Aussies to up game for Sri Lanka7 June 2009, 10:56 am
Aussies to up game for Sri Lanka
ICC WORLD TWENTY20 GROUP C: Australia v Sri LankaVenue: Trent Bridge Date: Monday, 8 June Start: 1730 BSTCoverage: Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Radio 4 LW, Red Button and online, plus text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles. Live TV on Sky Sports with highlights on BBC and online at 2315 BST
Ponting hopes for a much-improved performance by his bowlers
Australia captain Ricky Ponting has backed his side to bounce back strongly in their must-win World Twenty20 game against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge.Ponting's side lost their opening game against West Indies and another defeat would put them out of the competition.
"We'll have two weeks in Leicester if we have an early exit here - that won't be good for anybody," joked Ponting.
Sri Lanka won one and lost one of their warm-up games but have dangerous batsmen and a varied bowling attack.
And they will be eager to make amends for a 10-wicket loss during the Super Eight phase of the 2007 World Twenty20, when Australia reached their target with almost half their overs to spare.
Australia face some difficult selection decisions after their seam attack was belted to all corners of The Oval by West Indies openers Chris Gayle and Andre Fletcher on Saturday.
Fast bowler Brett Lee, in particular, came in for severe punishment, conceding 56 off his four overs, including 27 from one when Gayle struck three huge sixes.
Your predictions for Australia v Sri Lanka
Australia could turn instead to Peter Siddle or Ben Hilfenhaus but Ponting insisted he was satisfied with Lee's progress since returning to the squad after ankle surgery.
"He obviously got taken down a little bit but I don't think it mattered who was bowling to Chris in the sort of mood he was in. I'm happy with the way he's coming along," said Ponting.
One plus point for Australia was an innings of 63 off 53 balls by opener David Warner, who might not had played had Andrew Symonds not been sent home for disciplinary reasons.
"We were looking at doing some slightly different things with our team if Symmo had been in the middle order. But he wasn't, so it was good for David to have a chance at the top of the order and I think he showed everybody just how good he can be in this form of the game," Ponting commented.
He acknowledged that overall Australia were "sloppy" against West Indies but added: "This form of the game can change very quickly.
The unorthodox Lasith Malinga will spearhead Sri Lanka's attack
"We know there's nowhere else we can go now and we will work on our skills in this form ahead of the Sri Lanka game."
The match will be Sri Lanka's first international fixture since their team bus was attacked by gunmen in Lahore in March, an incident which left seven players and an assistant coach injured.
They are happy to be focusing on cricket again and captain Kumar Sangakkara has urged his players to hit the ground running.
"They [Australia] will come hard at us and we have to be ready to stand tall. We know a side must win at least one game to stay in the race. We have just got to take our chances," he said.
"We have a great mix in both batting and bowling but at the end of the day, it all depends on executing your plans well.
"I am not sure Twenty20 is only a slog. One still needs to plan an innings to ensure you get a good total on the board," Sangakkara added.
Australia (from): Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Nathan Bracken, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Peter Siddle, Cameron White, David Warner, Shane Watson.
Sri Lanka (from): Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Silva, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thilan Thushara, Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana, Farveez Maharoof, Jehan Mubarak, Indika de Saram. Source: BBC Sport | Cricket | World Edition