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23-Oct-2009 05:35:00 GMT
Australia in India, 2009

India ODIs Trial Run to 2011 World Cup - Ponting

Mumbai: Ricky Ponting, who led Australia to back-to-back World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007, says the current one-day series against India would serve as a trial run for the 2011 World Cup, to be held in the sub-continent.

"It's (visit) important for us. We can learn a lot, particularly the younger guys playing well in this part of the world. Everything we do now and next year will almost be a trial run for 2011 World Cup," Ponting said here on Thursday.

Ponting also said that the current visit to India presents the younger lot of his side a brilliant learning opportunity ahead of the mega event to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"It's important for us to learn as much as we can, as before we know the World Cup will be upon us. A lot of the young guys need to take every opportunity and learn," he said.

Australia coach Tim Nielsen endorsed Ponting's views.

"It's very important for us to get used to these conditions ahead of the 2011 World Cup. What we have here is a good chance to do so," he said.

Ponting was extremely pleased with the performance of Shane Watson who, he said, brings balance to the team with his all round skills.

"The way he (Watson) approached the Ashes series was a real positive for us. He looked at home every innings he played in England. His bowling is back to 100 per cent now," the Australian captain said.

"To finish off the Champions Trophy with a hundred in the semi-final and final is admirable. It's great to work with someone who puts in the extra yard," he said.

"He offers balance to the team. If you look at South Africa, there's Jacques Kallis and England have (Andrew) Flintoff, both world class all rounders," Ponting added.

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