Saturday, June 15, 2024

Dravid hopeful of Ponting resurgence


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Canberra: Veteran Indian middle-order batsman Rahul Dravid backed former Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting, saying the Tasmanian still has the capability of turning the fate of a match single-handedly.

“I think he is still a great player. He showed in the couple of Test matches that he played against us in India that he is still – I would say he is still – the best Australian batsman,” Dravid was quoted as saying by ‘’ ahead of the four-match series starting at the MCG on December 26.

“From our perspective I hope he can start a golden run after our series. When you read his name on the sheet he is still one of the most feared, there is no doubt about it,” he added.

Dravid’s assessment came close on the heels of former players Ian Chappell and Geoff Lawson`s observations that Ponting should call it quits now.

While scoffing at suggestions that Ponting is too old to recapture his peak form at Test level, Dravid said, “I have been through all this myself, and can easily relate to him. I was watching those Test matches (in South Africa) and was in some way hoping that he would score runs.

“I hoped he would score runs in the next Test (against New Zealand) and then take a bit of a break against us,” he added.

Dravid has scored 1067 runs this year with five centuries.

Chappell had admitted that the 37-year-old Ponting is currently struggling to find his feet in Test cricket and believed that the time has come for him to bid goodbye.Lawson had said that if Ponting doesn’t retire, the selectors need to make the tough decision.

“He has been out of form now for a couple of years. The average is down 35 per cent in the last two years; that’s a big drop,” he said.

“The previous selection group could not (make tough decisions). We know they were very poor and very poor at making tough decisions. You can not play forever … it’s just about that time,” he added.

Ponting’s most successful series in recent times was against India in October last year, when he scored 224 runs in a 2-Test series. (Agencies)


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