x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Ricky Ponting now in a class of his own

The Australian skipper has passed Steve Waugh as the most successful captain in Test history, and set another record as the player with more Test wins than any other.

Ricky Ponting described Australia's crushing 170-run win over Pakistan as "one of our best Test wins in quite a while" and challenged his side to again be a dominant force in world cricket. Ponting surpassed Steve Waugh as the most successful captain in Test history with a 42nd victory in his 65th match as skipper, and also set another record as the player with more Test wins (93) than any other.

"It's been a great game for us," Ponting said. "It's one of our best Test wins in quite a while I think, starting right from the start of the game with the Simon Katich and Shane Watson partnership, which really set the platform for a very good Test match for us." Nathan Hauritz cleaned up the tourists on the final day, grabbing his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket as Australia took a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.

Hauritz, who was urged by the chairman of the selectors, Andrew Hilditch, to step up when it counted last week, finished with five for 101 as the tourists were bowled out for 251. "What players like him need is just that breakout performance," Ponting said of Hauritz. "Today could be one of the really big turning points in Nathan's career." Pakistan may respond to the defeat by recalling former captain Younus Khan and playing leg-spinner Danish Kaneria as part of a two-pronged spin attack for the second Test in Sydney on January 3.

Captain Mohammed Yousuf said: "When I spoke to Younus he is happy to come to play - he is a good person. Obviously Younus is a very experienced player and a very good player. He's got a 50 average in Test matches, we miss him a lot, he is a very crucial No 3 [batsman]." * With agencies