Aussies - Batting to blame

Skipper realistic about his team's one-day failings

Last Updated: 23/01/09 12:56pm

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Ponting: Unable to build on a good start

Ponting: Unable to build on a good start

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Ricky Ponting insists his Australia side must address its batting deficiencies against South Africa.

Watch Australia v South Africa in the fourth One-Day International live on Sky Sports 1 from 3am (GMT) on Monday

"All three games now we've been 30 or 40 runs short of what we probably should have got so we've got to have a look at that, have a talk about that, and hopefully turn it round very quickly."
Ricky Ponting Quotes of the week

The reigning one-day world champions went down by three wickets in Sydney on Friday as the Proteas took a 2-1 lead in their five-match series.

Openers Shaun Marsh and David Warner laid a solid foundation by putting on 114 for the fall of the first wicket, but the hosts were eventually restricted to 269 all out.

All-rounder Albie Morkel then hit 40 off 22 balls to help the tourists home with three balls to spare and Australia captain Ponting was clearly disappointed with the display.

Issue

"We were a lot short with our batting," Ponting told Sky Sports. "We got off to a very good start, Warner obviously played well and we had wickets in hand for when we wanted them, but we lost vital wickets through the middle of our innings.

"At one stage we were looking at around 300, so 269 was well short of that. Then we dropped two catches in the first over (of the reply), which wasn't great either.

"A lot of us have been guilty of getting off to starts and not getting big scores. Myself now I've got at least 30 every time and not gone on to make a big score.

"All three games now we've been 30 or 40 runs short of what we probably should have got so we've got to have a look at that, have a talk about that, and hopefully turn it round very quickly."

Inspiration

Pacemen Makhaya Ntini and Dale Steyn picked up two wickets apiece in Australia's innings, but it was off-spinner Johan Botha who starred in the South African bowling attack with an economic 3-32 from his 10 overs.

And wicketkeeper Mark Boucher - leading the side in the absence of the injured Graeme Smith - was full of praise for his spinners' display.

"There's not much between the two sides at the moment it seems every game goes down to the wire, which makes for an interesting series," Boucher added.

"We were definitely happy with the total they ended up with. Look at the start they got but the spinners dragged it back to a respectable total for us to chase."

The teams head to Adelaide next for the fourth One-Day International, with Australia needing to avoid defeat to save the series.

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