Ponting - not good enough

New Zealand claim two wicket win over Australia in Perth

Last updated: 1st February 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Ponting - not good enough

Ponting: under pressure

We've got a challenge now in the next four games against New Zealand and it's going to be a very big one.

Ricky Ponting
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Australia captain Ricky Ponting criticised his team after they slumped to a fifth defeat out of six.

Ponting's men lost by two wickets to New Zealand in the opening game of the Chappell-Hadlee one-day international series on Sunday, continuing their poor form from the 4-1 defeat against South Africa.

The Proteas' series win allowed them to overtake Australia at the top of the International Cricket Council's one-day rankings and the Black Caps provided no let up in the first game of a five-match series.

Australia crashed to 181 all out, Michael Hussey's 49 the top score, before New Zealand clinched the win when skipper Daniel Vettori hit the final ball for four.

"There are probably not many (positives) to come out of tonight," Ponting told Sky Sports.

"It was a good fight (in the field) but it has been a pretty disappointing weekend.

Responsibility

"Our standard of play hasn't been good enough, New Zealand outplayed us - they bowled well really well early on and had us under pressure from the start.

"The guys have to take responsibility, that's where we are falling down a little bit at the moment.

"It's a learning curve for all of us, I've played a lot of cricket and am still learning about the game so you can imagine what some of the younger guys are getting out of these situations.

"It's been hard work, there is no doubt about that, but we are professional cricketers and have to find a way of getting ourselves prepared for each challenge that lies ahead.

"We've got a challenge now in the next four games against New Zealand and it's going to be a very big one."

Vettori praised the contributions of Ross Taylor and Kyle Mills, who put in the groundwork with a 62-run, sixth-wicket partnership.

Taylor departed for 64 with 12 still needed off the final 15 balls - Vettori eventually hauling his side across the winning line from Nathan Bracken's final ball.

Exceptional fielding

"I'm pretty pleased for our middle order to get it done - Ross Taylor and Kyle set it up," said Vettori.

"It was a great last over from Bracken but we just managed to sneak through.

"Our fielding was exceptional today, led by Neil Broom, and the wicket probably suited us - it slowed up and allowed our bowlers to use changes of pace and mix things up a bit."

The second match takes place in Melbourne on Friday and Vettori is hopeful opening batsman Jesse Ryder will be available after missing the Perth win due to a shoulder injury.

"Hopefully Jesse Ryder will be fit for Melbourne because he adds a bit of balance to the side," he added.