Australia plan to attack Zaheer Khan

Ricky Ponting of Australia during a practise session

By Julian Guyer

Ahmedabad: Mar 23, 2011

Australian captain Ricky Ponting has stressed that Australia sees India’s left-arm quick Zaheer Khan as a potential dangerman and would do all it can to unsettle him.

“I think he’s got the majority of his wickets in the tournament when people have really tried to go after him and attack him,” said Ponting. “We could really try and put it on him and take him out of the game, because we know he’s their main man, or we can go the other way and make sure we don’t give him wickets and try and get to the other guys, some of the part-timers, a bit more. How well he starts tomorrow or how well our batters start might dictate the way we play him.”

Ponting praised Tendulkar ahead of their World Cup quarter-final clash, but joked they both might need wheelchairs to play in the 2015 edition. “The way he (Tendulkar) is going he could play in another World Cup yet. But we’ll probably both be in wheelchairs by then. I’ll be 40 and he’ll be 42, so it will be interesting to see our running between the wickets,” he joked.

However, he has won the World Cup three times — triumphing in the last two editions as captain. Tendulkar, for all his achievements, has never won the World Cup with India’s lone success coming back in 1983.

Ponting has managed just 102 runs in six group matches at this event and hasn’t made an international century for 13 months. “Hopefully tomorrow I can get myself in the sort of form to play in another one,” he said.

He said that Tendulkar has a stupendous record at the international stage and hopes the maestro doesn’t notch up his 100th international hundred on Thursday. Tendulkar has a record 99 international hundreds (51 in Tests and 48 in one-day internationals). “It’s an amazing record, an amazing achievement. We hope the 100th one doesn’t come tomorrow. He’ll be doing everything to make sure it’s the case, we’ll be doing everything to make sure he stays on 99 for a bit longer,” Ponting added.