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Washout robbed us of batting exposure, says Ponting

india Updated: Mar 06, 2011 14:40 IST
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Instead of savouring an easy day at the office, Australian captain Ricky Ponting was concerned the World Cup washout against Sri Lanka robbed his middle-order batsmen a chance to get some match practice.

For a team that is unbeaten in 32 World Cup matches dating back to 1999, a 'no result' should hardly be any cause for concern.

But the format of the 2011 event means that Australian batsmen will not get any form of match practice for 16 days as their last match was a seven-wicket triumph over New Zealand on Feb 25. Their next outing is scheduled for March 13 against Kenya.

Saturday's Group A match was washed out with Sri Lanka 146 for three after 32.5 overs.

"We have got another seven or eight-day break now before our next couple of games ... it's not ideal but we have known there was a chance of that happening right the way through, before the tournament even started," Ponting told reporters.

"If you look a bit deeper than that, some of our middle-order players haven't got much exposure in the first couple of games.

"We will have to think about what's going to be the right thing for us to do as far as our team composition is concerned.

"I don't want to tinker with things too much or change things around but after a game like on Saturday where you are 30 overs in and it's washed out, it just makes us think that little bit more about it."

Even in their second match against New Zealand, only five Australian batsmen got a chance to test their strokes in the middle and Ponting hoped their drama-free outings here would not come back to haunt them when they face stiffer tests against teams such as Pakistan.

With Pakistan and Australia the only unbeaten sides in Group A, the March 19 clash between the two World Cup champions could decide who will top the standings going into the quarter-finals.

"Hopefully we can continue to win a few more games and hopefully not getting two points out here won't affect us," said Ponting, whose side was awarded one point following the washout against Sri Lanka.

"They (Pakistan) are pretty well balanced side. They have already upset Sri Lanka. That will be a dangerous team.

"Their fast bowlers are in good form. They have got useful part time spinners. (Shahid) Afridi has been in terrific form so far as well.

"We have got to make sure we prepare well and get the points we need out from our fixtures."