Ponting sounds warning to middle order - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ponting sounds warning to middle order

By Tom Wald 29/11/2005 06:35:56 PM Comments (0)

Captain Ricky Ponting has issued a warning to Australia's misfiring middle order that it must lift its game before next month's three-Test series against South Africa.

The national side polished off the West Indies on Tuesday in Adelaide but Ponting expects his men to have a lot more on their plate against the Proteas in the first Test starting December 16 in Perth.

Australia has completely revamped the middle order since the losing Ashes campaign but Ponting doesn't want instability used as an excuse for poor returns.

"We have had mini collapses in the middle order which is a bit of a worry for us, but something we have to keep working on and improve," he said.

"If you look back in the four or five games we have played that would be the only area of concern."

Newcomers Mike Hussey (361 at 120.33 for the series) and Brad Hodge (101 at 33.66) have shown they could be part of the answer but there are question marks surrounding No.6 Andrew Symonds (10 at 5) and Adam Gilchrist (52 at 17.33) is going through a lean patch.

However Ponting felt his side continued to show that it was regaining its bite following the Ashes.

"It has been pleasing to see some of the less experienced players come into the side and perform very well, Hussey has been great over the last couple of Tests, Hodge has looked very much at home at Test level," he said.

"Stuey MacGill has made an impact in every game that he has played, so we are really happy with the way things have gone.

"We had a few wrongs to right after the Ashes tour and I think we have made a few steps into making ourselves a better cricket team."

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