Ponting wants more breaks for Oz players

Brisbane, Mar 5 (UNI) After a long home series against India, Australia is looking to provide rest to some of it's key players to keep them fresh for important matches and to lengthen their careers.

Apart from one or two changes, Australia played the same squad in the Test series against India as well as the one-day tournament that concluded yesterday.

Aussie captain Ricky Ponting did speak to coach Tim Nielsen and the chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch over the past few week about the overload.

''We've only got a changeover of one or two players between the Test and one-day teams,'' Ponting said. ''That's really unusual for us.'' ''In the past couple of years we've had probably up to five or six changing over. When you have that it gives a bit more life to the group,'' he added.

Ponting missed the Twenty20 internationals and Matthew Hayden, too, could not play a couple of the games but a core batting group was employed throughout the series and it was only the bowlers who were rotated regularly that came out to be the only strength for Australia.

''Not having much changeover now, the guys have been playing international cricket for a long time and had no opportunity to be able to get away from the rigours of the game,'' Ponting said.

''Maybe there's some sort of trend with us. We dominated last year and lost both finals, maybe we have to look at giving some of our guys who have played both forms a bit more of a rest so they're fresh when the finals come around,'' he added.

The 33-year-old Tasmanian pointed out that India's young talent that relieved the Test side did make a lot of difference in the ODI series.

''What they've done gives us something to look at down the track,'' Ponting said.

The World Champion's have already failed to fill the spaces left vacant by the retirements of Glen McGrath and Shane Warne have another herculean task on hand to find replacements for Adam Gilchrist and Brad Hogg.

''With those guys going out, we bring in some newer, fresher guys,'' Ponting said.

''That's the way we evolve. I'm not sure if age ever brings you back to the pack. Skills are what bring you back to the pack.

A lot of our more senior players have still got all the skills required to be one-day players for Australia.'' UNI XC RAR AB DS1518

Story first published: Wednesday, March 5, 2008, 17:46 [IST]
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