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Hussey: Ponting has 100 percent backing as captain

 Australia's Mike Hussey bats in the nets during a training session in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, March 18, 2011. Australia will face Pakistan in a C...
 Australia's captain Ricky Ponting, left, Michael Hussey, right, and bowler Brett Lee celebrate the dismissal of Pakistan's batsman Misbah-ul-Haq, uns...

Sri Lanka Cricket WCup Australia

Australia's Mike Hussey bats in the nets during a training session in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, March 18, 2011. Australia will face Pakistan in a C...

Sri Lanka Cricket WCup Australia Pakistan

Australia's captain Ricky Ponting, left, Michael Hussey, right, and bowler Brett Lee celebrate the dismissal of Pakistan's batsman Misbah-ul-Haq, uns...

Mike Hussey has jumped to the defense of Ricky Ponting, saying the under-fire Australian captain has the full backing of the squad and will silence his critics in the World Cup quarterfinals.
"Ricky has our 100 per cent support. He has been copping criticism for minor things," Hussey said Tuesday, two days before the quarterfinal against pre-tournament favorite India. "Champions rise in big matches and we will see him at his best against India."
A report in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper quoting an unnamed Cricket Australia official saying Ponting's position as captain is at risk has inflamed speculation that a dismissal is imminent.
Ponting has been out of form and has had a troubled World Cup campaign, starting when he was fined for damaging a TV in the dressing room after he was run out in Australia's opening match against Zimbabwe _ also at Ahmedabad.
His angry reaction to a collision with young teammate Steve Smith in a fielding mishap in a group match and his refusal to walk after clearly edging the ball behind in the last weekend's loss to Pakistan has added to a swirl of negative attention for Ponting in the tournament.
Ponting has played in the last four World Cup finals and been on the last three winning teams, as captain in the last two. The loss to Pakistan ended a run of 34 unbeaten matches for Australia at the World Cup, and pressure on the 36-year-old Ponting is mounting.
The Herald quoted its unnamed source as saying: "We're waiting for the next thing to blow up. We don't go a game without there being some issues with him."
But Hussey, a late addition to the Australian squad after he was originally omitted due to hamstring injury, said Ponting "has been our leader and has the full support of the team."
The negative attention hasn't distracted the Australians, either, he said.
"We are fully prepared and hoping to go into the match with full freshness and fitness of both body and mind," Hussey said.
The Australians plan to expose a weakness in the Indian game by putting pressure on the fielders.
"We will go hard for every single run to put pressure on the Indians. But it will be important for us to play a good rounded game as they have plenty of matchwinners in their side," he said.
The prospect of facing off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin with the new ball after he opened the bowling against the West Indies didn't concern Hussey.
"We have done our homework. We have played him in the past and watched him on television," he said. "We don't want to cloud our minds by thinking too much," he said.


Updated : 2021-05-16 18:26 GMT+08:00