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Ponting happy to go with winners

The Australia captain has announced an unchanged team for the second Ashes Test against England which gets underway at Edgbaston on Thursday.
PTI | By Julian Guyer (AFP), Birmingham
UPDATED ON AUG 06, 2005 03:33 AM IST

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has announced an unchanged team for the second Ashes Test against England which gets underway at Edgbaston on Thursday.

There had been speculation that Michael Kasprowicz might force his way in ahead of fellow seamer Jason Gillespie.

But although Kasprowicz took five wickets and Gillespie two in the drawn tour match against Worcestershire that followed Australia's 239-run first Test win at Lord's last month, the selectors decided to stick with the South Australia paceman.

"All the bowlers were very impressive (against Worcestershire) but Jason with the new ball beat the outside edge a number of times, bowled his customary lines and lengths that we are all used to seeing him bowl," said Ponting.

"He got some appreciable movement in the air and off the seam. That's what we were looking for from him in the game and 'Kasper' did exactly the same, he ended up with five wickets.

"But Jason, being the incumbent and the way he bowled down there, ensured that he was in this second Test."

England left-arm spinner Ashley Giles has been incensed by the criticism that has come his way after bowling 11 wicketless overs at Lord's.

Former Zimbabwe coach and captain Dave Houghton, now Derbyshire's coach, even suggested England would have been better off with 10-men in their line-up rather than playing the Warwickshire slow bowler.

But Ponting, who advised Giles to take the criticism on the chin, said he was delighted with the way his batsmen had increased the workload on main England quicks Stephen Harmison and Andrew Flintoff by the way they'd dealt with the hosts' specialist spinner.

"The pleasing thing for us was that the way we played Giles in the first Test meant that their big quick bowlers had to bowl more," added Ponting, whose side have won the last eight Ashes series.

"The more we can make them bowl, the more tired they are going to get and then we are going to be able to cash in at different times. That was the approach we had in the first Test.

"I guess in his defence Giles has done a pretty good job for England during the last couple of years in Test cricket, has taken a few wickets and held up an end for them.

"He just couldn't do it the other day at Lord's. We had two guys (Michael Clarke and Damien Martyn) who were in and set who played him very well."

Meanwhile Ponting distanced himself from Gillespie's comments that Australia might consider calling off the tour if there were further terror attacks in England following the July 7 London bombings.

"I must admit that if something else did happen, we (would have) to start questioning why we are here," Gillespie said in an interview with a Melbourne radio station.

But Ponting said: "We are all aware of these issues that have taken place over the last few weeks.

"I think one thing that has been made clear is that the safety and security of the Australian cricket team will not be an issue at all.

"We've got great measures in place. Issues like this have been handled extremely well by Cricket Australia and the experts in these fields over the last couple of years. We've got no greater fears this time around."

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