Thursday, December 16, 2010

More than just the series at risk for Ponting

Former England captain, Michael Vaughan, has spoken out at his fears for Ricky Ponting’s international career and captaincy, saying that his fading form and current squad which is weakening around him will lead to his retirement from Test cricket next month, regardless of the result in this year’s Ashes series.

Whilst Vaughan doubts that Cricket Australia would actually sack the influential Ponting, he said that the 150-Test veteran, who turns 36 next week, would walk away from the game with no fears over his reputation:

“From what we have seen so far it is clear this will be Ricky Ponting’s last series – he is the right man to carry on until it finishes but he has to lead by scoring a gallon of runs.”

Ponting has had a number of issues this series over selection, and has stopped only just short of criticizing chairman Andrew Hilditch when discussing the omission of paceman Mitchell Johnson in Adelaide while his decision to go with fellow Tasmanian Xavier Doherty over Nathan Hauritz backfired when the spinner was badly exposed as being as threatening as Pingu when it came to bowling the English batsmen out.

Ponting however has accepted this week that he is failing with the bat, but not as a leader, and has accepted that his return of nine runs in two innings in the second Test is unacceptable.

However, Mike Gatting, the last England captain to taste victory in an Ashes series down under, believes Ponting could prolong his batting career if he gave up the Australia captaincy, saying: “that might re-invent Ricky Ponting for three or four years which would be great for Australian cricket.”