We will be aggressive: Ponting
Ponting said he was counting on the team's proven ability to lift itself for the big games to win the crucial Test.Updated: Sep 07, 2005 16:18 IST
Australia will launch an aggressive, all-out attack in the crucial final Ashes Test, captain Ricky Ponting pledged on Wednesday.
Fighting to avoid the humiliation of being the Australian skipper who lost the coveted urn for the first time in 16 years, Ponting said he was counting on the team's proven ability to lift itself for the big games.
With an outright win the only outcome which will cheat England of a series victory, Ponting spelled out his tactics in a column for The Australian newspaper.
"We will be aggressive at The Oval. We'll attack because that's the way we play our best cricket."
"We won't be sitting back and hiding from anything. We will have one intention, and that is to win the Test match and take the Ashes back with us."
Australia would approach the game as though it was a one-day series final, he said.
"If you look at the current situation, this Test is exactly like a one-day final."
"We haven't played great cricket leading into it, but we've won enough games to make it to the final match."
"Should we get it right at The Oval like we did in the one-day series in July, then we will take the Ashes home."
"The feeling within the team is really good, and everything we're saying is about keeping it simple," Ponting said.
"Our strategy has gone completely out the window from very early on because of some poor bowling, a few no-balls and some spilt chances as well as some good batting from England."
"So we revisited some of those plans in the team meeting (on Tuesday), and we will tighten up on them and execute them better in this game."
"It will be very simple. There will be no looking for magical cures or remedies as to how we're going to play better, it's just a matter of knowing how we can play well and doing it when it matters."
"I certainly feel that the pressure has come off us now that we simply have to play our best cricket and win the game. England will be definitely thinking a lot more about the different scenarios and outcomes during the game than we will."
"There's only one result that is of any value to us."
"The strength of this side over the years has been big games. We've managed to play very well and lift our performances in big games such as World Cup finals, crucial Test matches and important Test series."
But with several players such as opening batsman Matthew Hayden, middle-order strokeplayer Damien Martyn and dropped fast bowler Jason Gillespie all having under-performed this series, Ponting said in London it was "unfair" to lay all the blame for Australia's position on his shoulders.
"I think it would be unfair if it was my fault if we lost this Ashes series. If it came back on me I'll accept it. I'm the captain and leader of the side but I'm not batting out there for everybody and I'm not bowling for everybody either," he said.
With England 2-1 up in the best of five encounter after their three-wicket fourth Test win in Nottingham, Ponting faces the biggest challenge of his captaincy career when the series finale gets underway at The Oval in London on Thursday.
First Published: Sep 07, 2005 16:14 IST