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Ponting urges his team to seize the moment

Last updated on: December 2, 2010 10:15 IST

'This series is all about contributing when chances come'



Australia captain Ricky Ponting has urged his players to seize their opportunities in the remaining four Ashes Tests against England after the first Test in Brisbane ended in a draw.

"Winning Test matches is never about one, two, three or four outstanding performances," Ponting wrote in his column for The Australian newspaper published on Thursday.

"This series is all about contributing when we get our opportunities.

Image: Ricky Ponting
Photographs: Reuters

'It's still nil-all'

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England, who had conceded a 221-run first inning deficit, batted for most of the final two days to post 517 for 1 at the Gabba.

The Australians' performance, particularly that of their bowlers, has come under intense scrutiny as the sides finalise preparations for the second match in Adelaide starting on Friday.

"England was the same in Brisbane. They had a few of their batters go very well and (Steve) Finn took six of their 11 wickets," Ponting said.

"If you want to take the cold, hard figures from the game, they're in exactly the same boat as us.

"Reading some of the reports, it almost looked like England had won, but it's still nil-all and there were some real positives to come out of the game."

Image: Ricky Ponting sports a dejected look after the first Ashes Test on Monday

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'There were only a few who had any impact on the 1st Test'

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Ponting singled out centuries by Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin and the bowling of Peter Siddle, who took a first innings hat-trick, plus Ben Hilfenhaus in England's second innings as important contributions.

"I sat down with nearly all the players after the game the other night in Brisbane, the bowlers in particular, and spoke to them one-on-one about how they felt they went and how they could improve," he added.

"If you look at the last match, there were only a few who had any impact on that game whatsoever.

"We need nine or 10 of the 11 making an impact in Adelaide if we're going to win the Test."

Image: Australian bowlers Peter Siddle (left) and Mitchell Johnson

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Harris tipped to return

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Australia are expected to name their team after training on Thursday, but news is out that Mitchell Johnson will be replaced by fellow left-arm fast bowler Doug Bollinger.

Queensland fast bowler Ryan Harris is also tipped to play, though the selectors will need to find out how much his knee has recovered from surgery and whether he can get through a heavy workload on what has traditionally been a friendly batting pitch at the Adelaide Oval.

Image: Australia's Ryan Harris at a net session in Adelaide on Thursday

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