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Rediff.com  » Sports » Ponting lauds Hussey, Watson

Ponting lauds Hussey, Watson

October 09, 2005 19:16 IST
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Australia captain Ricky Ponting praised Shane Watson and Mike Hussey for rescuing the innings in their 156-run victory over the World XI in the final one-day international on Sunday.

Man of the match Watson, who also took four for 39 and ran out Virender Shewag, scored 66, while Hussey added 75 in an unbroken 145-run partnership for the world champions, who scored an imposing 293 for five.

Brett Lee then knocked the top of the World XI's batting order with three wickets for 21 runs in a hostile five over spell before Watson mopped up the middle order and tail in the composite team's 137 all out.

"Their (Hussey and Watson) partnership was the defining moment for us," Ponting told a news conference. "We were under a bit of pressure at that stage.

"We had lost three (wickets) for five when those two came together and it shows the maturity of these guys in the way they approach their cricket in the way they got us from a very sticky situation to a very commanding one in the game.

Ponting also said he felt Watson's experience playing county cricket for Hampshire had helped his development.

"I've kept a pretty close eye on Shane in the way he has played cricket in the last few months in England and he controlled one-day innings very well over there.

"He has learnt a lot about that side of his game."

Watson, who was also man of the match in the first game, agreed with his captain that playing in England had helped him.

"I'm just trying to enjoy myself more and enjoy my cricket and not put too much pressure on myself now," the 24-year-old said.

Watson, who said before the series he felt he could fill the same role Andrew Flintoff plays for England in the Australian side, repeated the assertion on Sunday.

"I do believe I can back that up," he said when asked about the comment. "I'm still pretty young and think I still have a lot of improving to go.

"(But) that's my goal -- to get somewhere near where the player Andrew Flintoff is and the contribution he makes to English cricket."

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Source: REUTERS
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