Ponting calls for same again
Ricky Ponting wants Australia to continue to be ruthless during the remaining Tests against West Indies.
Last Updated: 29/11/09 11:32am
Ricky Ponting wants Australia to continue to be ruthless during the remaining two Tests against West Indies.
Australia claimed a crushing victory by an innings and 65 runs inside three days in the series opener at the 'Gabba.
There were a handful of moments which underlined the home side's increased intensity and unrelenting push for a quick and clinical finish, but the best two examples came from Ponting himself.
The 34-year-old made two bold tactical decisions over the course of the Test, firstly declaring his side's innings closed at 480 for eight on day two and secondly enforcing the follow on on Saturday.
In what was Ponting's 63rd Test in charge, it was just the third time he had made use of the follow on.
"I spoke to the guys leading into the game about how I wanted to play from here on, and how I wanted and expected the team to play, and today was a big part of that," Ponting said.
"It was trying to be as positive as we can, and for us to test ourselves more than anything.
"It would have been an easy option for us to just go out there and bat and drag it out a little bit longer and let the bowlers put their feet up for a while.
"But I said to the guys that I wanted us to put our best foot forward, play our best cricket, and if that meant the game lasted three days or five days, so be it.
"We've done well enough here and I think all the guys have gotten a lot out of the game in terms of playing that kind of cricket."
Ponting was anything but flippant in making the decision to enforce the follow on at lunch on the third day.
"I had a really good chat with the bowlers, for me it's always about how the bowlers are feeling, especially in conditions like this when the new ball becomes so important," he added.
"You don't want to have bowlers that feel a bit flat and a bit tired and waste that new ball.
"We knew that if we weren't going to have to bat again that we were going to have to take early wickets with the new ball.
"The opportunity to finish the game, and for them (the bowlers) to have an extra couple of days off leading into Adelaide (second Test, starting on December 4) was pretty appealing - so that's the reason we did it the way we did."
Ponting suggested the extra two days' rest was a fitting reward for an impressive performance, and was hopeful his side would clamber up the ICC's Test rankings from their current fourth-placed standing.
"The one thing I spoke about a bit before the game was our ranking and how keen I am for this group of players to do their best to improve that," he continued.
"I think today was our first step forward in being able to do that.
"We've got a good group of players together, there's a lot of skill around our group at the moment and a few of our younger blokes are starting to have some good performances.
"Winning games tends to make everyone feel a bit better about themselves. We've achieved the things that we wanted to achieve this week."