x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Ponting wants to emulate Tendulkar in prolonging international career

World Cup news Ricky Ponting is still defying calls for him to retire as the Australia captain saying he wants a Sachin Tendulkar type of kick-start.

SYDNEY // Ricky Ponting is still defying calls for him to retire as the Australia captain, saying on his return from their World Cup quarter-final exit that he iss thinking more of a Sachin Tendulkar type of renaissance.

Demands for Ponting's resignation were louder before his gritty hundred in the quarter-final loss to India, which still ensured Australia's worst World Cup run in two decades but salvaged his own career.

Now the 36-year-old Ponting says he's hopeful of a late-career revival.

"I guess with even making some runs in this last game that I've played and getting that really good feeling back about my batting again," Ponting said. "Hopefully it might be a bit of a kick-start for a Tendulkar-sort rebirth, if you like."

Being labelled underdogs brings the best out of New Zealand

Ross Taylor, the big-hitting batsman, believes New Zealanders always revel in being the underdog in the important matches.

New Zealand meet Sri Lanka in the World Cup semi-final on Tuesday after upsetting South Africa in the last eight.

Taylor says the Kiwi squad is in an all-too-familiar position, playing at the home of the 1996 champions, but warned Sri Lanka that "a lot of teams expect to beat us and we enjoy the underdogs tag ... we expect to beat them as well."

Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 112 runs in their Group A match at Mumbai, when Muttiah Muralitharan took four for 25.

But Muralitharan is under an injury cloud and Sri Lanka remain under enormous pressure to send the veteran spinner out as a two-time World Cup champion.

Misbah sings Afridi's praises

Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan vice-captain, credits his side’s route to the semi-finals of the World Cup down to the captain Shahid Afridi’s leadership skills and co-operation among veteran players.

Misbah was in the running for the World Cup captaincy before it was given to Shahid Afridi, while Younus Khan is another former skipper in the squad.

Misbah said that one of Afridi’s qualities is that he listens to the players, and that decisions are made with “good co-ordination.”

The 36-year-old Misbah was also full of praise for Afridi’s influence in leading Pakistan to Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final against India.