Mumbai: Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has come out in support of Steve Smith as the national team continues to be under pressure from fans and critics to improve their performance.
The Australian side was clean swept in the three-match Test series in Sri Lanka. Later, as they travelled to South Africa, they were given a 5-0 beating by the Faf du Plessis side in the five-match ODI series. While there were hopes the Aussies would bounce back at home, Proteas clinched the three-match Test series by winning the first two Tests in Perth and Hobart by outplaying the hosts.
However, Australia’s two-time World Cup winning captain, Ponting, has backed Smith to regroup the struggling Australian side.
“It is a tricky one with captains. We know they are held wholly and solely responsible for results, but unfortunately (as captain) you don’t have full control of everything that happens in the game, which is why I press for the captain to be a selector. The finger comes back and points at the captain, which seems a little bit unfair,” Ponting told The Cricketer.
“I have no doubt in my mind Steve Smith is the right bloke for the job. He led the way with the bat in the first innings (at Hobart). It is down to the players that are out there to not stand for what is happening, not be happy with mediocre performances,” added Ponting.
Ponting, who said he will be interested in taking over the role of chief selector or coach the Australian side, has recently urged fans to keep calm and don’t worry to much about how Australia will perform in the next year’s Ashes.
Ponting also made it clear that Australia struggled against South Africa in the Test series as they have not really faced some of the top notch bowlers in recent times.
“I think some of the guys have had a bit of luxury the last couple of years in playing some ordinary Test teams on some pretty good batting wickets. We haven’t seen class reverse swing like we saw from (Kagiso) Rabada in Perth. What we have seen is West Indies and India in Australia and some of the guys have been able to fill their boots against opposition that aren’t as strong as they have faced in the last two series.”...