Ponting prepares to bait Smith - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ponting prepares to bait Smith

By Greg Buckle 27/12/2005 06:38:49 AM Comments (0)

Sparks are sure to fly on the second day of the second cricket Test between Australia and South Africa with Australian skipper Ricky Ponting preparing to fire some barbs at his rival Graeme Smith.

Ponting made 117 on Monday at the MCG in his side's 8-239 after winning the toss, deciding to bowling last on what is expected to be a turning wicket.

Leg-spinner Stuart MacGill was included to partner Shane Warne in a dual spin attack.

Smith had suggested in a pre-match press conference that Ponting was not an assertive captain and was being hampered by Warne who offered too much on-field advice to his skipper and was "frustrated" that he was never given the job of Test captain.

"He'll get his chance to bat tomorrow and hopefully he can back it up, Ponting said of Smith's comments.

"I haven't read what he had to say yet.

"Maybe I can have a bit of a read about it tonight and save a few up for him when he has a bat."

Fiery paceman Andre Nel led South Africa's charge on day one, grabbing 4-58 including the wickets of Ponting, Andrew Symonds (0) and Adam Gilchrist (2) within 11 balls late in the day.

"It's going to be really interesting to see how our bowlers bowl on that wicket and how their batsmen play on it," Ponting added.

"It wasn't easy all day out there. The old ball was still swinging at the end of the (first) day.

"If we can get a few more (runs) out of our tail and then bowl well early on, I think our total will start to look pretty good.

"It will be a better total if we bowl well early."

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