Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ponting seeks to lift spirits of Oz team in series against Kiwis

Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting and other senior players will seek to boost the confidence of the younger players following Australia's 4-1 one-day series loss to South Africa.Ponting said it is important that the team starts afresh for their five-game series against New Zealand, which begins in Perth on Sunday."I think it's a mindset thing at the moment. Confidence in the group is down a little bit on our last couple of performances. With the younger guys in and around the group and coming in for their first series and losing it the way we have, it's important for me as a senior player, and some of the other guys, to really get to them in the next 24 hours and let them know that that series is gone now and we have to look forward to the New Zealand series. It's important we start off this series against New Zealand on a positive note," Ponting said.Ponting is even looking at going on the front foot against the visitors by unleashing fast bowler Shaun Tait to reopen some old scars.Tait terrorised the Black Caps in a Twenty20 match at the WACA Ground in 2007, snaring 2-22 in four breathtaking overs as he unnerved the Kiwi's line-up with his sizzling pace.New Zealand are set to recall pacer Tim Southee, who sat out Thursday's loss to the Prime Minister's XI with a groin strain, while captain Daniel Vettori is also contemplating including spinner Jeetan Patel.Jesse Ryder will miss the opener due to a shoulder injury but wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum, who blasted a century against the Prime Minister's XI, appears to have overcome a hip injury.Ponting said opener David Warner, who averaged just 22.25 against South Africa in the one-day series, would play all five games against the Kiwis.

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