'We will play our best game possible'
Australia haven't quite played their best cricket in the World Cup, said captain Ricky Ponting on Saturday, promising to turn up the intensity as his team approaches the "business end" of the mega-event.
Set to take on minnows Kenya in a Group A clash in Bangalore on Sunday, Ponting said the Aussies will be looking to improve upon what they have managed in the past three matches, one of which was washed out.
"We have not played great level of cricket in this tournament. So it is for us to (start playing great cricket) getting into the business end of the tournament. That means we go out tomorrow and play our best game possible," Ponting said on Saturday.
Image: Ricky Ponting looks on during Australia's nets session at the Chinnaswamy stadium
Photographs: Getty Images
'Chance of Mike playing'
Ponting said the best Australian eleven will take the field and no key player would be rested just because the opposition is Kenya.
"We will not be resting. We have not rested for 16 days. We are really trying well. Obviously, we will be picking from the 15 and field the best team," Ponting said.
Asked whether senior batsman Michael Hussey, who joined the squad recently after coming in as replacement for pacer Doug Bollinger, would get a game, Ponting said it would depend on his fitness.
"If Mike pulls up well today in the training session, there is a chance of his playing tomorrow. We are going to wait and see who pulls up today and then we will finalise our 11 for tomorrow's game," he said.
Image: Michael Hussey looks on after batting during nets
'Long breaks give a chance to sort out niggles'
The defending champions have played just three matches so far and Ponting said the long breaks between matches has given the players time to recover from minor niggles.
"It gives you a chance to obviously prepare very well. I wish we are well-prepared for the next two games which are coming after such a long gap. It gives our players time to sort out any niggles that they must have got from earlier matches," Ponting said.
"I guess when you play one-day cricket you would like to have continuity. Our playing one third of games during the last 16 days is a bit of unusual. I must say that our guys are looking forward to playing the game and produce good cricket, I think," he added.
Image: Brett Lee bowls in the nets
Ponting lauds Bangladesh showing
Ponting complimented Bangladesh for their fine show.
"They are playing all their league matches at home and probably hoping to cause one or two upsets. Yesterday's game was one and they missed probably the game against the West Indies. I must say that in their conditions they are very good team," he said.
Asked whether this World Cup is turning out to be the most exciting in a long time, Ponting said, "I have been quite bored during last couple of weeks. Of course, there has been some great games played and most of them are happening in the other pool. Generally, sub-continent brings up such games. There are guys who have played some great games. Hope, next couple of weeks will also see some more great games."
Ponting refused to take a shot at traditional rivals England's poor form at the event.
"If you look at the tournament, it has been exciting. They have played three matches and any game could have gone either way, I know. So, I am disappointed that they lost the game last night. And, the Ireland game was quite a remarkable game and so was the India game. I have seen their ups and downs in the tournament so far," he said.
Image: Tim Paine directs the Australians in practice