Calcutta: Ricky Ponting knows fully well Eden Gardens will be a different kettle of fish from what he has experienced up till now in India.
“Sourav was telling me the other day that there will 1.2 lakh people thronging the stands. And I can bet they will be a hostile lot,” the Australian captain said after an optional practice session at the Eden Gardens on Monday.
Brad Williams, Damien Martyn, Michael Clarke, Jimmy Maher and Michael Bevan did not attend the session.
Ponting, however, is quite confident his boys will be up to it to disappoint the crowd. “We have played some superb cricket of late and I’m sure they will do the same when we take the field Tuesday,” the captain added.
“In fact, we’ll find it difficult to select the final XI with all of them doing so well,” he said. The captain informed everyone is fit and the final XI will be decided on Tuesday.
The captain feels the pitch looks a little dry with a bit of juice for the spinners, but that won’t be too much of a worry for him. “The boys have adjusted well to all conditions and I see no reason why they won’t tomorrow,” he said.
The captain also added dew will be a factor as the game goes on. “I guess it’s better to bat first and put up a total on the board,” he said. But he was quick to add that “the toss won’t determine the fate of the game”.
Talking of his team, the captain said; “Nathan Bracken and Brad Williams have been outstanding. Michael Kasprowicz has also been quite good. I see no reason why my bowlers will not be able to stop the Indians,” he said.
With the batsmen plundering 300-plus scores with monotonous regularity, there weren’t too many queries about the batting though.
He also had a special word of praise for Michael Clarke. “He is getting better with every game,” the captain said.
His team didn’t get any chance to practice under lights, but Ponting felt that wouldn’t be a problem. “We’re used to playing under lights, so it won’t matter much,” he said.