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Champions Trophy wide open: confident Ponting

JOHANNESBURG - Australia captain Ricky Ponting oozed confidence Wednesday ahead of their 2009 ICC Champions Trophy debut this weekend against the West Indies.

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 23 Sep 2009, 6:42 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:48 AM

‘It is the second biggest one-day tournament and we will be doing our best to win it. We have been playing some very good one-day cricket,’ he told a media conference.

Ponting arrived in South Africa after leading Australia to a 6-1 series win in England and shot down suggestions that his team considered the two-week, 15-match competition as just another tournament.

‘The Champions Trophy is going to be a very tight tournament because there are some very good teams taking part and Sri Lanka have already caused a surprise.

‘I regard Sri Lanka as one of the top ODI teams and once they put on more than 300 runs it was always going to be hard work for South Africa,’ Ponting said.

He conceded there were some weary Australians after Test, ODI and Twenty 20 series in England and preparations for the West Indies clash would start Thursday.

‘There are some tired bodies in our camp at the moment so we will have a rest today and start preparing tomorrow for our first tournament match on Saturday.’

Ponting has criticised the length of the ODI series in England with Australia climbing to first place on the world rankings when they won six consecutive games.

‘Every other team is in South Africa playing practice matches while we are finishing off this series. We know the reasons for it, but seven games head to head is too many.’

Skipper Andrew Strauss confessed there were many problems with the England ODI set-up ahead of their opening Group B match against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers on Friday.

‘There have been concerns about our one-day cricket for a long time and I’m not talking years here, I’m talking decades. But we are excited about plans to move forward.

‘We believe we are capable of beating any team at the Champions Trophy - there is just an annoying lack of consistency,’ he said.

Strauss backed Ponting about practising in South Africa: ‘You would prefer to have a practice game but the schedules did not allow it. However, conditions on the Highveld are not hugely different so we should adapt quickly.

‘There is something very exciting about being in the same hotel as all the best cricketers in the world. It is quite special and the Champions Trophy is an event everybody wants to win.’

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