Ganguly's exit will create distractions: Ponting

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sourav Ganguly's announcement of his retirement just before the first Test will act as a distraction for the Indians, Ricky Ponting said.

Updated: October 11, 2008 18:11 IST
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Sourav Ganguly's announcement of his retirement just before the first Test will act as a distraction for the Indians and they will be under pressure in the series, Australian skipper Ricky Ponting said on Wednesday.

"It (Ganguly's retirement) will certainly create distractions. And we have experienced it when Steve Waugh, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist retired," Ponting said ahead of the first Test.

"The decision takes pressure off Sourav but puts pressure on some other and the Indian players will certainly be facing that for the next four weeks. I'm sure the crowd in India will be eager to come out and see Sourav play his last Tests. And that will add to the overall spectacle of the series," said Ponting.

The visiting skipper said his deputy Michael Clarke will be available for the first Test. "He (Clarke) had a stomach bug yesterday. He took part in the training session today and feeling good. He will be fine for the game tomorrow."

He said the final decision on his playing XI will be decided on Thursday morning.

"Probably Jason Krejza or Cameron White, one of them will play. We will finalise it tomorrow morning."

Ponting seemed to be quite satisfied with the pitch for the first Test and said, "The pitch has changed a little bit compared to what it was yesterday afternoon. It looks very good to me.

"Greg Chappell also feels that the pitch looks like helping batsmen in the first couple of days before helping the spinners. It's overcast and humid weather out here and there will be variation in the bounce as the match progresses."

Ponting said his team will look for some run outs to swing the match in their favour and would also put pressure on the Indian fielders when they come down to bat.

"We want to focus on a couple of run outs to change the course of the match when the Indian batsmen are in the middle. We will try and put pressure on their running between the wickets as we have got some top inner ring fielders. This apart, we will also put pressure on their fielding when we go out to bat," said Ponting.

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