'Fight for No 1 position will put SA under pressure' | cricket | Hindustan Times
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'Fight for No 1 position will put SA under pressure'

With Test cricket's number one position at stake, Australia skipper Ricky Ponting feels South Africa will be under more pressure than them when the two sides clash in the return Test series.

cricket Updated: Feb 16, 2009 13:23 IST

With Test cricket's number one position at stake, Australia skipper Ricky Ponting feels South Africa will be under more pressure than them when the two sides clash in the return Test series.

Australia, who were humiliated 1-2 at home by Greame Smith's men last December, have a slender five-point lead going into the three-match Test series starting in Johannesburg from February 26.

South Africa, following their series triumph over Australia in the one-dayers Down Under, have already cornered the top spot in the shorter version of the game.

They now have a chance to snatch the top Test ranking also if they beat Australia in the home series.

"They have probably been striving for a long time to be the number one or recognised as being the number one Test team in the world," Ponting said prior to the team's departure for South Africa.

"Maybe that will weigh on their minds more than on ours," he said, stepping up the mind games started by rival captain Smith who in his column wrote he saw an opportunity "to open a few cracks" if his team played well in the first Test.

Ponting made it clear they would do everything possible to stop Smith's men from attaining the Test double and said the burden of expectations could go against the hosts.