|I’ve been training very hard: Ponting|
12 October 2012
SYDNEY: Ageing Australia batsman Ricky Ponting says he has put himself through a gruelling training regime to be ready to face South Africa, admitting they have the best fast-bowling attack around.
The 37-year-old, who was dumped from Twenty20 and One-Day International squads, has not played a Test since the West Indies series last April and said he went months without picking up a bat.
“I gave my body and mind a bit of a rest because I bashed myself up pretty much during the summer last year,” he told reporters yesterday, a day after smashing seven sixes in an unbeaten 85 for Tasmania against South Australia.
“So after the West Indies I had a couple of months off with nothing and then about 12 weeks where I just trained myself into the ground really, physically.
“I got myself in good physical shape. I’m a few kilos down again at the start of the season and feeling really good and feel like I’m moving really good.”
Ponting is gearing up for the three-Test series against South Africa, which gets underway in Brisbane on November 9 before three Tests with Sri Lanka, also at home.
The former skipper could break Steve Waugh’s record as Australia’s most-capped Test cricketer in the first match of a Sri Lanka series, with his eye on making the 2013 team to tour England.
Vettori excluded from Sri Lanka tour
Meanwhile, injury-plagued spinner Daniel Vettori will miss New Zealand’s tour of Sri Lanka, cricket chiefs said yesterday, forcing selectors to draft uncapped leggie Todd Astle into the 15-man Test squad.
New Zealand Cricket said Vettori had failed to recover from an Achilles strain picked up at last month’s World Twenty20 tournament, where the Black Caps were eliminated by eventual champions the West Indies.
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