Australian skipper Ricky Ponting expressed surprise over the exclusion of Sourav Ganguly from the ODI squad. Speaking to the newspersons on the eve of their tri-series opener against India, Ponting added that India have made clear that they are looking to the future.
The following are excerpts
On Sourav Gangulys omission
I am a little surprised to see Ganguly not in the squad... Hed played pretty well against us at home last year. But India have laid their cards on the table, they have made it clear that they are looking to youth and to the future. We have a bit of a gauge on most of their young batsmen. From what we saw when we toured India, they can do really well at the international level.
On Indias pathetic show in the one-off Twenty20
I dont think you can take too much notice from Thursdays Twenty20. There was such a vast changeover of players from their Test team, and we were very sharp. I feel we have taken a bit of edge from the win. India had every intention of starting well, but at 20 for four, the game was pretty much over. Their intensity went away quickly. But one thing, India have always proven to us is that they are capable of bouncing back pretty quickly. We are not underestimating them at all.
On the status of his sore lower back
I am feeling a lot better from Thursday. I have had a lot of treatment since Thursday. I want to see how I wake up Sunday, but I have 90 per cent chance of playing. There is a bit of an injury cloud over Matthew Hayden as well (hamstring). We will have a run-around Sunday morning before making a final call on both of us.
On the crammed itinerary
We have had a pretty limited run-in... We had a couple of days off after Adelaide, had the Twenty20 Thursday and have a 50-over game Sunday. From a players point of view, it is not the ideal lead-in, but as professionals, that is no excuse, even though physically it will take a toll.
On the wicket for Sundays match
The Gabba is probably the best one-day wicket in the country, with more pace and bounce than the Indians have seen on this tour, but both teams are coming in cold as far as the conditions are concerned. We have a good record here, and its a good place to start the tri-series.