Keeping wickets going to be our strategy: Ponting

Last Updated: Feb 22, 2011, 12:45 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Emphasising on the importance of keeping wickets intact, Australia captain Ricky Ponting said preserving wickets till the middle overs and negotiating the spinners will be key to their strategy in the remainder of the World Cup matches.

After commencing their title defence in style with an emphatic 91-run victory over Zimbabwe here yesterday, Ponting added that keeping wickets in hand will also help them during the batting powerplays.

"Preserving wickets is going to be our strategy through the tournament. We will be looking to preserve wickets till the middle overs. That will help in negotiating spinners and accelerate during powerplays," said Ponting.

Stating that the track played good, he said, "The wicket played real good. Luckily, we kept wickets in hand and got us to a good total."

He, however, added that the Motera strip was slow and was difficult to bat on.

"The wicket was slow. It was tough to get any pace on the ball. The Zimbabwean spinners bowled well and it was difficult to get going. They bowled and fielded really well."

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said the side missed a fifth bowler.

"The fifth bowler is something we have to work on as well. But overall our bowling and fielding were superb. We just lost too many wickets up front," he said.

However, praising his bowlers for not giving Australians a chance to score big, the skipper said, "I thought we restricted them to the score we wanted to chase. But we have to work on our batting."

Man of the Match Shane Watson said this game will help them combat spin as the tournament progresses.

"There will be a lot of spinners used against us. The ball did not spin as much on this wicket. This game was good practice to combat spin as the tournament progresses."

He although admitted that it took him some time to get used to the conditions, but said, "it`s nice to get used to different conditions and find a way ... a good time to get a bit of practice in."

PTI