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Ponting compares Hiral Patel with Sehwag

india Updated: Mar 17, 2011 11:19 IST
Hiral Patel

As Hiral Patel smashed the likes of Brett Lee and Shaun Tait to all corners of the Chinnaswamy Stadium during a World Cup match in Bangalore, Australian captain Ricky Ponting said the Canadian batsman reminded him of Indian swahsbuckler Virender Sehwag.

Patel's blazing 45-ball 54-run innings had the Australians on the backfoot before the defending champions regrouped to skittle out the Canadians for 211 and chase the total with ease.

"He plays a lot like him (Sehwag)," Ponting said after his team's seven-wicket win over the North Americans in a group A match here last night.

Ponting felt it would be difficult for the title-holders to fight back if bigger teams get off with the kind of blistering start that Patel gave to the Canadians.

"We did well to get wickets and restrict them today. But against good teams with deeper batting line-up (it would be hard)," Ponting said.

The unknown factor probably worked to Canada's advantage and Ponting said his team would be better against Pakistan.

"We didn't know much about him and the others. We just saw some clippings of them. He needed some room and played some amazing shots.

"But Pakistan, we know their game better," he said before adding, "It's always great playing Pakistan. One never knows about Pakistan. They have been good but against New Zealand they were ordinary."

Ponting has, so far, failed to live upto his billing in the World Cup, but hoped he would click in the bigger games.

"There wasn't much left for me to do today. Hopefully, I am saving them for the big matches," he said.

Asked about his angry reaction following his collision with Steve Smith while taking a catch, Ponting said, "It wasn't a great reaction. But it wasn't designed or intentional. It just happened in the spur of the moment. If it looked bad, I apologise."

Australian opener Shane Watson, who struck a strokeful 90-ball 94, said, "It was one of those innings which took a while to get going."

Talking about his opening partner Brad Haddin, with whom he was involved in a record 183-run stand, Watson said, "I think the way he batted tonight and against New Zealand was brilliant.

"I think we are building a very good partnership at the top of the order."

Canada skipper Ashish Bagai made his disappointment obvious after his side failed to capitalise on the good start.

"It's very, very disappointing. The lack of experience showed. They have some good wicket-taking bowlers," Bagai said.

About the team's overall experience in the tournament, he said, "It's a young side and I think the bowling has been fantastic throughout the tournament. They will take a lot of positives which will help them grow and make Canada a lot stronger in the next five years," he said.

Bagai also felt that they should get to play against better oppositions on a more consistent basis.

"If we can get some decent competitions, it doesn't matter to me even if its an A level tournament, that will help the side tremendously. We need some help in the next five years," Bagai said.

"For a nation that's trying to grow, it takes more than just six games," he said.