18 Feb 2011

Ponting says experience not an issue for Australia

7:41 am on 18 February 2011

The Australian skipper Ricky Ponting concedes that a lack of experience will be no excuse if his team fails to win a fourth World Cup title in succession.

All 14 World Cup skippers joined the 36-year-old for a joint news conference before the official opening ceremony in the Bangladeshi capital.

But it was the Australian who hogged most of the limelight as he attempted to explain his side's two hefty defeats in their only warm-up matches in India, crashing to a 38-run defeat by India and then falling to South Africa by seven wickets on Tuesday.

His problem is to replace the giant talents of Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath, who helped propel the Australian to their hat-trick of titles in 1999, 2003 and 2007, but Ponting will not use their retirements as an excuse if he fails.

Ponting says the current squad is not dissimilar to previous two World Cups, and while admitting it doesn't have the McGraths, the Warnes and the Gilchrists, he says the guys who will feature in the World Cup have 50-70 ODIs under their belts.

However no matter how the captain talked up his sides chances, the fact remains two players who are expected play key roles on the slow sub-continent pitches are extremely inexperienced.

Off-spinner Jason Krejza has played only one ODI and he will be backed up by 21-year-old leg spinner Steven Smith -- who both struggled to make an impact in the warm-ups.