Aussies make pitch plans

Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting © Getty Images

Ricky Ponting’s Australians are on a swotting mission ahead of Saturday’s pre-Ashes clash with England.

Following the Aussies' defeat to West Indies on Wednesday, whichever side loses at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium will almost certainly be out of the ICC Champions Trophy with a match to play.

Tournament scheduling means Australia do not arrive in the city until late this evening, giving them just Friday to practise and have a first-hand look at the pitch.

England feel they have a slight advantage in that they have already experienced the two-paced surface in defeat to India last weekend and have been camped in Jaipur for 10 days.

John Buchanan & Ricky Ponting

John Buchanan (left) and Ricky Ponting © Getty Images

So coach John Buchanan and his team have been studying footage of the matches here so far.

“We’ve been able to capture the last two games on video to have a look at the way the wicket played up there,”

Ponting said. “We’re just going to have to look at the video and pick it to pieces as much as we can.

“We would like to think it would be a pretty good one-day wicket.

“One of the strengths of this team is that we’ve had a lot of success in varying conditions around the world.

“Nothing should catch us off guard in terms of the conditions here.”

Australia, who have yet to win a Champions Trophy, went down by 10 runs under the Mumbai floodlights to leave Group A wide open.

“The game was there to be won and we weren’t good enough,” reflected Ponting. “Now the next game becomes very important.

“We’ve got a couple of days to get away and work hard, talk about where we came up short in this game and hopefully improve in the next one.”

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