Bollinger kept us in the game, says skipper Ponting | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Bollinger kept us in the game, says skipper Ponting

Not many teams in international cricket can boast of a third quick in the XI who clocks 140 kmph-plus. Atreyo Mukhopadhyay elaborates.

cricket Updated: Nov 03, 2009 23:30 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

Not many teams in international cricket can boast of a third quick in the XI who clocks 140 kmph-plus. If that bowler happens to be the fifth choice — after Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus, given Australia's sequence of preference — it explains why the visitors are still alive in this series despite losing a number of players to a spate of injuries.

It would have surprised few had Doug Bollinger been chosen Man of the Match in Monday's fourth ODI ahead of Shane Watson, because it was he who derailed the Indian pursuit of a modest total by taking wickets at crucial junctures including the key ones of Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni. Not getting the award didn't matter in the end, because the burly left-armer earned his skipper's praise.

“He's really stepped up and stood up to the pressure in the last two games. I thought he was excellent in his first game in Delhi, but tonight his wicket-taking ability really came through,” said Ricky Ponting of the 28-year-old who returned figures of 9-2-38-3 and put the brakes on India's chase.

“We needed that after they got off to the flying start. We needed wickets to keep ourselves in the game. He got us a wicket then and every time I brought him back, he kept us in the game,” said Ponting.

Bollinger wasn't extraordinary, but kept things simple and tight with his pace, steady line and length. Bollinger didn't play the first game, was out of the second when Hilfenhaus replaced Lee and came in for the third game conceding just 26 from 10 overs. But more than the economy rate, Australia needed wickets from him on Monday and he obliged.

The figures were not as impressive as the 5/35 he had taken against Pakistan earlier this year, but telling in the end.