Ponting relishes World Cup duel with Tendulkar
Bangalore: Australia captain Ricky Ponting is relishing the opportunity of another batting duel with Sachin Tendulkar in what will probably be their last World Cup.
Ponting, 36, the tournament`s second most prolific batsman behind Tendulkar, said he had always enjoyed playing against the world`s leading runs scorer in test and one-day cricket.
"There is no bigger stage than a World Cup for all of us to stand up and perform well," Ponting told a news conference.
"I am sure Sachin wants to have a good tournament. I am sure he wants to be a part of the World Cup-winning side, but hopefully he is not."
"It probably will be Sachin`s last World Cup and probably my last World Cup as well. I guess we have been lucky over the years to play a lot of cricket against each other.”
"I have always enjoyed the chance of playing against Sachin and playing against the Indian team, especially under these conditions here.”
"So, nothing will change over the next few weeks. We will enjoy and see who comes out on the top."
Ponting, who led Australia to victory in the last two tournaments, said he felt there was no outright favourite for the Feb. 19-April 2 tournament in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
"There are a number of very good cricket teams out there at the moment," he said.
"Yes, we rank number one but we will not be thinking about being the number one team in the next couple of weeks.”
"We will be training as hard as anybody else and preparing better than anyone else to give ourselves the best chance in the tournament. That is all we can do."
Ponting said Australia would miss injured left-hander Michael Hussey, who was Australia`s best batsman in the losing Ashes series.
"Losing Michael Hussey is a big loss to our setup. There is no doubt about it," Ponting said. "His experience and his knowledge of the game in tournaments like this are almost second to none. We will miss him"