Patel plays a lot like Sehwag: Ponting
Bangalore: Australia skipper Ricky Ponting was impressed with Hiral Patel`s blazing 45-ball 54-run innings and compared the Canada opener with Indian swashbuckler Virender Sehwag here on Wednesday.
"He plays a lot like him (Sehwag)," Ponting said after his team`s seven-wicket win over the North Americans in a group A match of the World Cup at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Patel smashed the likes of Brett Lee and Shaun Tait to all parts of the ground en route to his half century before the Australia bowlers regrouped to restrict the opposition to a modest total of 211.
But Ponting felt it would be difficult for the title-holders to fight back if bigger teams get off with such a blistering start.
"We did well to get wickets and restrict them today. But against good teams with deeper batting line-up (it would be hard)," Ponting said.
The unknown factor probably worked to Canada`s advantage and Ponting said they would be better off against Pakistan.
"We didn`t know much about him and the others. We just saw some clippings of them. He needed some room and played some amazing shots.”
"But Pakistan, we know their game better," he said before adding, "It`s always great playing Pakistan. One never knows about Pakistan. They have been good but against New Zealand they were ordinary."
Ponting has, so far, failed to lived upto his billing in the World Cup, but hoped he would click in the bigger games.
"There wasn`t much left for me to do today. Hopefully, I am saving them for the big matches," he said.
Asked about his angry reaction following his collision with Steve Smith, Ponting said, "It wasn`t a great reaction. But it wasn`t designed or intentional. It just happened in the spur of the moment. If it looked bad, I apologies."
Shane Watson, who struck a strokeful 90-ball 94, said, "It was one of those innings which took a while to get going."
Talking about his opening partner Brad Haddin, with whom he was involved in a record 183-run stand, Watson said, "I think the way he batted tonight and against New Zealand was brilliant.”
"I think we are building a very good partnership at the top of the order."
Canada skipper Ashish Bagai made his disappointment obvious after his side failed to capitalise on the good start.
"It`s very, very disappointing. The lack of experience showed. They have some good wicket-taking bowlers," Bagai said.
About the team`s overall experience in the tournament, he said, "It`s a young side and I think the bowling has been fantastic throughout the tournament. They will take a lot of positives which will help them grow and make Canada a lot stronger in the next five years," he said.
Bagai also felt that they should get to play against better oppositions on a more consistent basis.
"If we can get some decent competitions, it doesn`t matter to me even if its an A level tournament, that will help the side tremendously. We need some help in the next five years," Bagai said.
"For a nation that`s trying to grow, it takes more than just six games," he said.
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