Kallis the key: Ponting

Australian captain Ricky Ponting believes his side’s best chance of winning tomorrow’s semi final comes with having batsman Jacques Kallis in at the crease early on.

“Jacques Kallis may be one of the world’s best batsmen, but we feel it is an advantage for us to get him in early in tomorrow’s semi-final against South Africa,” Ponting wrote in a column for The Australian.

“Kallis was criticised for his slow batting at number three against us when South Africa was chasing a huge total of 377 in St Kitts, so it will be great to have him in as soon as possible, along with Herschelle Gibbs,” he continued.

“But if we can get Kallis in there early, I don’t think they can get off to the same sort of start.

“He is a very good player and has a great overall record, averaging 45.68 in one-day cricket, but against us it’s not so great (31.72). I feel we have also had the better of him in Tests.

“If we get our plans right to him, we can restrict him. We all know that if we bowl a certain way and put him under pressure, we can keep him reasonably quiet.”

Ponting also praised all-rounder Shane Watson after his superb 65 not out against New Zealand.

“It’s been great to see Shane Watson continue to develop, and silence some critics after his half-century against New Zealand. He has added some super shots – like his slap to fine leg off the pacemen – and this will give bowlers more nightmares as he can find the boundary on both sides of the wicket,” he said.

Australia play South Africa for their semi-final clash tomorrow in Saint Lucia.

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