BRISBANE: Senior batsman Ricky Ponting is gearing up to step up sprint work to prove his recovery from a hamstring injury ahead of tomorrow’s opening Brisbane Test against South Africa.
Ponting withdrew during last week’s Sheffield Shield game for Tasmania with hamstring tightness, but said he was feeling better two days out from the opener with the Proteas.
“I came down early and did 20 or 30 minutes of running before the boys got here today which is part of the process the physios have mapped out for me,” said Ponting.
“I’ll probably ramp things up a little with a bit more intense running with some sprint work and another full-on hit in the nets. I didn’t feel anything with it yesterday so I expect to be right.”
As captain Michael Clarke muses over the final make-up of his bowling attack, the heat was on in the practice nets yesterday as the battery of fast-bowlers went about their work to impress selectors.
“The bowlers have been going exceptionally well trying to impress and that’s good. That’s the sort of intensity we have come to demand around our net sessions now.”
Cowan under pressure
Meanwhile, opener Ed Cowan goes into the first Test under pressure to hold on to his spot with top-order batsman Rob Quiney set to make his debut in place of the injured Shane Watson.
“There’s always something to prove in the Australian cricket team,” Cowan told reporters.
“I feel like I belong in the team at the same time and that ultimate belief comes from actually winning the game off your own bat.”
Cowan has made three half-centuries since making his debut in last year’s Boxing Day Test against India when he hit a gallant 68.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2012.