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Ponting preparing his side for every challenge

Ponting preparing his side for every challenge

Skipper Ricky Ponting suspects the lingering effects of the Diwali festival could have more impact on his Australian lineup than on the Indian cricketers who have been celebrating the Hindu 'festival of lights'.
So he's preparing Australia for a smoggy start to the third cricket test Wednesday due to the expected lingering smoke from Diwali, for which fireworks and firecrackers are a major feature.
If the weather is overcast on the morning of the match, which it has been for the past couple of days, the haze could lead to a delay.
"If it is like it was yesterday or worse we might be starting late," Ponting said. "By the time we got down to the ground, which was 9.30 a.m., it was still touch and go whether you would start on time.
"If it is smoggy in the morning I don't think there is really much you can do about it. I don't think it will really change the way the game is played."
India leads the four-match series 1-0 and Australia might have to force the pace if there are too many disruptions.
"Tomorrow might be an exceptional day as well with all the haze hanging around from the fireworks tonight," Ponting told reporters Tuesday, on the eve of the match. "We will assess that as we go and if it does get to the stage where we need to do things differently to take in calculations about losing some time and some light, then we will do that to try and force a result."
The Australians have altered their training to cope with the haze, particularly with their fielding.
"We made the guys do a lot of high balls," Ponting said. "(Wicketkeeper) Brad Haddin started off doing high balls and said it was definitely different to catch the ball _ harder to pick up and judge things _ so all the guys made sure they got that work done."
The third test was originally scheduled to start Tuesday but was pushed back a day so the match did not begin on the Diwali public holiday.
Ponting is also wary of the potential for bad light to shorten the match.
"It has been getting dark quite early as well, but then I noticed last night that it held out a bit longer and we could have been playing easily at 5 p.m.," he said. "We will factor that sort of stuff in if the first few days of the game are going that way."


Updated : 2021-04-12 02:38 GMT+08:00