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Not a spectacular performance, but a solid one: Ponting

Last updated on: February 22, 2011 11:14 IST

'We need to play better as we go along'

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Australia skipper Ricky Ponting described his team's 91-run win over Zimbabwe in their World Cup opener as a 'solid' performance.

- Scorecard Images

"It was not a spectacular performance, but a solid one. We know we need to play better as we go along," Ponting, who appeared in the tournament for a record 40th time, said.

Ponting conceded the batsmen needed to play better against slow bowling on the sub-continental tracks, but also pointed out that Australia have done well in these conditions in the past.

"We were getting used to the conditions. I think they (Zimbabwe spin bowlers) did a reasonable job. We know these conditions and know how to play here in India or Sri Lanka.

"We know the spinning factor is going to be a big one in this tournament. We need to play better as the tournament goes on. We are not there quite yet," said the 36-year-old Tasmanian who is attempting to lead Australia to their fifth Cup crown and fourth on the trot.


Image: Australian players celebrate after winning the match against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad
Photographs: Getty Images
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'Best one-day performance by Mitchell'

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Ponting said his fast bowlers will trouble all the teams in the tournament as they have variety as well as pace.

"All the three bowlers we had today are different. Brett (Lee) is accurate, (Shaun) Tait bowls with a sling-arm action, moving the ball away with the new ball and then reversing the old. Mitchell Johnson swings the ball both ways. It was one of the best one-day performance by Mitchell," he said.

Johnson grabbed 4-19 in 9.2 overs, which included two of the first four Zimbabwe wickets.

Opener Shane Watson, who scored a solid 79, said he and Brad Haddin didn't start in a fashion they normally do, as the Zimbabweans were bowling well.

"They bowled well and at one end was spin. We knew if one of us bats long we could get to a good total," he said.


Image: Mitchell Johnson appeals for a wicket during his match against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad
Photographs: Getty Images
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'Batting was a problem'

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Meanwhile, Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura said the team needed to improve its batting.

Chigumbura said thay lost too many wickets, too soon in the match, which Australia won by 91 runs.

"Batting was a problem for our side as we lost many wickets early. It would have been better to keep wickets in hand," Chigumbura said.

The skipper, however, was quick to praise his bowlers and said that bowling and fielding were the two positives from the match, and they would like to carry that forward.


Image: Zimbabwe's Brendon Taylor is clean bowled by Australia's Shaun Tait
Photographs: Reuters
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'Spinners did an excellent job'

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Coach Allan Butcher said that he too was pleased with the bowling and fielding. "But we needed to bat batter," he added.

He accepted that his team was outplayed by the defending champions, but added that this was just the first game and he would expect his team to get better.

Butcher said that the spinners did an excellent job and had the Australians thinking.

Asked why the team chose to go for powerplay at the end of the innings, Butcher said that it would have not made any difference to the game as Zimbabwe were down and did not have the firepower to take advantage of the powerplay.


Image: Zimbabwe's Raymond Price celebrates after picking up a wicket
Photographs: Getty Images
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