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Ponting asks team to learn from Tendulkar
March 03, 2008 11:42 IST
Australia captain Ricky Ponting [Images] on Sunday asked his batsmen to take a leaf out of Sachin Tendulkar's masterclass at the Sydney Cricket Ground if they want to beat India in the second tri-series final in Brisbane on Tuesday.
"I would like our batsmen to take a look at how he [Tendulkar] built an innings. He had a few close shaves to start with but once he got through the new ball, he upped the tempo of his innings and controlled the game beautifully," said a subdued Ponting after his side's six-wicket defeat.
"Tendulkar sums up a game situation very well, that's something we would require our batsmen to do and go for big knocks when set."
Ponting said Tendulkar appeared to plan ahead of what his team was trying to do against him.
"He has some sort of plan what we are trying to do. We have to think one step ahead of him," he said.
Ponting also didn't lose sight of young Rohit Sharma, the other Indian batting star of the night.
"He played very well. He rotated the strike nicely and kept the scoreboard ticking over. He looks pretty calm and controlled. His stand with Tendulkar was one of the big moments of the game," he said.
Ponting conceded that the visitors have their nose in front of them and his team would have to lift themselves in all departments of the game in the next match at the Gabba.
"In that Melbourne game [on February 29] I thought we were switched off. We were too excited to plan for finals. But today, we didn't do a good job with bat, ball or in the field.
"We pride ourselves for doing well in big games, in finals, but it didn't happen today."
Ponting mentioned his own failure with the bat as one of the major reasons why his team couldn't turn up the heat against India.
"I have worked harder at the end of the season than at the start of it but haven't got rewards.
"Top order, including me, has to fire but most of this summer it hasn't happened and I take responsibility for that.
"Overall, I felt the batsmen had done a reasonable job in reaching 240 and I thought it was defendable. The bottom line is we didn't bowl, field or bat as well as India did."
Having praised Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, Ponting also had kind words on young leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and felt the two wickets by Harbhajan Singh [Images] changed the complexion of the game.
"He [Chawla] did a good job but we couldn't get aggressive against him because we had lost a few wickets.
"As for those two wickets [of Harbhajan], it was one of those defining moments. Otherwise, we could have got 270.
"It just goes to show that you can't afford to relax for even one ball. As a batsman, you can't take your mind off the accelerator or else the whole momentum can change."
The Australian skipper also conceded that it is difficult to keep the mind of the team away from the off-field happenings of recent times.
"It's hard to get away from it in the last few months. It's been hard to turn your back completely but truly speaking, most of us haven't paid a lot of attention to it."