Melbourne: Australian captain Ricky Ponting is loving his team’s newly discovered art of sledging and aggression, and says that it would boost their confidence going into the Boxing Day Test of the Ashes series against England.
When asked if it is right that he has loosened up the reins on the team and said let’s go a bit harder, Ponting said: “People can make of it whatever they like. I most definitely didn’t sit down at a team meeting and say that, but I think it just goes to show how much the occasion meant to everyone last week.”
“The boys played with emotion, which is what I expect. The team knows what I expect from them ... to play cricket the way they’ve learned to play it in Australia.”
“Playing state cricket is not an easy breeding ground and I think you saw some of our best cricket come out last week, be it in the way we expressed our skills or just the way we imposed ourselves on the opposition bowling,” he added.
A lot has been made about sledging after the third Test at Perth’s WACA Ground, which Australia won by 267 runs, the Herald Sun reports.
Certain players have being singled out in the media for their hot tempers and foul language, including fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle, as well as England’s James Anderson and Matthew Prior.
The fourth Test match will begin on December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.