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Criticism inspired us, says Ponting

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said the criticism thrown at the team inspired his boys to a sensational 36-run win against Pakistan in Sydney on Wednesday.

cricket Updated: Jan 07, 2010 20:19 IST

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said the criticism thrown at the team inspired his boys to a sensational 36-run win against Pakistan here Wednesday.

Set a modest 176 to win, Pakistan was bowled out for 139. It was just the third time Australia has trailed by more than 200 on the first innings and won.

"What we have read over the last couple of days and what we have seen on the news has probably just steeled us all a little bit, just made us want to fight the game out as much as we can and prove that we are never out of the contest," Ponting was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.

"If I had bowled first and they'd made 300, it would have looked like a shocking decision as well," he said. "It comes down to results and we've got a great result here, so I look like a genius where I didn't a couple of days ago."

"It's been a pretty tough few days for not only me, (but) the team," he said. "As a captain and a top-order batter, the last thing I want to do is to bat on a wicket I don't think we can make any runs on.

"So I backed us at the start of the game to make more runs in the first innings of the game than what I thought Pakistan could make in the last innings of the game.

"If we could eke out 200, 250 on that wicket on the first day I thought that would be a really good total because I didn't think they would be able to get that many batting last.

"It just goes to show how hard chasing runs in Test cricket is."

Ponting said that he was still struggling with an arm injury which almost forced him out of the Boxing Day Test. "I've been a bit restricted in the last couple of games," he said.

"But I'm not going to use that as an excuse for why I haven't scored as many runs as I would have liked. I was probably in the most pain in the first innings of the Melbourne game but that was the highest score I've made in the four innings (since the injury).

As far as the batting side of things goes in this game, I've had a poor game and I've had a poor six or eight games. So I've got to go to Hobart and I've got to prepare well and I've got to start making some runs."