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'Team up to Kumble-Bhajji challenge'

cricket Updated: Oct 05, 2008 18:37 IST

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Australia is evidently helpless against spin bowling but skipper Ricky Ponting refuses to panic, asserting his team is up to the challenge of facing Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh in the upcoming Test series.

Nine Australian batsmen surrendered to either Piyush Chawla, Pragyan Ojha or Yuvraj Singh in the first innings of the warm-up match in Hyderabad. In the second, only two wickets fell and that included Matthew Hayden -- perceived as one of the better players against spin bowling -- who was trapped by Chawla.

Ponting said it was not a case of surrendering before opponent's spin might.

"When spinners bowl 75 per cent of the total overs, chances are more that you would lose wickets to them," he said, as a matter of fact.

"No doubt they (Chawla and Ojha) bowled well and we disappointed in the first innings. But I think it was a good opportunity for all players to get some good practice (against spin bowling) before we reach Bangalore (for the first Test)," Ponting explained.

"Not everyone can be among runs in every game," he added.

Ponting, however, admitted that facing Kumble and Harbhajan would be the real challenge for the batsmen.

"Look both Kumble and Harbhajan are world class spinners, especially Kumble. He has been around for quite a long time and that's talking about the challenge that lies ahead. We have to play well against these guys" he said.