Pressure on Ponting - Zaheer
Zaheer Khan thinks Ricky Ponting is under 'tremendous pressure' due to his poor record with the bat in India.
Last Updated: 25/09/08 9:33am
Ricky Ponting's below-par record in India will put the Australia captain under tremendous pressure during the upcoming Border-Gavaskar series, says Zaheer Khan.
Ponting averages just 12.28 from eight Tests in India, compared to a towering overall Test average of 58.37.
"It (Ponting's low average in India) is something that is definitely going to work in our favour," India's left-arm seamer Zaheer told NDTV.
"He is under pressure and this could be his last tour to India as a captain.
"Going by his recent comments, there is clearly pressure on him and that is an advantage to us."
Zaheer was surprised when Ponting declared his side would start as underdogs in the four Test series, which starts in Bangalore on October 9.
"For a captain who is leading the world's best Test side to say something like that shows quite clearly that he is under tremendous pressure," added Zaheer.
"Perhaps it has to do with the fact that he hasn't got runs in India."
Zaheer, however, expects Australia to provide tough opposition despite the only two specialist spinners in the tourists' squad - Jason Krejza and Bryce McGain - both being uncapped.
"It's always a good challenge to play a team that is number one in the Test rankings," he added.
"I think we are up to the challenge.
"We are focusing on our strengths rather than dwelling on the weaknesses of the Australian team."
Playing at home, India lost the series to Australia in 2004, but Zaheer said the players had put that defeat firmly behind them.
"We are not thinking of what's happened in the past now," he continued.
"We can only work on things that is in our control and what we can decide on in the next month.
"We have been playing good cricket in the last few years.
"We definitely would have to play very good cricket to win this Test series."