Ponting confident of Ashes win
Australia captain Ricky Ponting is confident of retaining the Ashes after levelling the series.
Last Updated: 09/08/09 3:44pm
Australia captain Ricky Ponting is confident of retaining the Ashes after levelling the series at Headingley.
After rescuing a draw at Cardiff, England had looked to be on course for success after victory at Lord's and a strong performance during the draw at Edgbaston, but Australia left their hosts stunned on the first day of the fourth Test at Headingley as they bowled England out for 102.
And, after an eventual victory by an innings and 80 runs, Ponting was full of praise for the way his bowlers set the result in motion.
"It's been an enjoyable week for us, obviously," he said on Sky Sports.
"We've played some great cricket. I'm very proud of the guys for bouncing back and playing the way they have this week.
"That was some great bowling on the first day.
"As I said at the toss, I was going to bat as well. It didn't look like there was that much in the wicket.
"But there was a little bit of cloud around and I thought that if we bowled well enough we'd create some chances and all credit to our bowlers.
"I thought they bowled brilliantly on that first morning and that set the game up for us."
Ponting believes the momentum shifted towards Australia when they managed to bat their way out of trouble on the final day of the third Test and expects it to carry through in the series decider at The Oval.
"We couldn't have asked for any more from this game," he said.
"I think our attitude right through the game has been spot on. We've played really hard Test match cricket and we've dominated the game from the first ball.
"Some of our guys are just getting better and better at the end of the series, so that's a real positive for us.
"We've got a lot of momentum that I feel we got out of the last day at Edgbaston. Everything's heading in the right direction."
Man-of-the-match Marcus North, meanwhile, highlighted the contribution of the batsmen at Headingley as they reached 445 in their only innings.
North, who top scored with 110, knows that the pitch could have presented the Australians with the kind of problems that destroyed England, but he feels important lessons were learnt from the previous Test.
"It was always talked about that the ball could move about a bit here, but I felt that all the batting group learnt from their mistakes I guess at Edgbaston where it moves around," he said.
"We applied ourselves well and I guess we were fortunate - when you've bowled a team out for a hundred, there's a lot of time left in the game."
While England had hoped to have closed out the series at this stage, North believes having a decider at The Oval will make things more exciting.
"We all wanted to see a great series following 2005 and it looks like it's building up in the same way," he said.