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Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Monday, 14 June 2010 16:27 UK

Aussie captain Ricky Ponting predicts tough Irish test

Ricky Ponting and William Porterfield (right) try out hurling at Croke Park
Ricky Ponting and William Porterfield (right) try out hurling at Croke Park

Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes Ireland will provide stiff opposition in Thursday's one-day game at Clontarf in Dublin.

"We have to think of it as a really tough test," said Ponting.

"Our boys haven't played in a month so we're going to be a bit rusty - we have to make sure our preparation is spot-on in the next couple of days.

"We're here to win but hopefully a lot of people will watch the game and it helps the growth of Irish cricket."

The Aussie tour party watched a gaelic football match at Croke Park on Sunday and returned to the stadium on Monday to test their hurling skills.

Ponting is impressed with the progress of Irish cricket in recent years and believes it is good for the sport.

Ireland captain William Porterfield targets an upset in Thursday's one-day game against Australia in Dublin.

"It's important for the global game and Ireland's exposure in the last five to six years to better cricket has seen them come on leaps and bounds," he added.

"That is what we want to have - an international game.

"We want all the smaller countries to get better to make the world game stronger."

Ireland skipper William Porterfield hopes his team can upset the odds against the world champions.

"It's a massive game and something we have been looking forward to since the fixtures came out," said Porterfield.

"We've got to get stuck into it and put on a good show.

"In the last few years our stature has progressed and teams are not taking us as lightly as they once did.

"However, we have to play to our full potential and beyond on Thursday to get a result.

"It is going to be a hard challenge but hopefully we can turn them over."

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see also
Uncapped Hazlewood in for Johnson
10 Jun 10 |  Australia
Joyce wants to return for Ireland
24 May 10 |  Ireland
Joyce may return to Ireland duty
19 May 10 |  Ireland
England through after rain drama
04 May 10 |  England
Porterfield rues batting collapse
01 May 10 |  Ireland
Australia in England 2010
24 Sep 09 |  Cricket

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