Ganguly omission baffles Ponting

Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes it would be "interesting" to face an Indian team sans the belligerent left-hander.

updated: September 30, 2008 11:32 IST
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New Delhi:

Sourav Ganguly's omission from the Irani Trophy, many believe a sign of things to come, has baffled Australia captain Ricky Ponting who believes it would be "interesting" to face an Indian team sans the belligerent left-hander.

Although the Indian 'Fab Four' of Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman came a cropper in the Test series in Sri Lanka, Ponting did not read too much into it.

"Series to series is a different thing. You can go through one series not doing very well but in the start of the next series, you can start off and make a big score and suddenly you are back on track again. That is what cricket is all about. Things can change so quickly in the game," Ponting said in Dubai.

"But one thing I have noticed is that Sourav hasn't been named in the initial squad and that I think is going to be interesting for me during the tour," said the Australian, recovering from a wrist surgery.

Ganguly has been a thorn in the flesh for Australia since his captaincy days and the left-hander often rubbed them the wrong way with his nonchalance.

Ponting, meanwhile, predicted that it would be a re-building phase for the India team over the next 12 months.

"It will be interesting to see how they stand up with no Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman not being around.

"But they are there for this series and we are going to make sure that we get better of them under their condition," he said.

On his fitness, Ponting said, "I am doing okay. I had some six weeks off after the wrist injury and from last week I have started batting again. So, it is coming along pretty well."

Ponting said the forthcoming Test series would be intense but exuded optimism that animosity would not vitiate the atmosphere like it did when India toured Australia last summer.

"I know that there is going to be huge build up to this Australia-India Test series, especially after the last summer in Australia. Media will be all out there and the things will be all over the place.

"But it is up to us players to make sure that we do the right things about the game and hopefully put up a good spirited performance before the fans," he said.

"India is obviously a great place to play cricket and Australia have really enjoyed touring India. We know that we are going to get a great contest.

"India are a very good cricket team and whatever we saw in Australia during last summer, it pretty much guarantees that the upcoming series is going to be a good series," Ponting added.