Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, has warned his players not to underestimate the West Indies when they meet in Johannesburg.
Windies respected by Ponting
Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, has warned his players not to underestimate the West Indies when they meet in Johannesburg today. The Windies' Champions Trophy squad is without many of their top names, including Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo, because of a disagreement with their cricket board. "The West Indies will get the respect they deserve from us. There is nothing we can do about the contractual dispute," said Ponting
One man who Australia should certainly be wary of in their opening group game is paceman Gavin Tonge. He took four for 25 in the Windies' five-wicket defeat by Pakistan on Wednesday. "I will put the ball on the same spot and let the pitch do the same. Hopefully, it will be doing the same thing again," he said. Meanwhile, the South Africa captain Graeme Smith has praised young left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell for his five-wicket haul the win over New Zealand on Thursday.
Parnell took five for 57, including three wickets in his last two overs, as New Zealand collapsed from 203 for five to 214 all out. "Wayne has proven his skills and it was great to see him bounce back today," Smith said, after seeing his team win by five wickets. "He has put the work in at training and, although he will have his ups and downs because he is young and will have to learn quickly, as a captain it's important to show faith."
New Zealand have called all-rounder James Franklin into their tournament squad. The move meant Franklin had to leave midway through Gloucestershire's County Championship game with Kent in England, retiring on 104 not out. The Black Caps face Sri Lanka tomorrow in Johannesburg while South Africa play England in Centurion. * With agencies