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I am sure Indians will bring in Sehwag: Ponting

Australian captain Ricky Ponting is convinced that the visitors will bring in specialist opener Virender Sehwag to unburden Rahul Dravid in the second Test.

cricket Updated: Jan 01, 2008 13:16 IST

India may be tightlipped about their playing XI but Australian captain Ricky Ponting is convinced that the visitors will bring in specialist opener Virender Sehwag to unburden Rahul Dravid in the second cricket Test starting in Sydney on Wednesday.

"I thought long and hard about it and believe they could ring in a couple of changes-bring in Virender Sehwag to take the pressure off Rahul Dravid," Ponting said in the pre-match press conference in Sydney.

Ponting said the Australians had the momentum going into the match after the 337-run victory in Melbourne, but warned his side not to take the foot off the gas pedal.

"We have the momentum going but if we just sit back and expect it to happen, India is a good enough side to let the momentum going. It could cause us a headache," he cautioned.

Ponting said he foresees a great battle shaping up between Sachin Tendulkar and Brett Lee in this Test. "When Sachin is playing his shots, it doesn't make many bowlers happy. He looked to play his shots in both the innings and played beautifully in the first innings," he recalled.

"But having said that, Brett (Lee) bowled a very high quality spell to him in the second knock. Brett has bowled well to him in India, got him a couple of times, so it could be a great contest between the two in this series," he added.

Ponting also rubbished suggestions that India were undone by lack of match practice in the Melbourne Test and said the visitors were simply outplayed despite getting a good batting track at the MCG.

The Australian captain felt too much was being made about India's lack of preparation for this series having been granted just a solitary first class game.

"I think too much is being made of it. They came after a three-Test series against Pakistan. They played on a track which was more suited to their style of playing," he said.

"A lot is being made of India's batting but it was to the credit of our bowlers that we didn't let them have a lot of scoring opportunities," he added.

A bit disappointed with his own form, Ponting said he was confident of being in the runs after his lean spell with the bat at the MCG.

"This is a venue where I have scored five or six centuries. So hopefully I can return to my scoring ways and get over the lean spell of MCG," he said.

The skipper said he was relieved at having led the side through a seemless transitional phase after the retirement of stalwarts like Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.

"The transitional phase has worked out well. After we lost a few great players, I always had faith in the young talent coming in. They have been great so far, there would be moments when there's up and down but I feel we can improve on our performance," he said.