Ricky Ponting's blog

Posted on/at 6:01 AM by The Cricket Corollary

I am looking forward to playing India

Ricky Ponting

It's been a challenge for Australia to come straight into this tournament with no acclimatization or practise. True, we were in the heat of battle during the recently-concluded one-dayers against England, but conditions here are vastly different from the ones we had gotten used to in England.

Our opening game was played in really difficult conditions, and the pitch at the Wanderers was borderline dangerous when we started our innings. Paine got a few sharp raps on his knuckles as the ball was moving and rising dangerously. Mitchell Johnson help us get to a very good total on that track, which helped us win quite comfortably in the end. The devils in the wicket had been laid when the sun dried out the wicket, and we had to defend our total in much more batsman-friendly conditions.

The tournament has been a little bit of a lottery especially in the day games. Sri Lanka got a rough one when they batted against England in very difficult conditions. It's early summer in South Africa and early starts, particularly at the Wanderers should have been avoided.

The Indians have been hit hard by the absence of Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag. These guys are really good in conditions like those at Centurion, and MS Dhoni felt their absence during India’s game against Pakistan. That said, it was a close game and India were in with a chance till the last 10 overs.

The loss to Pakistan makes tomorrow’s game a must-win for India. We are pretty confident going into this game primarily because all our players are fit and we have a full squad to pick from.

Michael Clarke, who was struggling with his back, has a good chance of being match-fit tomorrow, and that will be a big boost for us. It also helps that this is a day-night game, which means the match will be better balanced. However, there was a bit of dew in the evening, which was a bit hard for the spinners.

It's been a long time since we have played a one-dayer against the Indians, and I am looking forward to playing them. This tournament is a lot more open than many of the earlier editions. There are quite a few teams that fancy their chances of winning and India is certainly one of them. However, with the injuries list including some key players, there is a lot of pressure on their others at the moment, and we need to capitalize on this.