337-run win over India in the first Test match, to his team’s exceptional bowling and fielding at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
“I didn’t think we will ever lose the game and I expected it would be very hard work for us. The way we bowled and fielded in this game was outstanding and we took every chance that came our way and that made the difference between the two teams,” said Ponting in the post match press conference on the fourth day of the Test.
Ponting had high words of praise for his bowlers, including left-arm spinner Brad Hogg.
“We wanted to keep him (Hogg) bowling and somehow manufacture a couple of wickets for him so we looked defensive in the field placing in the first innings. He knocked off Ganguly with one of the best flippers I have ever seen,” said the Australian captain.
“I’m extremely happy with the way the way the bowling group has performed in this match. Brett (Lee) has led very well. There is no doubt about that. His job has changed as he is now leading the attack.
“And Mitchell (Johnson) simply keeps on improving game by game. He was unlucky not to get some breakthrough in the first innings but kept the Indian batsmen under pressure. And when he had the Indian batsmen under that pressure it created some apprehensions in the batting order. And we did it again today and the bowlers were pretty economical.”
Ponting went on to add that the way his team has performed, he doesn’t feel there will be any change for the next match in Sydney.
He also said that the 135-run opening stand between Matthew Hayden (124) and Phil Jaques (66) in the first innings set the tone for the match.
“Looking back, that was the biggest partnership in the game. And obviously the way we started with the ball on the second day, the scoreboard wasn’t going anywhere and the Indian batsmen were under pressure. We set the tone very early on in this match.
“We played some excellent cricket. It is a very pleasing win because the wicket that we played on was very similar to the subcontinent style of wicket and we have done very well.”