ICL: Indian Cricket League

Ponting says Australia will still be No. 1 next year


pontingRicky Ponting thinks Australia deserve to hold on to the No. 1 ranking even if they are defeated by South Africa in the three-Test series over the next month. Australia have held the top spot under Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ponting and the current captain said the outfit’s dominance over a long period meant it should not be deposed.

While the team has a 13-point lead over South Africa on the ICC table, Australia’s days of sweeping past all-comers are over with the loss of a group of greats over the past two years. The team struggled in India, where it lost 2-0, and faces another serious threat at the WACA from December 17.

“It has taken us a long time and a lot of great wins in different conditions around the world to get us to that No. 1 spot,” Ponting told AAP. “If South Africa beat us 3-0 I don’t know if that gives them enough points to get over us.

“But if they won the series 1-0 or 2-1, I don’t think that would mean that they deserve to take over that mantle. It’s a bit the same with India last series. Just because they beat us, the No. 1 team, doesn’t necessarily mean they go from the No. 4 or No. 5 in the world to No. 1 in the world, because it’s something that’s accrued over a long period of time.”

Ponting has been dealing with a wrist injury, which he insists will not shorten his career, and has no desire to stop leading the side. “I’ve never thought about giving up the captaincy or not wanting to do it anymore,” Ponting said in the Australian. “I’m really enjoying the job that I’ve got and I enjoy the challenge of trying to lift the team every day.”

He is about to turn 34 but does not feel like he is at the end of his career and is looking forward to being in charge as the side evolves. “It’s a challenging time for me and the team right now,” he said. “The transitional phase that we’re in has been challenging within itself, but it’s an exciting time for me as well and one that I’m looking to work really closely with some of the younger players to ensure we get through this the best we possibly can.”

While Ponting plans to continue in all three formats, he said those involved in Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 could not play every game over the next 18 months. “It’s inevitable there’ll be player workload issues,” he said, “and that’s been one thing we’ve been trying to deal with for the last four or five years.”

Paul Marsh, the Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive, is aware of the demands faced by the team and has called for change. “We need to look at better management of players or prioritisation of games, not only so that players are performing the best they can on the field but so they are keeping their personal lives together off the field,” Marsh told the Age.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 5th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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