Ponting hoping for reversal of fortunes

Melbourne: Australian captain Ricky Ponting has said his team is determined to arrest their One-day slide when they take on Sri Lanka in the first of the three-match series starting here Wednesday.

The Australian team’s form has dipped in both Test and One-day Internationals (ODI). The last match they won was the first Test against Pakistan at Lord’s in July and Ponting admits there is a lot of work to do to turn their fortunes around before the Ashes.

The home team also went down by seven-wickets in the Twenty20 against Sri Lanka Sunday.

Ponting, who will miss the first ODI to attend his grandmother’s funeral in Launceston, said the team is prepared to leave behind the bad days.

‘If you look at it that way (dating back to July) then it seems like a long time, but it’s only a few games really,’ Ponting was quoted as saying.

‘And, I think, to be fair, we’ve played well in each one of those games to the point where we probably should have won that first Test match in India. We were very competitive in the second Test in India without getting across the line as well.

‘There’s no sugar coating anything, we know we’ve got some work to do and we know we haven’t played one-day cricket for a little while. We want to turn around our fortunes and I think it’s really important to start getting that winning feeling back again.’

Australia have never lost an ODI series to Sri Lanka at home and while Ponting gave little away as to the Australians’ final XI, he did say in-form spinner Xavier Doherty will make his debut.

‘He’s had a few very good years hasn’t he,’ Ponting said. ‘It’s a great reward for someone like him who’s put in the hard yards for a long time, to finally get an opportunity.’

Australian selectors have sent regular spinner Nathan Hauritz back to state side New South Wales for their Shield match with Queensland to give him more practice ahead of the Ashes series.