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17 April 2024

Rebuilding the key for Australia, Proteas

By Staff Writer

The Australian team is already looking ahead to the 2011 cricket World Cup, according to captain Ricky Ponting.

The World Champions play South Africa in the first of five One Day Internationals in Melbourne today, with both teams looking to rebuild their squads in the shorter format of the game.

"It's about that time of our preparations when we do start looking ahead to the World Cup," said Ponting.

"We were talking and I think there's about 80 games of one-day cricket for us to play between now and the World Cup. That's an opportunity to give plenty of experience to some of these younger guys before the World Cup comes around."

While South Africa won the Test series 2-1, in ODIs Australia are still the favourites having completed a 2-0 victory in the Twenty20 series last week.

The Proteas don't have a balanced side for the one-day game and to add to their woes they are missing inspirational skipper Graeme Smith to injury, while stand-in captain Johan Botha has still not earned the full respect from senior members of the squad.

"I've got some input back from them," said Botha. "We've spoken about it, not to have too many guys say too many things on the field because it does get a bit crazy. We've definitely spoken about that. In the one-day series it will be sorted out."