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Punter fumes as pace pack falls short

cricket Updated: Mar 16, 2011 23:35 IST
Subhash Rajta
Subhash Rajta
Hindustan Times
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Ricky Ponting is struggling to keep his composure. While he apparently lost his cool while discussing a point with deputy, Michael Clarke, on the eve of the contest, Wednesday saw the skipper give vent to his anger again.

Ponting flew into a rage when leg-spinner Steve Smith collided with him while going for a catch that was pouched by the skipper. Ponting threw down the ball angrily and walked away without even looking at the leggie. On the face of it, it was Smith's indiscretion that triggered the angry reaction, but it could well be a result of the pasting his bowlers got at the hands of the Canada top order.

Even though the bowlers came back well to restrict Canada to a modest total, Ponting would have surely been less than pleased at how Canada opener Hiral Patel toyed with the pace battery.

Coming as it did on the heels on their less-than impressive showing against Kenya, the Australia pace attack, considered the team's X-factor, suddenly appears to have developed some chinks. That the frailty was exposed by the minnows, who Ponting thinks are there to make up numbers, makes it even more difficult for him to digest.

Yes, the Australia pacers did come back, but such comebacks will be tough to script against the more settled teams that they will face henceforth.

What makes the situation even more alarming for Ponting is that he doesn't have quality spinners who can control the game or pick up wickets should the pacers get carted around up front. Jason Krejza and Smith will find it particularly hard to hold their ground against adept players of spin, especially the sub-continent batsmen.

Tough times await Ponting, but the least he can do is stay calm.