Ponting pleads for patience

Australia great Ricky Ponting has urged his compatriots to be patient with the current side as they try to turn around their poor run of results.

By (Agencies)

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Published: Mon 19 Aug 2013, 12:02 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 8:00 AM

Now retired from Test cricket, former Australia captain Ponting was watching as the side slumped to an Ashes series defeat by England, falling 3-0 behind to their arch-rivals heading into next week’s fifth and final Test at The Oval.

Ponting, who earlier this season played for Oval-based Surrey, is now representing the Antigua Hawksbills in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 tournament and the star batsman has only been able to watch as a succession of top-order collapses have cost his country dear in the Ashes.

But Ponting said Australia needed to follow the example of England and, with a return Ashes starting Down Under in November, give their batsmen time to develop.

“There’s some challenges there for Australian cricket but with Darren Lehmann’s appointment as coach and some of the younger guys they’ve got around there, I think there’s enough talent,” Ponting said in a CPL statement issued Saturday.

“They’re just going to have to learn and unfortunately at the moment they’re learning the hard way,” the 38-year-old Ponting, one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation along with India’s Sachin Tendulkar and West Indies’ Brian Lara, said.

“You can find some excuses for a few of the guys. A few of the guys are young players trying to find their way in the most pressurised series that there is in world cricket: (Phil) Hughes, (Usman) Khawaja, even Steve Smith — although he’s played reasonably well at different times.

“But the thing that I keep referring to with that is if you take England back six or seven years when they had (Ian) Bell just starting out, (Alastair) Cook just starting out — those guys weren’t overnight successes. It’s taken them that amount of time in the game to hit their straps as international players and that’s what we have to do with our guys.

“We’ve got to identify the best players we’ve got, give them an opportunity and stick with them, even if we are losing games.

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