Ponting expects Aus to bounce back
Australian captain Ricky Ponting believes Friday's shock loss to Sri Lanka was a timely wake-up call for his side ahead of Sunday's first tri-series final against India at the SCG.Updated: Mar 01, 2008 17:15 IST
Australian captain Ricky Ponting said he believed Friday's shock loss to Sri Lanka was a timely wake-up call for his side ahead of Sunday's first tri-series final against India at the SCG.
Australia appeared to be cruising at 107 for no wicket chasing 222 to win, but collapsed to be all out for 208, handing Sri Lanka an unexpected 13-run win.
The defeat boosted spirits in the Indian camp, but Ponting said the poor performance was just an aberration and expected his side to bounce back.
"I guess the positive for us to come out of tonight is that we have got that performance out the way now," Ponting said after the loss.
"We can worry about the finals and I would rather that performance came tonight than on Sunday."
"It is always painful when you lose, especially when you seemingly have a game in the bag like we did tonight.
"But it's not the end of the world, we've got some finals games to start on Sunday."
While it was another disappointing batting performance by the Australians, Ponting said he was confident his batsmen were generally in good form.
Ponting said he believed some of his players were guilty of looking ahead to Sunday's final.
"We've know for a while we were playing India in the finals," he said.
"Our guys have shown through the series at different times that they are in good form."
Wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist, who belted 83 from 50 balls against Sri Lanka but blamed himself for the defeat because he believed he threw his wicket away, echoed Ponting's thoughts.
The best-of-three finals will be Gilchrist's swansong in international cricket and he warned India that Australia would be on a mission.
"Hopefully this will sharpen us up," Gilchrist said here Friday. "Perhaps it is a little reminder, not that we were complacent.
"Watch out, we should be sharp in the next few days."