Ponting likens SA tour to 1995 Aussie Caribbean sojourn | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Ponting likens SA tour to 1995 Aussie Caribbean sojourn

cricket Updated: Feb 17, 2009 12:14 IST

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In danger of losing their number one Test status to South Africa, Australia captain Ricky Ponting tried to boost the morale of his inexperienced squad touring the rainbow nation by likening the task ahead to his country's history-changing tour of the West Indies in 1995.

Australia beat the West Indies in 1995 despite a decimated attack and has been the top team ever since, until challenged by South Africa this summer.

Australia, having lost 1-2 to South Africa at home this summer, will be battling to retain their status as the number one Test team during the series starting in Johannesburg on February 26.

Ponting will be mounting his defence without new ball bowlers Brett Lee and Stuart Clark in the same way Mark Taylor lost his opening pair of Craig McDermott and Damien Fleming through injury 13 years ago.

"We're missing experience of Lee and Clark in our attack, but (Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Doug Bollinger) have got what it takes to be very good international bowlers and good enough to take 20 wickets for us to win in any conditions around the world," Ponting said before flying out to South Africa with the squad.

"If you look back to the West Indies tour in 1995, that's where Glenn McGrath made a name for himself when Craig McDermott and a few of guys were injured," he was quoted as saying by 'The Australian'.