| Ponting at the MCG on Tuesday |
The Australian captain, Ricky Ponting, also took questions from the media. Here goes:
On Team India
India has been a very good opponent in the last few series... Weve played some very entertaining and tight, tough cricket... I dont expect this series to be any different... They played well the last time (2003-04) and will be backing themselves... However, weve also learnt more about India, particularly its senior players... Hopefully, we can adapt what weve learnt to our game plan for this series.
On India relying rather heavily on the senior pros
Its the senior guys who, series after series, stand up and get the job done...
On the MCG wicket
Its very, very damp... Thats why we havent decided on our team.
On the possibility of an all-pace attack
Thats a possibility if it remains damp... Such conditions arent unusual here at this time of the year... I remember one of the Tests against South Africa started half-an-hour late...
On spearhead Brett Lee
I think hes bowling at his best... Im confident weve got the attack to take 20 wickets in every match... Weve got the variation and skill, with Brett leading with his express pace.
On whether Australias strategy will be different from the one employed on the last tour by India
We probably over-attacked some of the batsmen then... Youve got to have more than one plan in place... We gave away too many runs in Adelaide and probably werent quick to change things around... Conditions will influence strategy... If the ball is swinging around then it wont make sense to bowl short... One will have to pitch it up...
On whether the Australians raise their level of intensity when up against India
We raise ourselves to the max in every Test we play... If I look back to last seasons Ashes, then we were as well-prepared as Ive ever seen any cricket team... At this moment, theres a similar type of feel around the group. In fact, theres a terrific feel around the group... Its a Boxing Day start and if you add all the things, then you can be assured well be on song from the start.
On the Indians having won their last Test series overseas, in England, in the summer
Yeah, that was one of their more famous victories and our batters have had a good look at Zaheer (Khan) and RP (Singh)... Had a look at what they can do... The bowlers played a bigger role in Indias success there.
On his own preparation
I dont go by stats and so on... Those things dont play on my mind when Im focused on a series.
Finally, on scathing comments from Ian Chappell and Shane Warne
Everyone has his opinion and Ive had a taste of that before... All this stuff has gone on way too long as it is and theres no point adding fuel to the fire.