x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Ponting can still excel with the bat for Australia

Ricky Ponting and his Australian batting colleagues are far from a spent force, according to Geoff Marsh, the former Test opener and current Sri Lanka coach.

Geoff Marsh, the Sri Lanka coach, believes Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, can still score runs heading into their home series with New Zealand and India.
Geoff Marsh, the Sri Lanka coach, believes Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, can still score runs heading into their home series with New Zealand and India.

DUBAI // Ricky Ponting and his Australian batting colleagues are far from a spent force, according to Geoff Marsh, the former Test opener and current Sri Lanka coach.

Ponting, the former captain, has been widely criticised in the fall out from Australia's first Test debacle in Cape Town, when they were bowled out for 47.

He is expected to play in the second and final Test in South Africa, which starts in Johannesburg today, but his future beyond that is less sure.

Ironically, the decision on whether to drop the Tasmanian batsman could partly fall on the shoulders of Rod Marsh, who will begin his new role as part of Australia's selection panel next week.

The former wicketkeeper, who recently left his role as director of coaching at the Global Cricket Academy in Dubai, coached Ponting when he was in charge of Australia's national academy, and regarded him as the most talented young batsmen he ever saw.

He will come under pressure to remove his former charge from the firing line, but his namesake Geoff insists Ponting could still excel in the forthcoming series against New Zealand and India.

"Ricky just needs to find his form and I think he will have a big [Australian] summer," said the Sri Lanka coach, whose son, Shaun, has had to withdraw from the series due to a back injury.

"I think they are still a very good batting line up. I payed in a Sheffield Shield game once when we [Western Australia] were bowled out for 43 against South Australia, and we turned around and won the Sheffield Shield that year.

"You just have those days where the game of cricket takes over. For 20 wickets to fall in a day is incredible - but that is Test cricket and that is why we love it."

pradley@thenational.ae


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