Johannesburg:Australian skipper Ricky Ponting reckons that having played a match at the slow Centurion track will give his team a distinct advantage over Pakistan in their must-win Champions Trophy encounter on Wednesday.
Ponting said there was no margin for errors in such crucial games and his tem had prepared well to beat Pakistan for a place in the semi-finals.
"It would be easier (for us) if Pakistan were to do so though we are preparing as if we would face their best team in the park. We can beat them and directly qualify," said Ponting when asked about reports that Pakistan would be fielding their B side in Wednesday's game.
If Australia wins tomorrow's first game, the match between India and the West Indies would lose all relevance, and Ponting said he would want his side's semi-final hopes to be decided by their own work.
"There is no margin or error. If it gets rain affected tomorrow or not, the destiny is in our hands. If we don't make it to the semi-finals, we would be disappointed.
"We have prepared very well. We have had very good last few weeks. We want to be the number one side of the world and that's why we prepare the way we do," he said at a press conference here.
"In the run-up to the game, South Africa and India were spoken about highly. Now South Africa are out and India have their work cut out. But we have prepared very well and have been playing good cricket in the last few weeks. We are in good enough position to make the next stage," Ponting said.
Ponting felt his side would have an advantage in tomorrow's game as they have had a first feel of the slow Centurion wicket against India on Monday.
"We would be disappointed with yesterday's result (against India). We were in pretty strong position. With 10 overs left, we were looking good for 300. It would have been very competitive.
"We played their spin bowlers which would be a great help against Pakistan. Sure some positive did came out of yesterday's game."
Ponting had words of sympathy for struggling Indian pacer Ishant Sharma and said his troubles could be due to the workload his young shoulders were carrying for a while.
"People now say that Ishant is a bit off the boil now. It could be the workload, physical and mental drain. I don't really know but confidence is a big thing in international cricket. It happens to fast bowlers as well as to batsmen.
"It's a big job, as a coach, as fitness advisers. Juggling the workload is a big issue. We all the time try to embrace it. I took a break in Dubai and missed the first three games in England."