India will beat Pakistan, Ponting predicts

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Old 26-Mar-2011
India will beat Pakistan, Ponting predicts

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Ahmedabad: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting did everything that was possible to extend the reign of his rule in the World Cup. He hit a century to show the way and post a challenging total.

India upset his plans with a stupendous chase and in the end, he said: "I'm devastated. We came here with high expectations; we had a well organised group that had come off a good series of one-day cricket against England. We found it difficult at times getting a bit of momentum and continuity with the way our programme was set out, but that was no excuse."

Ponting refused to accept that this defeat is the end of a golden era of Australian cricket.

"I refuse to believe that it is an end of an era of Australian cricket. It is too early to say. We thought we could win the game. We weren't far off, but just little critical moments are what cost us the game. We didn't have enough high-quality partnerships and not enough pressure with the ball. It only takes a couple of those little moments for things to change," he admitted.

Proved wrong

Though Ponting, before the start, had said that 250 runs was a winning total, he was proved wrong.

"I thought we were 15 or 20 runs short with the bat. After we saw the first over Ashwin bowled and how much it spun, we said to ourselves than 250 or 260 looked like a good total out there. We couldn't get a partnership going, we lost wickets at a really bad time; we probably were one or two wickets too many down to be able to accelerate when we wanted to at about the 35-over mark," he added. Ponting went on to compliment the Indian team. "They played well as a team today. They have too strong a batting line up [Gautam] Gambhir, [Sachin] Tendulkar, Yuvraj [Singh] all got fifties, and they got them at a reasonable rate. Their bowling was steady. Zaheer [Khan] was good again, especially right at the end of the innings in the Powerplay overs. I thought we played their spin pretty well. It was a good combined effort by the Indian team and I think they're going to be pretty hard to beat as this tournament wears on."

When asked who could be the winner of the India-Pakistan semifinal?, Ponting said: "It is hard to choose between the two teams. They have a very similar bowling attack, but I think India will beat Pakistan in Mohali."

To a query whether he feels like a tragic hero of the match, Ponting said: "I don't have an answer. But probably this is my last World Cup match and I am happy to have scored a century. I am not a stats man, but probably after I hang up by boots I will look into it."

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