Ponting targets clean sweep
Australia captain Ricky Ponting is targeting a clean sweep of major trophies by winning the ICC World Twenty20.
Last Updated: 23/06/09 8:31am
Australia captain Ricky Ponting is targeting a clean sweep of major tournaments by winning the ICC Twenty20 tournament.
The Australians are the current World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy holders.
Speaking at a press conference, Ponting agreed it was a big incentive trying to be the holders of all three competitions.
He added they were fully focused on this task ahead of the Ashes series afterwards.
"For me and the rest of the group for the next few days and next few weeks all our talk is going to be about Twenty20 cricket and how we get ourselves up to play the best level of Twenty20 cricket we can," he said.
"We were a little bit disappointed with the last World Cup, going out in the semi-final the way did and as you say there is a lot of incentive there for us with the World Cup and the Champions Trophy in our possession at the moment - it would be nice if we could win all three.
"So that will be our focus over the next few weeks for sure."
He added in the last tournament they lost the first game to Zimbabwe and then had to change things round quickly to make it to the semi-final stage, where they lost to eventual champions India.
"Tournament play I think in Twenty20 cricket is vastly different than just playing the one-off game or one or two games here and there," he added.
"You do need to be very well prepared for Twenty20 cricket and I think the way the game is played internationally now - exclusive of the World Cup - you are going sometimes out of a Test match and straight into a Twenty20 game and that can be pretty hard to get used to.
"I think a lot of our players have been the least experienced Twenty20 players in the world really up until probably the last two IPL tournaments so we have got a lot of guys who've just come back from there now.
"We'll be leaning on them over the next few days with all the things that might have happened in that tournament as far as tactics go and the way those guys are actually looking at the game and playing the game now.
"We'll be trying to get that bit of information out of them leading into our first game here."
Ponting did not play in the second edition of the IPL, adding there had been a big emphasis of having players fit and fresh for the World Cup.
"For me it was pretty simple, the reason I didn't go was just the fact how long our summer had been, how much cricket we had played," he said.
"It was a good opportunity for me to have a couple of weeks off cricket really and make sure when I got here for the start of this tournament that I was in the best physical and mental shape that I could be.
"You do need to be fresh and very physically fit and ready to play Twenty20 cricket as we probably experienced at the start of the last World Cup - I think we had three or four guys who did their hamstrings early on in the last tournament so there has been a big emphasis placed on having guys fit and fresh so that was the main reason that I didn't (go to the IPL)."
But he would not be drawn on who he thinks his side's main rivals are for the tournament.
"Well, I don't think you can discount anybody in this tournament," he said.
"I think anyone on their given day can upset anybody else in this format of the game.
"Every team in this tournament will bring a very strong squad of players together that have got different players in this form of the game than you see in Test matches or 50 over cricket.
"So, all I can say is you're guaranteed to see some great cricket over the next few weeks."
He added: "It's an exciting time for the world game I think when you've got a World Cup of any of the three forms that we play.
"So we're all looking forward to it as I said this week in getting our preparation right and then hopefully starting the tournament off very well."