AUSTRALIA

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has been appointed as the captain of the Australian One Day International side to take on Sri Lanka in the Commonwealth Bank Tri-Series match against Sri Lanka in the absence of regular captain Michael Clarke, who has been ruled out of the match due to injury.

However, this appointment of Ponting as the captain is not being seen as a popular or positive decision by the national selectors of Cricket Australia. Steve Waugh, the former World Cup winning Australian captain said that it made no sense to appoint Ponting as captain of the side again when much younger players such as David Warner and others are in the side, especially after he had stepped down from that role after last year’s Cricket World Cup debacle. Waugh also believes that this decision is, in fact, a backward step for Australian cricket. He further added that there is no need to have a vice captain in the side if anyone can be appointed as the captain in the absence of the regular skipper.

Ricky Ponting is one of the most successful captains, if not the most successful, in the history of Australian Cricket, having won two Cricket World Cups and countless number of Tests, leading the all conquering Australian team for almost ten years. However, a dip in form and poor performances by the team led him to resign from his spot after Australia were knocked out of last year’s World Cup by eventual winners, India.

Speaking about the role of the vice captain in the side, the chief selector said that the selectors felt that he was too young to take up the responsibility of captain and as Ricky Ponting had the experience of leading the side, it made him an automatic choice for the role.

Ricky Ponting might just have given himself time till the end of the Test series against India after scoring a glittering half century under pressure in the first Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Ponting  and Michael Hussey was under immense pressure at the beginning of the series with there being talk of dropping the two veterans from the side as well, who have not been in the best of forms over the last year or so. But Ponting’s 62 runs off 94 deliveries comes a timely reminder to the selectors of Cricket Australia that he is not finished yet.

However, the same cannot be said of Michael Hussey who fell cheaply on the first ball that he faced, not doing himself any favors ahead of the meeting of the selectors before the next Test. On the contrary though, the former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who led the side to two consecutive Cricket World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007, showed much composure, almost turning back time to the days of swashbuckling cricket that he was famous for.

Although he did have a tentative start, pushing and poking at balls that he would have smashed for boundaries in his glory days, he did manage to settle down and once his eyes got used to the ball, he showed glimpses of his old self and steadied the Australian ship with Ed Cowan on the other end.

Ponting was publicly warned by the selectors that he was not assured of a starting berth in the side prior to the series but it is being believed that this steady knock by the former skipper has bought him a window till the end of the series. With three and a half Tests still left, Ricky Ponting might just take this opportunity with a smile on his face.