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We're no inferior in reverse swing: Punter

Ricky Ponting is candid enough to admit that Zaheer Khan made life miserable for the batsmen in Bangalore with his grasp of reverse swing but asserts the pace battery at his disposal is not inferior to anyone.

cricket Updated: Oct 16, 2008 19:35 IST

Ricky Ponting is candid enough to admit that Zaheer Khan made life miserable for the batsmen in Bangalore with his grasp of reverse swing but the Australia captain asserts the pace battery at his disposal is not inferior to anyone when it comes to this esoteric craft with the old ball.

"The Indian fast bowlers in the first game used the reverse swing very well. Zaheer especially did well in the first innings when he took five wickets. I know both Zaheer and Ishant (Sharma) are quality bowlers and it is upto us as a batting group to be up to the challenge," Ponting said here today.

Not alien to the importance of reverse swing in such conditions, Ponting said, "It does make scoring a bit more difficult. It means the ball is old and soft but as I said, we made over 400 in the first innings so we did most of the things right with the bat. Zaheer's was a stand-out effort and we hope to have a plan to cope with that."

Determined to pay India back in their own coin, Ponting said his bowlers are equally adept at this craft and would give a good account of themselves in the second Test.

"We are not too bad. In fact we used it quite well in the first innings in Bangalore. We had a bit of a disadvantage in the second innings because of the fact it was dark and we couldn't use our fast bowlers as as much as I wanted.

"Brett (Lee) is probably as good a reverse swing bowler as anybody in the world. Stuart Clark has been very good at that and Peter Siddle is also experienced, playing in Melbourne. If we have conditions that will aid reverse swing here, I think you will see our guys do a good job," Ponting promised.

Australia's spin resources, however, look woefully thin but Ponting said he was not worried with that.

"I'm happy with the job Cameron White did in the second innings. Through the game, he has enhanced his stature as an international all-rounder. Indian spinners got just three wickets in the first Test, which goes on to show that it was not exactly a spinners paradise there. It was all hard... Hope he bowls here with more luck and gets a few more wickets," Ponting said.

With Sachin Tendulkar set to overtake Brian Lara as the highest run-getter in Tests, Ponting said he and his teammates would congratulate the Indian master when he achieves that feat.

"I hope he does not get those runs in this match," Ponting quipped.

On a more serious note, he said, "Everybody knows he is a great player. To be on the brink of breaking the world record means he has been a terrific player. We saw in the second innings the other day that he still has the hunger and still he is playing very very well.

"If he happens to break the world record then great, all our players will congratulate him on that effort. But it is upto us and our bowlers to ensure he doesn't get there," Ponting said.

The Australia skipper also took the occasion to thank former India coach Greg Chappell for his inputs.

"Greg's influence has been terrific, no question about that. He is a hugely experienced guy, a great player in his own rights in his playing days. Some of the knowledge he has about playing in these conditions and probably a little bit info about some Indian players as well have been great for us... I enjoy talking to him both as a captain and a batsman," Ponting said.